A mule and his money

Following the success of our Phish & Chips van, we continued to fight the good fraud fight for Santander, this time announcing that a third of Britons would apply for a job as a money mule.

For those reading that don’t know: a money mule is effectively a normal person that knowingly – or unknowingly – transfers illegal funds through their own bank account on behalf of criminals. It is essentially a form of money laundering and, if convicted, can come with a heavy prison sentence.

Now, one of the common ways criminals attempt to recruit money mules is through bogus job adverts. They lure people looking for work with a job description that reads like a perfectly respectable job in financial services, with amazing pay, hours and the ability to work from home. Except, it’s not respectable at all. It’s a masquerade for money laundering.

To highlight just how convincing these job ads can be, and demonstrate just how little public awareness there is about money mules, we created our own bogus job ad and asked people if they’d apply for it. The results spoke for themselves: 33% of Britons would jump at the chance to work for the fictitious company ‘Money Sparks’ as a ‘Financial Transaction Control Analyst’. Details of the role included ‘receiving and processing of incoming cash funds’ and ‘transferring of funds to accounts indicated by our managers’.

In other words: being a money mule.

What’s more, once told that the job was a front for criminal activity, 7% of those polled still said they would apply for the job!

The eye-catching news gen story was a hit with the media, securing no fewer than 11 nationals (including The i, Sun, The FT, The Times, Independent and The Mirror) and a cracking TV piece on Sky News.