If you’ve been offered easy money to transfer money on behalf of a third party, you could be unknowing laundering money for criminals. Money laundering is a crime within Australia and if you participate as a money mule you could be convicted of a serious offence.
A money mule is a person who transfers money they received from a third party (digitally, in cash or via a cheque) to another third party, and they obtain a commission for it. The most targeted people to engage in this fraudulent activity are those under 35 including minors, newcomers to a country and unemployed, students or people in economic distress.
This is because money mule ‘job offers’ often include a way for the mule to make money easily which can seem enticing for those under financial stress.
Criminals recruiting money mules are smart in the way they target individuals. They often advertise in the same way as you would see a clothing company, or online promotion.
You may get direct contact in person or through an email or get an instant message through systems like WhatsApp or Viber. In order to make the scam authentic, they can copy a genuine company’s website with a similar URL.
On the other hand, you might simply see a social media ad on Facebook or Instagram or online pop-up ads. These ads may claim that other people have made heaps of money using their foolproof income method, or that they’re looking for people in your area for a job to make cash quick. Whatever the offer, if it’s a job to move money on behalf of someone you don’t know, be wary!
Some common warning sings you should be aware of that a job offer is not legitimate is:
If you think you’re involved in a money mule scheme, the best thing to do is to stop transferring money immediately and report it to your national police. You should also notify your bank or payment provider. For example you could notify heritage by emailing email@example.com or by calling us 24/7 on 13 14 22.