Students targeted by credit card fraudsters

Bank accounts of Kingston students’ are being used by money laundering fraudsters as a disguise for their crime.

Julie Hebenstreit

Experts are warning that thousands of people, especially young and vulnerable citizens such as students and jobseekers, are popular targets for money fraudsters.

The tactic that fraudsters are using is simple; they take contact details from profiles on employment websites. Likely targets are generally being contacted by email with a lucrative job offer.

One Kingston student got an email offering hundreds of pounds a week, and all they had to do was allow an anonymous person access to their personal account.

“I was offered £500 a week, just to let someone I have never even met, use my bank account,” said a victim, who did not want to be named.I knew what he wanted to use my account for, I have heard about these sort of dodgy job offers, so I knew I shouldn’t get involved, but earning that much extra cash without doing anything for it was just too good to be true,” he added.

Students are being lured into the illegal scheme with promising job offers, such as “money transfer agents”, “payment processing agents” or “administration assistants”, assuring salaries of hundreds of pounds a week.

Good idea or bad

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Carter, of the Met Police’s dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit, said: “What might initially seem an attractive method of boosting your income during tough times is in reality the work of determined international criminals, aiming to turn the public into an unwitting army of accomplices to fraud.”

The shocking revelation came from a study that was carried out by Financial Fraud Action, a fraud prevention group.

“I never actually got £500 a week, usually I got between £200-300, but I was still more than happy with that,” the student added.

Many students have used this email scheme

So far, about 19 per cent of UK students have been affected by the small spam email scheme that is growing into a widespread crime.

The con artists disguise the scams as genuine-looking job offers. However, their only aim is to use their target’s bank account to channel stolen money through.

The money from these criminal activities comes from rip-off scams and other credit card fraud. Paying the money into the target’s bank account covers up the source of the money. 

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