Santander and Halton Borough Council are warning about social media posts that could lure young people into becoming money mules.
Money mules are people who allow criminals to use their bank accounts to transfer money associated with illegal activity, often with the promise of payment in return.
Hatlon Trading Standards officers say that acting as a money mule is a crime, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
According to Santander, 70 per cent of people are unaware of what a money mule actually is, underlining just how vulnerable the majority of people are to money mule recruiters.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards Cllr Dave Cargilll, said: “There has been a sharp rise in money mules in the past year, with almost half of the money mules aged under 25 years old. “
Santander investigated how criminals use hashtags to lure people in to becoming money mules. In the process of this investigation, they identified 10 hashtags that are commonly associated with money mule recruitment.
The hashtags are:
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