Scam: don't allow your child to become a 'mule'!
According to a survey by Febelfin, one young person in every ten is prepared to become a ‘mule’ – in other words, be willing to trade the details of his or her bank account or bank card in return for some kind of reward.
While 5% of youngsters claim they have been approached in person by a fraudster, 9% of them have been offered a shady deal of this kind by someone they know. Finally, almost a quarter (23%) of the young people approached agreed to the suggestion put to them.
What’s this scam all about?
Typically, the account or card finishes up in the hands of criminals, who use them to transfer stolen money (for example by using phishing techniques) or to withdraw cash. Acting as a financial mule is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. And if the person in question is an under-age minor, it’s the parents who are liable.
The consequences can be significant: paying back the victims, fines, even bans on banking activities. Worse still, what the fraudsters promise in terms of financial reward is usually not paid. The more common reality is for mules to find themselves with an emptied bank account, plus they could face physical threats.
Campaign on Instagram
Febelfin is very concerned about this trend and, for the second year running, is preparing to launch an information campaign on Instagram, aimed at young people.
To find out more about the scams targeting youngsters online, go to our section dedicated to the protection of children when they go on the web.