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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Police warn – don’t be a ‘money mule’

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group are warning Queensland residents to be vigilant online and alert to the risks of ‘money muling’.

The warning follows the arrest of a 25-year-old Eight Mile Plains man who has been charged with recklessly engaging in money laundering.

Police will allege the man, a student, was involved with a network of offenders obtaining millions of dollars through technology scams, receiving dishonestly obtained funds deposited into accounts he had opened, and receiving a commission for sending this money offshore.

Detective Acting Superintendent Ben Fadian of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said the arrest demonstrates police take this offending seriously and urged the community to be vigilant.

“Money mules are one of the main methods for laundering proceeds of transnational crime and it is not uncommon for criminals to target students through online advertising, often with the lure of quick money,” said A/Supt Fadian.

“Individuals tempted to allow their bank accounts to be used for this purpose, to transfer unlawfully obtained money out of the country, should know they are likely supporting serious crime and committing a serious criminal offence in the process.

“I would urge anyone who receives such an approach to stop and think about what they are potentially doing and to never receive money or give bank account details to someone they don’t know or trust.”

He provided the following advice from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group to safeguard from this offending:

• A genuine computer or telecommunications company will never call you out of the blue regarding issues with your computer- if you receive call like this hang up.
• Be wary of unsolicited phone calls from your bank or police requesting personal information.
• End the call and verify their details and information independently, such as looking up their phone number on a website.
• Do not provide any of your banking access information to anyone.
• Do not conduct any money transfers if instructed by the caller.
• Do not conduct any money deposits in person if instructed by the caller.
• Never allow anyone to remote access into your device.

A/Supt Fadian said anyone with concerns or information about online scams, including this type of offence should report it to www.cyber.gov.au/report.

Members of the public can learn about scams at www.scamwatch.gov.au or the Queensland Police Service’s R U in Control campaign

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