Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

New Zealanders at risk of being money mules for fraudsters

International crime rings are increasingly targeting New Zealanders’ bank accounts to launder proceeds from scams and fraud.

Bronwyn Groot, Fraud Education Manager at the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) is highlighting the rising incidence of “money mules” as part of Fraud Awareness Week this week (November 18-24).

A money mule is someone who transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of a criminal. Mules are recruited to move money through bank accounts, making it difficult for police to track money stolen from a victim or gained through criminal activity such as drugs, fraud or human trafficking.

Groot says mules fall into three categories – unwitting, witting or complicit. Unwitting mules may be involved in an online scam romance or fake online job, and trust their contact when asked to use their bank account to transfer funds. Witting mules ignore warning signs and continue to move money for people they think they know online, opening multiple bank accounts and possibly keeping a share of the funds. Complicit mules serially open bank accounts to receive money from a variety of unknown individuals or businesses for criminal reasons, keeping a percentage of the money they move and even advertising their services on the dark internet.

Groot says mules are often shocked to discover they may be charged with money laundering and face imprisonment of up to seven years.

“Many online scams involve asking the victim to receive money to ‘look after’ and then transfer it to another account, usually offshore,” says Groot. “In most cases the money has been scammed from someone else, and is destined to fund organised crime.”

CFFC in liaison with the Police has drawn up guidelines to help New Zealanders recognise when they might be at risk of becoming a mule, and how to protect themselves. They include:

• Be suspicious when a love interest you meet online wants to use your bank account to receive and forward money.
• Be wary when an employer or investment advisor asks you to form a company in order to open a new bank account, or use your own account to transfer money.
• Never give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust, especially if you’ve met them online.

If a person thinks they may have been used as a mule, Groot says they should stop all communication with the suspected criminals, keep receipts and contact information and notify the police.

“People of all ages and from all walks of life can become mules,” says Groot. “Students, new migrants, business owners, retirees, you name it. Scammers target them through online job websites, dating and social networking websites and online classifieds.

“Before you visit those kinds of sites, be armed with the knowledge of what to look out for so you don’t end up with a criminal record.”

For more information about money mules visit cffc.org.nz/money-mules

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Statement: Deadly Eruption Of Whakaari / White Island

At this stage, we can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. That is to the best of our knowledge.

To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time, and in your sorrow. Your loved ones stood alongside kiwis who were hosting you here. We grieve with you, and we grieve with them... More>>

Police Update: Two Further Fatalities
Two further people have died following the eruption on Whakaari / White Island, bringing the official toll to eight. One was being treated at Middlemore Hospital and one at Waikato Hospital. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Eruption And Tourism Safety
Adventure tourism is a central theme in New Zealand tourism, and by definition, adventure always includes a certain level of risk. That said, New Zealand itself is also at risk of being seen as a tourism destination where commercial factors – rather than safety factors – are routinely allowed to determine the point where the boundary line of acceptable risk is being drawn. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels