Youngsters serving as money mules
- Money muling is a type of money laundering. Even if money mules are not directly involved in the crimes that generate the money, they are accomplices.
- It is a growing phenomenon and a major source of concern as many parents are unaware of it.
- Research shows that 14% of young people are willing to lend their bank card and PIN code in exchange for money.
More than 90% of money mule transactions identified through the European Money Mule Actions are linked to cybercrime. The illegal money often comes from criminal activities like phishing, malware attacks, online auction fraud, e-commerce fraud, business e-mail compromise (BEC) and CEO fraud, romance scams, holiday fraud (booking fraud) and many others.
Young people are very prone to become money mules.
Money mules are usually not directly involved in the crimes that generate the money, they are accomplices, as they launder the proceeds of such crimes. Basically, money mules help criminals to remain anonymous while moving funds around the world. A money mule is a person who receives money from a third party in their bank account and transfers it to another one or takes it out in cash and gives it to someone else, obtaining a commission for it if lucky.
Young people are very prone to become money mules. Research by Febelfin in collaboration with IndiVille shows that 14% of young people (between 16 and 30 years old) would lend their bank card and PIN code in exchange for money.
Young people are increasingly used as money mules. However, this phenomenon is not yet on the radar of many parents. Together with Maison Slash, the Belgian #parentfriendly web magazine, Febelfin wants to change that.
“Most of the money mules that I have talked to on the phone, while working as a fraud analyst at one of the largest European banking and insurance groups, don’t even receive their promised compensation mostly worth 50 EUR and finally feel compelled to share their story. They are often unaware of the risks they take and the fact that they are involved in major criminal activities. Whereas the actual criminals remain anonymous, the identity of the money mules is registered in the fraud cases, since they are the only ones that could actually be linked to the fraudulent transactions.”
Hajar El Moussaoui, Project Consultant at TriFinance Financial Institutions