Why you should never give out your bank card or PIN code
Many young people don't think twice about giving out their bank card and PIN code in exchange for money. This is apparent from a recent study by Febelfin and IndiVille. No less than 16% of young people have no problem with this. In other words, they are very susceptible to becoming money mules. What they often don't realise is that they're helping criminals to launder money. And this is punishable by law.
What are money mules?
Money mules allow criminals to use their bank account or bank card and PIN code (either knowingly or unknowingly) to launder money. Criminals promise money mules quick money in exchange for their bank card and PIN code. They use it to transfer illegally obtained money (often through phishing), channel it or withdraw cash immediately. And they remain incognito. A money mule does the dirty work, but is left with the mess. Being a money mule is punishable because you're helping to launder money.
Lately, fraudsters have also been looking for other information from money mules, such as identity cards (or a copy), mobile phone numbers and address details. With this information criminals are able to commit more fraud.
What can I do if a fraudster contacts me?
For example, has someone contacted you on social media with the promise of quick money? Be on your guard. Never give out your account number, bank card or PIN number and never give your address or mobile number to a stranger. Report these accounts directly to the social media platform you use or to the government's fraud and scams hotline.
More tips are available in the Febelfin brochure.
What if I'm scammed into being a money mule?
Did you help a fraudster by giving information about yourself? Follow these 5 tips:
- Never hesitate to ask help from your parents or a counsellor.
- Stop every transfer and never take out money that has been transferred to your account.
- Contact your bank as soon as possible.
- Block your bank card via Card Stop (078 170 170).
- File a complaint with the police.
Do you have any other questions about social media or the internet? Share your experience with other youngsters on Cybersquad.be.