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Don’t Be Fooled campaign to prevent money laundering

by Steve Lee / December 4th, 2017


You may have seen in the press and on social media, the ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ campaign launched on 27th November. It educates people about what a money mule is and how someone could unknowingly be helping to launder money. This money goes on to fund illegal activity, including drug and people trafficking and terrorism.

We thought it would be helpful to make you aware of this important campaign so we can all spread the word and raise awareness about money laundering and how to avoid becoming a money mule.


A money mule is someone who is asked by a third party to receive money into their bank account and transfer it onto another account, keeping some of the cash for themselves. The money being transferred is the proceeds of crime. This is a criminal offence – even if you weren’t aware this is a criminal activity. The implications of being caught as a money mule include prosecution by the police and up to 14 years in prison, closure of your bank accounts, difficulty accessing future financial products like loans and mobile phone contracts.

People that are recruited as money mules can be threatened with violence or physically attacked if they do not continue to let their account be used to transfer money.

The best way to avoid becoming a money mule is to know the signs. Criminals often pose as employers. They may offer you a job that involves receiving money into your bank account and transferring it onto another account, letting you keep some of the money for yourself.


CIFAS and the FFA, the organisations behind the ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ campaign, suggest the following top tips to avoid becoming a money mule:

  • Don’t give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.
  • Be very cautious of unsolicited offers of easy money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Research any company that makes you a job offer and make sure their contact details (address, landline phone number, email address and website) are genuine.
  • Be wary of job offers from people or companies overseas as it will be harder for you to find out if they are legitimate.
  • Be wary of ads that are written in poor English, with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.


Banks have sophisticated systems in place to detect suspicious money moving across accounts and they report this to the authorities.

CIFAS has created a video you can view here:


To download and view the campaign posters by clicking the file below:

Money Mules Posters



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