Police warn over young people targeted as ‘money mules’
Criminals are increasingly using the bank accounts of people aged under 21 to launder money.
Cases involving young people who are targeted to become “money mules” by letting criminals use their bank accounts have reportedly almost doubled.
Police in London are warning parents to monitor their children’s accounts amid concerns they could be falling victim to such crime either through force or when offered payment, the Times said.
Figures from fraud prevention service Cifas, reported by the paper, show the number of “misuse of facility” frauds involving a person under 21 has risen year-on-year.
Cifas said there were 4,222 such cases in the first half of 2017, compared with 2,143 in the first part of last year.
It also reported that 65% of the 17,040 incidents of that type in the UK in the first six months of this year were committed by people aged under 30.
This kind of fraud usually sees the person allowing their bank account to be used to move criminal money, Cifas said, making it harder for the authorities to track.
The Times said a letter sent to schools from the Metropolitan Police’s fraud unit urged them to support officers by educating young people that they should not let their accounts be used in this way.