New data, compiled from the National Fraud Database by not-for-profit fraud prevention body, Cifas, suggests in the past year there has there has been a “sharp rise” the number of 18 to 24 year-olds being tricked into using their bank accounts to transfer the proceeds of crime. According to the figures, there were 8,652 cases of ‘misuse of facility’ between January and the end of September this year, a 75 per cent rise.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Sandra Peaston, Assistant Director at Cifas, said social media was being increasingly tool used by fraudsters to convert young people into accidental money launderers – by offering them fake money making schemes or even fake job offers, and then convincing people “who don’t ask many questions” to transfer money as a favour. ” The use of social media is one of the things we know is happening… be that by instant messages, or via adverts on YouTube. Ms Peaston said they were known to be using messaging apps such as WhatsApp to communicate with would-be victims.
Cifas is launching a ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ campaign alongside UK Finance that aims to deter young people – in particular, students – from becoming money mules. UK Finance added: “If an offer of easy money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”