The term money mule refers to the transfer of illegally obtained funds between bank accounts on behalf of others. According to a recent report by FraudSMART in the first 6 months of 2021 alone, over 700 ‘money mule’ transactions totalling €5 million moved through several bank accounts.
The majority of these cases involved accounts belonging to 18–24 year olds who are assisting in committing money laundering, which carries a maximum 14 year prison sentence. The Garda have appealed to young people and their parents to be aware of the serious and long reaching consequences of money muling.
The FraudSMART report details what to look out for in potential money muling recruitment scams with social media being the main platform for recruiting young people who are being targeted more than ever. Unsolicited texts or emails with the promise of “easy money” are commonplace and the Garda and FraudSMART are appealing to people to familiarise themselves with the red flags to look out for.
FraudSMART is the fraud awareness initiative led by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and is supported by An Garda Síochana Crime Bureau who have more details on money muling on their website here.