Sounds too good to be true?

17-01-11 9:27 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have a little extra cash? You've seen a new cell phone or tablet that you’d like, or maybe you’ve received an unexpected invoice you can’t pay.

Then one day you get an offer that’s hard to resist. It might come in the form of an email from a company that’s going to start operating in your country. There’s a problem with the bank, and they need your help. Can they transfer money to your account, which you can then forward to them through their branch in your country? As a thank you for your help and trouble, you’ll get a reward – you can keep some of the money.

Or perhaps someone claiming to be an acquaintance who lost their credit card asks whether they can “borrow” your account; that is, whether they can use it to receive their salary and other deposits. When you receive the money, the acquaintance asks you to transfer it to different accounts. Naturally, you want to help out. This is simple and easily earned money. It sounds almost too good to be true – and it probably is.

You have most likely been involved in some form of money laundering, which is illegal. In a worst-case scenario, you’ve helped finance terrorism or other criminal activities and you can now add “money mule” to your CV. In other words, you are now someone who has served as an intermediary for criminals or criminal organisations.

As a bank, we work to protect our customers, our company and society from criminal activities such as money laundering, human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorist financing, illicit weapons trade and tax evasion. This means that we may ask you questions about your deposits. It’s your duty and responsibility to know where the money comes from.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Unsolicited job offers, coming via emails, are not likely to end well.
  • Offers that require you to use money transferring services often won’t end well either.
  • If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.

What is a money mule?

A money mule is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g. stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others. The mule is paid for their services, typically a small part of the money transferred. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime.

/Anna-Karin Kjellgren, Fraud management at Nordea.

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