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Money mules

A lot of the criminals behind phishing and trojan scams are located overseas so they often find it difficult to make cross-border money transfers. To obtain the money they’ve stolen they need a "money mule" to launder the funds.

After being recruited, money mules receive funds into their accounts and they then withdraw the money and send it overseas, minus a certain commission payment.

Money mules are recruited by a variety of methods, including:

  • spam emails
  • adverts on genuine recruitment web sites
  • instant messaging
  • ads in newspapers

Positions on offer sometimes include "UK Representative", "Shipping Manager" or “Sales Manager". They offer you the chance to earn some easy money for a few hours work each week, usually just requiring that you have access to the Internet.

  • Be cautious about any unsolicited offers or opportunities offering you the chance to make some easy money, especially from overseas.
  • Verify any company which makes you a job offer and check their contact details.
  • Never give your bank details to anyone unless you know and trust them.
  • Be wary of ads from overseas companies seeking "UK Representatives" or "Agents" to act on their behalf for a period of time, sometimes to avoid high charges for making payments, or local taxes.
  • Reduce the amount of spam (unsolicited bulk email) that you receive by being careful about who you disclose your e-mail address to. Be aware that spammers will collect or buy your address from a variety of different sources including web sites, newsgroups, if you sign up for free offers, if you order something online, mass mailing viruses or from worms.

Money muling is illegal even if you have nothing to do with the actual extraction of funds from another person's account, by allowing your account to be used to receive and transfer such funds, you may be acting illegally.

The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (No.121885). The Co-operative Bank, Platform, smile and Britannia are trading names of The Co-operative Bank p.l.c., P.O. Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester M60 4EP. Registered in England and Wales No.990937. Credit facilities are provided by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. and are subject to status and our lending policy. The Bank reserves the right to decline any application for an account or credit facility. The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. subscribes to the Standards of Lending Practice which are monitored by the Lending Standards Board.