Police are warning Watford residents about money laundering scams which specifically target young people.
People in the town, mainly aged in their late teens and early 20s, are being approached by criminals who offer payment in exchange for the illegal use of their bank account.
Once victims hand over their details, large sums of cash are paid into their account before it is then moved into further accounts or withdrawn in cash. This is also referred to as ‘money muling’.
However victims are often not paid as first agreed, or are paid significantly less than initially promised. Often, when the large sums are transferred or withdrawn from the account, the account holder’s own funds are also removed, leaving them out of pocket.
In addition, people who allow criminals to launder money through their bank accounts could end up with a criminal conviction of their own.
Police are reminding young people of the consequences that come with giving criminals access to your account. If you hand over your bank cards to anyone, you will be held responsible for whatever happens with your account – even if they go beyond what you agreed to.
If convicted of a money laundering offence you will be liable to repay any losses, which could end up being a far greater sum than anything you were paid previously. Your bank will close your account and you may not be able to open another one.
If you are approached or have any information about this type of criminality, please contact Hertfordshire Constabulary.
You can report information online at herts.police.uk/report speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via online web chat or call our non-emergency number 101.