The financial sector continues to be associated with illegal money streams. A new report by Barclays will only reinforce this image. The number of young money mules continues to increase at an alarming rate.
Young Money Mules are Easy Prey
Criminals looking to move money around – either domestically or across borders – have a few options at their disposal. They can either use the banking system – know for allowing illicit transfers, as long as there’s a commission to be earned – or rely on money mules. More specifically, criminals actively seek out young money mules, as they are often easier to convince.
Students or other young adults strapped for cash often make for great young money mules. Particularly those aged 21 and under are being recruited on a broad scale. Engaging in these money laundering efforts is a crime in any country. Even so, the promise of quick cash can easily sway someone’s mind.
A new report by Barclays seems to confirm as much. Young money mules are even willing to receive funds into their bank account and move them to a different account. The internet has given rise to digital money laundering on very large scales. Finding someone willing to take a risk is a lot easier than most may think.
In the report, Barclays confirms how many students worry about their current and future financial situation. This makes them a prone target for criminals. After all, they can make a few thousand bucks from doing a task through several mouse clicks. It is easy money, but also a criminal offense.
Recruiting via Social Media
The Barclays report also touches upon how these young money mules are recruited. Social media and messaging services are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. At the same time, they are also open to unsolicited messages more often than not. A perfect storm for criminals looking to launder some money.
Combined with COVID-19 and financial uncertainty, it is evident that money will be difficult to come by. Addressing this situation requires either working hard or becoming money mules. Making easy money will always be more favorable, regardless of the consequences.
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