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Don't be fooled into becoming a Money Mule: workshops coming soon!

Every day it’s becoming easier and easier for criminals to financially exploit students, or trick them into criminal activity. A popular way of doing this at the moment is by making students money mules. Read on to find out exactly what this means and how you can take steps to stop it happening to you and your friends.

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What is a money mule?

A money mule is someone who is used by criminals to transfer illegal money between bank accounts, on the criminal’s behalf, making it harder for police to trace the money. Criminals can easily trick you into trusting them by posing as official companies or by befriending and guilt-tripping you. They will often let you keep a cut of the money you are transferring for them as a reward for helping them out. This may seem like a tempting, easy way to get some much-needed cash, however it counts as money laundering, which is illegal and could carry a prison sentence for those who get caught – even if they are unintentionally involved. Criminals use money mules to help cover their own backs, meaning that if their plans go wrong, it is more likely to be you (the person they are exploiting) who will get punished, not them.

 

Why should I be concerned about money mules?

It may be easier than you think to be lured in to becoming a money mule. Criminals are good at preying on your better nature, or using the fact that you are a short-on-cash student to their own advantage. They may persuade you that the job is quick, easy, and low risk – but if you get caught in possession of illegal money, it won’t just be pounds and pence that you could lose. Having your identity attached to any financially fraudulent activity could also affect your financial reputation leading to things like poor credit ratings and struggling to open a bank account in the future, and could even give you a criminal record - this could have a big impact on your career, goals, and aspirations.

West Midlands Police reckon that around 6 in every 10 money mules are aged under 30, which means that even if you think it’s unlikely you will experience this type of financial exploitation, you may well know someone who is (or has been) at risk.

 

How can I stop myself or my friends from becoming money mules?

Being tricked into taking part in criminal activity is not your fault. However, it still victimises and exploits you and can quite often carry some severe and unfair consequences. This is why there is a lot of support out there which aims to educate you on the signs of financial exploitation and what you can do if you think it’s happening to you or the people you are close to. Your SU have teamed up with the financial fraud experts at WM Police to provide students with a workshop that will arm you with everything you need to know to help you become less vulnerable to things like becoming a money mule. The workshop will take place in person at The Hub, Coventry campus on Wednesday 5th June between 2pm-3pm. It is free and all students who attend will receive a certificate of attendance. Find out more details and put the event in your calendar here.   

 

This is your chance to get smart and help keep yourself and your fellow students safe from financial exploitation. We look forward to seeing some of you there!

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