Number of under-21s hired to launder dirty money triples in three years

Criminals are using social media to hire university students as 'money mules'

Criminals are using social media to hire university students as 'money mules'

Criminals are using social media to hire university students as ‘money mules’

The number of youngsters being recruited to launder cash has more than tripled in the past three years, according to Barclays.

Criminals are using social media to hire university students as ‘money mules’ with promises of easy cash, the bank says.

Victims are asked to receive dirty money into their bank accounts and then send it on, thus making it hard to trace and link to crime. 

Doing so means they could go to jail for up to 14 years. Students are particularly vulnerable due to a lack of awareness and their desire to make a quick buck.

One in 20 say they are more likely to consider ways of making easy money due to the pandemic, Barclays says.

The bank’s research shows that 30 per cent of all money mules are under the age of 21.

Figures released last month by the fraud reporting service Cifas found 62 per cent of cases of suspected money muling involved those under 30 in 2019. 

It had identified around 63,000 cases in total, with the number of reported cases of money laundering up 64 per cent in the last five years.

Seven in 10 people identified as suspected money mules by Lloyds Bank were under 30 between June and August, with 18-21-year-olds the likeliest age group to be involved.

m.dilworth@dailymail.co.uk

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