The days of highwaymen are long gone: today's thieves have ever more ingenious ways of parting you from your cash.
Some are quite obvious: one trick is to offer you cash to put money through your bank account. Others are less so: one ingenious new trick capitalises on the green trend by asking investors to put their money into something called carbon credits.
Despite the promise of huge returns, most investors end up losing between £5,000 and £8,000. Here, Money Mail tells you all you need to know to steer clear of the modern, high-tech thieves.
THE JOB THAT MAKES YOU A CROOK
If you’re desperate for some extra cash then a role as a money transfer or payment processing agent is appealing. It sounds like any job in the financial sector.
If you apply, you’ll find the job involves being paid a juicy commission for helping transfer thousands of pounds from one bank account, through yours and on to another.
You’ll be led to believe it’s perfectly legitimate. Of course, it isn’t. You have just become a money mule by carrying the funds from one place to another.
What you’re doing is aiding international criminals to launder cash that has often been stolen by bank fraud.
If you’re caught, you may end up having your account frozen. This could make it impossible to get a mortgage or any credit in future. You could also face jail.
Most of those who fall for it are young, cash-strapped or in need of easy cash, such as students.
If you get contacted, call Action Fraud, the national fraud and internet crime-reporting centre, on 0300 123 2040...
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