Latest scam awareness update
The impact of fraud can be both financially and emotionally devastating. It is a top priority for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to investigate reports of fraud thoroughly and take action to disrupt and stop fraudsters offending.
GMP is committed to providing the public with up-to-date information about fraud and the latest scams so that our communities know how to protect themselves and their hard earned money, making it easier to stop these crimes taking place.
Money mules warning
What is it?
Criminals will often use fake job adverts, or create social media posts about opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits. The money mule will then agree to share their bank details so that cash can be deposited into their account for them to follow instructions to send it into another bank account, keeping a small amount of the money for themselves. You won’t know where the money is coming from, or where it’s going, but it could be used to fund drugs, child trafficking or even terrorism.
Even if you’re unaware that the money you’re transferring was illegally obtained, you have played an important role in fraud and money laundering, and can still be prosecuted.
What to look out for
Cash or rewards in exchange for the use of your bank account.
Social media posts promoting easy ways of making money.
Job adverts that promise the chance to work from home, for high sums, little work and with no experience necessary.
How to protect yourself
No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
Be especially wary of job offers from people or companies overseas as it will be harder for you to find out if they really are legitimate.
Never give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust.
Detective Sergeant Stacey Shannon, of GMP’s Economic Crime Hub, said: “Fraudsters will often target the vulnerable, in the case of money muling, this is young people or students who are often in need of money.
“Often the money mule is unaware that the money they are transferring is illegally obtained, however they have played a key role in money laundering and can still be prosecuted as this money finances more serious and violent crime. That’s why it is so important for people to take their time to consider taking part in something that promises to earn them quick money – there’s no such thing as easy money.
“I would also urge parents to be mindful of the tell-tale signs that their children could be a money mule. It could be that they suddenly have extra cash; they’re buying expensive new clothes or top-of-the-range mobile phones and gadgets with very little explanation as to how they got the money. They may also become more secretive, withdrawn or appear stressed.
“If you think you or someone you know has been affected, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.”
Follow our @gmpfraud Twitter account to stay up to date with the latest scam advice.