LONDON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
In line with recent news coverage short-term lender PaydayUK is warning of the dangers of being duped into laundering money by online fraudsters - a crime which can lead to a custodial sentence.
Figures released by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA) highlight the dangers of a scam which recruits ordinary members of the public through fake job adverts.
Those signed up then unknowingly assist in the money-laundering of thousands of pounds to criminal gangs abroad - the proceeds of which, according to the FFA, fund the drugs trade, people trafficking and terrorism.
The fake job offers, often made online using titles such as 'money transfer agent' or 'payment processing agent', turn participants into so-called 'money mules'. The recipient of the job offer is invited to receive money into their bank account and transfer it to another account, retaining a cut for themselves.
In reality, the money received has been acquired illegally and the process of moving it through accounts means it is difficult to trace.
This activity is illegal and carries a number of consequences, including the freezing of bank accounts, difficulty in opening new accounts in the future (potentially affecting the ability to gain a mortgage, insurance etc.) and even a prison sentence of up to ten years.
DCI Dave Carter, head of the cheque and plastic crime unit, who work in card and cheque fraud prevention, said: "What might initially seem an attractive method of boosting your income during tough times is in reality the work of determined international criminals, aiming to turn the public into an unwitting army of accomplices to fraud.
"Whether through naivety or wilful blindness to the consequences, members of the public need to reject any approach for their bank account to be used in this way."
The FFA states the following on how to spot criminal money laundering and suggested steps to take to protect yourself:
- Be very cautious of unsolicited emails promising opportunities to make easy money
- Verify any company that makes you a job offer and check their contact details (address, landline phone number, email address and website) are correct and whether they are registered in the UK
- Be wary of job offers from people or companies overseas as it will be harder for you to find out if they are legitimate
- Never give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them
For more information on this topic visit the Financial Fraud Action UK website