Money mule scam
Job-seekers are being targeted by a ‘money mule’ scam in which they are offered employment by a fake travel agency to receive and transfer funds via their personal bank account.
Money mules are used by criminals to transfer stolen or otherwise illegally obtained money.
A recent version of the scam involves Casa Belrina Travel Consultants and Dacodion Travel, which claim to be based in the Philippines, but there’s no record of these travel agencies.
Victims initially received an email claiming they have been recommended as a prospective employee by Seek.com (which is not involved in the scam). They are then offered a role that involves handling funds from international clients.
The employee is asked to provide personal information, including their bank details, and instructed to move or wire the funds to overseas accounts.
There are laws against money laundering and there is a real possibility that money mules could be prosecuted. It is not worth the risk of prosecution and a criminal record.
Tips to avoid money mule employment scams
- Be wary of unsolicited or out-of-the-blue calls, emails or job offers even if they refer to a legitimate employment site.
- Be cautious about any job offer that involves transferring money, particularly if you have to use your personal bank account or you are asked to create a new account particularly for this job.
- People who believe they are being used as money mules should contact WA ScamNet on 1300 30 40 54 or WA Police’s Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
- Do some digging – a simple online search or phone call may be enough to confirm that a business, company or trading premises is fake, unregistered or being impersonated.
- Guard your personal information including your CV, tax file number and any proof-of-identity documents such as a scan of your passport.
- In Western Australia, employment agents must be licensed. You can search for a licensed agent on the Consumer Protection website.