Lancashire Police have warned parents about the dangers and consequences of their children becoming money mules.
Young people are increasingly being targeted to become money mules. They are being approached online through social media, or in person at school, college or sports clubs. Sometimes people they know will persuade them to take part, often because they are also acting as money mules.
A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money through their own bank account on behalf of someone else, and is paid for doing so.
Money mules will usually be unaware of where the money come from and that it can go on to fund crimes such as drug dealing and people trafficking.
Being a money mule is illegal, and if your child is caught your bank account will be closed, they will have problems getting loans/student loans, mobile phone contacts and mortgages. Your child could even face arrest for money laundering which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
How to tell if your child has become a money mule
There are many tell-tale signs that your child may have become a money mule; if they suddenly have extra money, are buying expensive items and gadgets without explanation as to how they got the money. They may also become withdrawn, secretive or extremely stressed.
You and your child can learn more about money mules, and can get advice on how to handle being approached about the scam by visiting www.moneymules.co.uk.
If you are worried that your child or someone you know may already be caught up in money muling, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.