Parents asked to help stop the national rise in child “money mules”
Parents and carers in Devon are being urged to warn their children about the dangers of becoming a money mule, with national figures revealing the number of 14-18-year olds misusing their bank accounts has risen by 73 per cent in two years.
A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money through their own bank account on behalf of someone else and is paid for doing so. Criminals use money mules to launder the profits of their crimes.
Young people are often unaware that acting as a money mule is illegal. They are approached to take part online or in person, including through social media, at school, college or sports clubs.
Follow the advice of the Don’t Be Fooled campaign to spot the tell-tale signs that someone might be involved in money muling and for tips on how to stay safe:
- Make sure your child doesn’t give their bank account details to anyone unless they know and trust them.
- Tell them to be cautious of unsolicited offers of easy money, because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Look out for your child suddenly having extra cash, buying expensive new clothes or electronics with very little explanation as to how they got the money.
- A young person involved in money muling may become more secretive, withdrawn or appear stressed.
Further information and advice about money mules is available at www.moneymules.co.uk
Parents and guardians are advised not to attempt to contact any individual they suspect of organising money muling and should instead contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.