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Money Mules (finan­cial agents)

Time and again, crim­i­nals are using attrac­tive-looking job offers to recruit people as “money mules”, to transfer crim­i­nally obtained funds abroad. Anyone par­tic­i­pating in such “deals” is com­mit­ting an offence.

Pro­tect your­self by...

  • prin­ci­pally remaining sus­pi­cious of lucra­tive job offers with a chance of making money quickly without any cor­re­sponding effort.
  • never offering the use of your bank accounts to any third parties.
  • only ever passing on your bank and per­sonal details to people who you know per­son­ally and who you trust.
  • never with­drawing or trans­fer­ring money from your account where you are not absolutely cer­tain of its ori­gins. Ask your bank to transfer back any such funds to the sender.
  • never sending any money on behalf of third par­ties to any recip­i­ents who you don’t really know – least of all by mail or via a money transfer service.
  • obtaining in-depth clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the sup­posed employer and informing your­self about what is expected from you in detail.
  • imme­di­ately reporting this to the police if you are offered any jobs involving the receipt of money into your bank account for you to pass on in any shape or form.

Time and again, crim­i­nals are trying to recruit cred­u­lous people to become so-called finan­cial agents for their crim­inal deal­ings by placing job offers on var­ious online plat­forms (e. g. net­works like Face­book) or fic­ti­tious web­sites. Those job offers promise high com­mis­sions for little work, and usu­ally don’t require people to have any pre­vious training or exper­tise. These sup­posed com­pa­nies fre­quently have a very cred­ible web­site or abuse the name of some actual com­pa­nies for their ends.

In the con­text of this pur­ported employ­ment, people are to receive funds into their own bank accounts to with­draw and then pass them on abroad by mail (letter/parcel), using a money transfer ser­vice or in some other manner. They are now increas­ingly also requesting assets to be exchanged for crypto cur­ren­cies (e. g. Bit­coins). In return, people are allowed to retain a com­mis­sion. These funds almost always orig­i­nate from crim­inal activ­i­ties, for instance involving Internet crime or drug or human trafficking.

Although finan­cial agents are not directly involved in those crim­inal activ­i­ties, they are guilty of money laun­dering, since they are assisting crim­i­nals with moving their funds and dis­guising the money’s illegal origin.

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