Fraudsters are targeting teenagers on social media through Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. The criminals entice the victims with the promise of instant or free cash in return for their bank details. The criminals are looking to use victims bank accounts to launder their proceeds of crime.
Cash does generally enter the account but flows straight out again and all the victim has to show for it is potentially being charged by the authorities for aiding and abetting in money laundering. In 2017 CIFAS identified 8,500 money mule accounts owned by those under 21, with some as young as 14.
Fraudsters also frequently return to the bank account at a later date to take any of the victims cash that may be in there. To give an idea of the size of this issue the hashtag instantcash has had 107k posts. Once a bank discovers that you have been a mule you will also struggle to get a bank account which it is very difficult to live without.
NEVER GIVE YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE IN RETURN FOR “INSTANTCASH”, AT BEST YOU WILL RECEIVE NOTHING, AT WORSE UP TO A 14 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
Tips and Advice
• Don’t Click – on any link/message/post etc. offering free cash, instant cash, cash flipping, want money, active bank account etc. as stated above you could end up in prison
• If it’s too good to be true – then it isn’t! It’s a scam
• Don’t – be pressured into acting quickly, this is a ‘red flag’ and sign of a scam.
• Keep safe – never give your Pin, passwords or banking codes to anyone requesting them.
• Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are talking to.
• Report it! – If you receive such a message report it to Twitter by clicking V icon at the top and select Report Tweet. On Instagram tap on the *** and then Report Inappropriate. On Snapchat press and hold the offending snap until a flag appears in the bottom left then press and hold the snap chatter’s name and tap the ⚙button.
• Contact – your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details.
• ID Protection – If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
• Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe
• To report a fraud – and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.