Online security

You too could become the next money mule

Are you being offered money on social networks for using your bank account? This is a type of money laundering. Don't be fooled. Don't become a money mule.

A money mule is someone who lends their bank account to someone they don't know

A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money between various payment accounts, earning commission. They're called mules because, like the animal, these people will help 'carry' something - in this case, stolen money - to another location, often the scammers' account or the account of another money mule. This is what's known as money laundering and is illegal.

Scammers' favourite targets are usually the most financially vulnerable and young people in particular. 

Recruited via Instagram, WhatsApp or Snapchat

Scammers recruit young people in their own environment, e.g. social networks - Instagram, WhatsApp or Snapchat - and also on their class or school discussion forums. And contact isn't just made on-line; young people are also being approached in places they frequent or where they're studying.

Easy money? Too good to be true

When they recruit you, criminals promise you the chance to earn money quickly and easily, by lending your bank card for carrying out transactions, which they say are legal. This actually involves criminal activity. 

Money mules are often not aware that what they're doing is illegal, but would they do it in real life? Imagine someone, who seems trustworthy to you, asking you to take their money to Mexico. Would you do it? Probably not. So don't do it through your bank account either. 

How you can avoid becoming a money mule

  • Never give your debit card, account number or bank logins to anyone you don't know. 
  • Beware of offers that promise you money in exchange for your debit card or bank codes, and report these to the authorities
  • Report the money mule recruiter profile on social networks.
  • If you think you've been involved as a money mule, block your bank card immediately using Card Stop by calling 070 344 344. Contact your bank and contact the police to report the matter. 

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