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Students strapped for cash this Christmas are being warned not to fall into the trap of becoming a money mule for criminal gangs.
Often students who are looking for fast cash, or a way to get money quickly, are targeted by criminals as part of money laundering scams.
Posts on social media advertising the ‘quickest way to earn cash’ are often a criminal trap to lure students. Fraudsters may ask young people to receive money into their bank account and transfer it elsewhere, keeping some of the cash for themselves.
Officers and staff from Cleveland Police have spoken to hundreds of students in colleges and universities to warn them of the consequences – up to 14 years in prison and a bank account ban for 7 years.
The warnings are being issued again as part of Fraud Awareness Week this week, with information being shared with partner agencies and on social media.
Crime Prevention Officer, Kelly Close, has been speaking directly to students in the local area, she said: “There’s not a huge amount of awareness about money muling, so it’s really important that we make sure we educate people to stop themselves becoming embroiled in the criminal underworld.
“It might seem like a way to get quick cash, but the consequences are huge. You’ll not only be facing a lengthy criminal conviction, but won’t have a bank account, which can have a huge impact.”
Visit Cleveland Police social media pages for further information on money muling.