A London resident shares her edited personal experience about money muling with KYC360.
One day my husband asked me if I could do a favour for his close friends, a couple whom I’ll refer to as Joe and Rita.
They were a very flashy type – they drove big fancy cars, wore designer clothes and their home had all this lovely furniture. But [the strange thing was that] they were not working at all.
At the time I was unemployed and on benefits. I was also pregnant.
My husband said Joe and Rita needed a favour – they needed a bank account. I was not aware that they planned to use it to shift money.
At the time I didn’t know about such things, moving money around. But from the onset, I hated the sound of it.
But he insisted I do it, so I agreed.
Looking back, I realise I was so naïve, I didn’t have a clue what those people were up to.
I was then told that we were going to do it with other people too. So what happened was that we met up with two men and a woman.
I asked my husband why they were using other people’s accounts, and he said they did not have bank accounts of their own.
My husband went back home, and I went off with these three.
These people said I should hand over my bank card. I was so upset. I hated what I was doing, but my husband had insisted.
So we went far out of London to a post office and had lunch Although they were very friendly I felt uneasy.
After this, I was told that I should go into the post office and withdraw £5,000 from my account. They told me that money had been put into my account and the plan was that I should withdraw installments of £5,000 and hand it over to them.
But when I tried to get the money out, there was no money in the account. Privately, I felt some relief.
Although I did not know exactly what was going on, I knew something was wrong. I was scared.
The people were so angry when I could not withdraw the money, and we drove back to London.
Afterwards, I think some days later, I got a phone call and a letter from the bank. They mentioned fraud and I was shocked. The bank also asked me to come in to discuss the issue. I was also shocked to learn that the money they had put into my account was £40,000.
My husband had given me the impression that it was just a small amount.
I was upset. I was pregnant and I could have gone to jail. I asked him: “how could you do this to me?”
I told him I was going to tell the bank the truth. But he insisted I that I don’t tell them.
So when I went to the bank, I lied. They asked me so many questions but I said I did not know anything. The bank cancelled my card and shut down my account.
The whole thing was upsetting.
It hit me in my face when my bank statement arrived in the post and I saw that £40,000 had indeed managed to get into my account.
Imagine me with £40,000. I found out that the trio had also paid for the lunch with my card.
I hated the whole experience, I regretted it all.
Joe and Rita got arrested at some stage for fraud. They were jailed and Joe was to be deported to his country after jail.
Their children were taken by the authorities and given to a relative to look after.
I asked myself: what if I had been caught? I would have been sent to prison and my children taken away from me.
That thought made me angry, losing my children.
This happened in when I was in my twenties. I will never do such a thing again.
– Anna* in London.
(Anna’s real name and details have been withheld.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you believe that you are participating in a money mule scheme, the police advise that you stop transferring money immediately and notify your bank, the service you used to conduct the transaction, and the police. Also contact the police if you have any questions or suspicions.