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What is a money mule?
What is a money mule?
Updated over a week ago

A money mule (or smurf) is an individual who receives and transfers money on behalf of another person (usually a criminal), earning a commission from the transaction.

The act of muling (being a money mule) is a form of money laundering, which is a criminal offence. A money mule accomplishes unlawful activities like fraud, human trafficking, poaching or corruption that might have led to obtaining the laundered funds, making it a predicate offence.

How to spot money muling and avoid being recruited

Fake Job Offers

Scammers often use fake job offers to recruit people into unwittingly becoming money mules.

How can you spot a fake job offer?

  1. Check the website: Is the domain address correct? Does it have the correct contact information? Scrutinise the website's content; if it resembles a clone of a legitimate site, it's likely fake.

  2. Detail: Look out for poorly written content, awkward typos, or vague role descriptions on the website as red flags.

  3. Role/job description: Be cautious if the job involves tasks like opening accounts, moving money, or handling goods.

  4. Qualifications: If the offer promises significant returns without requiring tangible qualifications, it's a potential warning sign.

  5. The promise of instant cash: Offers guaranteeing instant cash should raise suspicions. Trust your instincts; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  6. Advert claims: Be wary of adverts showcasing individuals making quick wealth and buying expensive items at a young age, implying high returns.

  7. Immediate payment request: If you're promised instant payment for depositing or transferring money on someone else's behalf, exercise caution.

What actions should I take if I come across a suspicious offer?

If you spot any of the mentioned red flags above:

  1. Seek advice from reputable sources to verify the legitimacy of the job offer.

  2. Do not proceed with the offer.

  3. Report the suspicious job offer to relevant authorities or job platforms.

  4. Inform friends and family to raise awareness about potential scams.

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