“One of the warning signs to be aware of is someone contacting you with an unsolicited offer over the phone, on Facebook or by email. In these situations, you must always remember to ask yourself the question: ‘Does this offer seem too good to be true?’ Be critical and think very carefully. Do not say yes immediately – ask for some time to think about it so that you can have time to talk it over with a partner or a colleague.”
Young people recruited as money mules by criminals
Another technique that Ketil Clorius advises people to be aware of is the method whereby criminals try to recruit children and young people to act as money mules. This method involves the fraudsters trying to launder money through the personal bank accounts of innocent and unsuspecting individuals.
“The victim might be stopped on the street by a fraudster who claims to have lost his or her bank card and then asks the victim to withdraw an amount of money – sometimes offering to pay the victim a fee for doing so. What may seem like an innocent good deed turns out to be a criminal act. Since 2018, the number of such cases has increased, and often it’s young people – sometimes as young as 12 years old – who are being used as money mules,” says Ketil Clorius.
He urges parents in particular to take action and talk to their children. The key messages should be that you should never share your bank details with other people and that you should always be wary if you are stopped by a person who offers you easy money and a big profit.