Need some quick cash? I know I could have definitely done with this when I was a student, between accommodation, fees, books, food and…. alcohol, I seemed constantly in need of money. Although my time as a student was longer ago than I care to admit, these things don’t change. In fact, they have gotten worse and I think of the pressure, the anxiety and the stress from rising debt and higher fees. It is no wonder that we are seeing more of these messages and advertisements for a student to make easy money, quickly.
These ‘schemes’ will often ask you to receive a sum of money into your student bank account and then to transfer the amount to another but keep a certain percentage or amount for yourself. Easy right? It sounds too good to be true. This is because it is.
This is part of a much larger picture of criminals and fraudsters exploiting students and clean bank accounts to transfer money from illegal activity. It is difficult for them to create these accounts, so they exploit you to do it for them. This however, is money laundering and by agreeing to this, you are part of this crime and act as money mule. More often than not, you are the one that is caught and not the criminal who has exploited you.
The money that you are transferring is used to finance serious and organised crime and when you are caught, it has devastating consequences on you. With your account closed, you will find it almost impossible to obtain student loans, credit, phone contracts and in the worst-case scenario, you could face up to 14 years in prison. Dramatic ramifications for just wanting to afford a little bit extra at the bar.
I know it can be hard as a student, most of us scrape by, but it isn’t worth the risk.
If you want to find out more, visit www.moneymules.co.uk and the ‘Don’t be fooled’ campaign supported by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA) and CIFAS.