Money Box: Woman reveals how she was blacklisted by a bank
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A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money on behalf of others through their bank account, sometimes knowing what they’re doing, but sometimes perhaps not. It helps criminals clean up dirty cash
Money muling is a serious crime as it can have lasting implications on a victim’s future. It is a type of money laundering scam and people can be liable by association.
On BBC Money box, a victim spoke about their experiences of being a money mule.
They said: “[The scammer] put £1500 in my account under the name of a fake company, and I had to go inside the bank and ask, ‘can I withdraw the full amount of £1500’.
“The bank started asking more detailed questions about this company that I worked for, which I never had.
“I decided to leave it because I couldn’t withdraw the money. But since then, my bank account has been closed down because I wasn’t able to verify why the money was there.
“I tried to apply to different banks, but they weren’t accepting me. That’s when I sort of realised that I could have been blacklisted.
“I heard of people doing it and nothing had happened to them, so I thought it wasn’t going to happen to me but it’s my fault really, I’m going to have to live with it.”
Fraudsters usually target teenagers, young people and vulnerable people to be money mules.
People are recruited through social media platforms, by using fake job adverts or via social media posts.
The victim above mentioned that she was recruited though her Instagram direct messages by a boy who enticed her with a money incentive.
The victim continued: “I was approached on Instagram and this boy basically went into my direct messages.
He decided to give me his snap chat name, I added him on snap and continued talking.
I said no and he was like if you give me your square – my bank card – I can make it happen for you.
“He just kept on sort of pestering me for my card and I just eventually gave in.”
Victims of this fraud may get put on the CIFAS Fraud prevention list, so banks are aware of what has previously happened with their accounts.
Mum Elaine spoke on the Money box about what this also meant for her teenage son who had also fallen victim to money muling.
She explained: “When the CIFAS marker was on his account, he couldn’t get a phone contract, and he couldn’t work because you can’t work unless somebody pays money into a bank account.”
Elaine explained how these money launders forced her son to get involved by using threats such as “we know people with knives” and “you need to do this; you have to do this”.
This CIFAS marker against a victim’s name lasts six years and aims to act as a deterrent for others.
Parents are being urged to speak to their children about the lasting effects this could have.
Money muling could lead to people getting criminal records or even jail time.
Metro banks head of fraud and investigations, Adam Speakman has warned: “We’re closing tens of thousands of accounts a year as a banking industry of the people who have actually committed this crime.
“You won’t be able to get a mobile phone contract, you won’t be able to get credit for a car, you won’t be able to get a mortgage further down the line.”
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