Hey, you! How would you like to make some money…fast? No experience required! 👀
Wow! Too good to be true? Especially in these difficult cost of living times.
You know that old saying? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You may have seen posts on social media such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. Maybe you’re just socialising with friends and some new people show up. They have flashy cars and appear to be living the high life. Then they say to you, ‘You can have this too. It’s easy’. Sounds amazing.
But here’s the truth …..
So what is a money mule exactly?
A money mule is someone who either knowingly or unknowingly moves money through an account in their own name at the request of someone else.
How do people become money mules?
In response to an increase in criminals using money mules to move illicit funds, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published statistics showing that around 6 out of 10 mules are under the age of 30 and that they can be recruited online or in person. It’s easy to see why. Times are hard. The cost of living has put pressure on a lot of household finances. You might be asked to do someone a favour by moving money, they might tell you they can’t use their bank account, and you may even be promised to benefit from moving money or any other form of coercion.
But this is the important part, when you do this you might be moving funds that are actually helping criminals to fund serious crimes such as terrorism, drug or human trafficking amongst others.
What are the consequences if I become a money mule?
A lot of people don’t realise that acting as a money mule is illegal and that you can face criminal charges. It sounds like the kind of thing that sounds too serious to happen to you right? That’s what we see in the movies. You might be thinking ‘I’m only moving a small amount as a favour’.
Here’s a list of some other consequences that could happen as well:
You could end up with a criminal record
You could have your bank accounts frozen
You could lose the ability to have or open a bank account
You may find it hard to get credit in future, like a phone contract, mortgage or if you are a student, you could have your student loan application refused
Criminals use money mules to hide where the money really came from, by helping, you become a criminal too! The reason why criminals use a money mule is so the mule will face the consequences. The NCA refer to this as ‘financial exploitation’.
By acting as a money mule, you are involved in money laundering which is a serious criminal offence with a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
What can you do if you have been asked to set up this account or you think you have been approached to be a money mule?
Please reach out to our Customer Support team via our in-app chat functionality or by email at [email protected], if you have any concerns or questions or have been approached to set up a Bottlepay account specifically for the purposes to move money for someone else. You should not transfer any funds or if you already have, do not transfer any further funds and contact us immediately.
Here’s a list of tips that you can be aware of
Do not share your Bottlepay login information with anyone (Please note that Bottlepay will never ask you for your PIN or login information)
Be aware of unsolicited offers of easy money
Be wary of job offers on social media sites
Be wary of someone new contacting you, trying to befriend you
If you think you know someone is recruiting mules, you can protect victims by reporting them. Call local police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
If you prefer not to give your details to the police, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.
Report all incidents of fraud to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, via their website or contact 0300 123 2040. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.
You can help prevent others from unwittingly becoming money mules and even help to catch criminals.