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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
DON’T BE A MULE – SAY NO TO
TRANSFERRING MONEY FOR CRIMINALS
Monday, 6 August, 2008: Banks and Australian Federal Police (AFP) are
warning the public of job offer scams which trap you into laundering money for
criminals by becoming a money mule.
A money mule is someone who allows their bank account to receive stolen funds
which are transferred to a designated account (domestic or offshore) using a
money-remitting or wire service, minus a certain commission.
The mule is usually approached online via email, instant message or criminals
may advertise on legitimate employment websites.
Director of the AFP Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) James
McCormack, said that although the prospect of making some easy money may
appear attractive, any 'commission' payments will be recovered as they are the
proceeds of fraud and the person - the money mule - could become part of a
police investigation that could lead to a maximum penalty of 20 years
“You would be very suspicious if someone you didn’t know asked you to carry a
package or money overseas, and similarly, you should be very suspicious about
someone asking you to transfer money in and out of your bank account to other
accounts,” Mr McCormack said.
Chief Executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association, David Bell, said “Usually,
criminals send out millions of fraudulent job offer emails to random email
addresses, in the hope of involving unsuspecting, innocent persons in their
criminal activity. You should ignore and immediately delete any such emails.”
“Criminals may also use a romance scam where they target singles and ask for
money to be transferred and remitted, allegedly for airfares to enable the singles
“Such transactions are unacceptable to banks and could result in the withdrawal
of your banking facilities. The customers who respond to this email also leave
themselves at risk of identity theft, as the criminals ask for confidential bank