Have you clicked on an advert promising you some easy money?
The advert might promise you £100 or more and all that they ask in return is provide access to your bank account.
Did you know that criminals use social media to recruit young people to launder the profits of their crimes? Money laundering is a process that disguises the source of criminal money in order to make it appear legal. Criminals disguise the source of their money by using a young person’s bank account to transfer their money from one account to the next.
It’s easy to be tricked…
You might see a social ad where a young person is driving a BMW or has a designer bag or trainers and lots of money. You might see the message “do you want to make some easy money?”
But there’s no such thing as easy or quick money.
The money that criminals put into your bank account comes from criminal activity such as fraud, scams, and the selling of drugs. When the money comes out of your account it can go on to fund further crimes such as drug dealing and people trafficking.
When you give the criminals your bank details, the money is drawn out as quickly as it goes in and then you are left with the consequences.
Did you know that laundering money is illegal?
When you’re caught it can have a huge impact on your future – and there is a high chance that you will get caught, because banks have specialist teams who are constantly monitoring all accounts for any unusual or suspicious activity. These teams work closely with the Police and act quickly to deal with any potential crimes.
The consequences can include your bank account will being closed, and you will have problems getting student loans, mobile phone contracts and mortgages in the future.
You could have your bank account suspended for five to seven years.
You could even be arrested for money laundering which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
Getting involved with criminals can push you further into a life of crime. Criminals will exploit your fear of getting caught and will threaten to tell the authorities unless you agree to help them further.
If you see adverts offering you quick or easy money don’t respond to them.
Report the advert using the social platforms’ own reporting tools.
You should also tell an adult that you trust, especially if you are approached by a direct message.
What to do if you find yourself in this situation
If you are worried that you have given out your bank details you should speak to an adult that you trust. You should also contact your bank as soon as possible, they have specialist teams who will be able to help you.
You can also contact the police or other organisations who can provide assistance:
In a non-emergency contact the police on 101.
If a crime is in progress or there is a danger to life call 999.
You can speak to West Yorkshire Police online via Live Chat on: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101LiveChat
If you would rather not contact the police you can call –
Crimestoppers (you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously) – 0800 555 111
Childline – 0800 1111
NSPCC – 0808 800 5000