According to figures from UK Finance and fraud prevention body Cifas, young adults up to the age of 30 make up nearly two-thirds (64%) of cases involving money mule activity in the UK.
The survey also reveals that 23% of cases involve individuals under the age of 21. Money mules are individuals who assist in laundering the proceeds of crimes, and criminal gangs often target young people who may be unaware of the consequences, including potential criminal records.
To address this issue, the "Don't Be Fooled" campaign has been launched in partnership between UK Finance and Cifas. The campaign aims to educate young people about the dangers and consequences of becoming a money mule. As part of the initiative, free resources have been developed for schools, including lesson plans, assembly presentations, and other materials for primary and secondary school pupils.
Ben Donaldson, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, emphasizes the importance of teaching children about the risks associated with money mule activities and safeguarding their bank accounts. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to play a role in ensuring the safety of their children's accounts and to advise against sharing bank details unless absolutely necessary and with trusted individuals.
Mike Haley, Chief Executive of Cifas, highlights the illegal nature of money laundering and the serious consequences it can have, particularly for young people who may face difficulties accessing credit, loans, and educational and job opportunities. Haley urges young individuals to carefully consider the potential repercussions before allowing their bank accounts to be used for transferring money.
Certain signs may indicate someone's involvement in money muling, such as suddenly having extra cash, purchasing expensive items without a clear source of funds, or displaying secretive or stressed behavior. The campaign encourages parents and guardians to be vigilant and ensure their children do not share their bank account details unless it is with trusted individuals.
By raising awareness and providing educational resources, the "Don't Be Fooled" campaign aims to protect young people from the risks associated with money mule activities and empower them to make informed decisions about their financial well-being.
By fLEXI tEAM