June 23, 2024

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TymeBank warns customers against becoming unwitting ‘money mules’

TymeBank warns customers against becoming unwitting ‘money mules’

TymeBank has issued a warning to its customers to caution them from permitting strangers use their financial institution accounts – even if they are promised payment in return for the favour.

The bank also issued a warning to the public in basic just after it found an maximize in so-called mule accounts.

A mule account is just one that is opened for the sole goal of transferring dollars from just one account to a different, typically as aspect of a course of action to launder profits from prison activity.

“There’s a chance that you could be serving to criminals to dedicate crimes and hide the revenue they have received illegally,” states George Wandsella, TymeBank’s head of enterprise threat and fraud.

He says this is something that “could see you being arrested for getting a income mule and can also damage your credit rating and financial standing”.

Criminals will often inquire individuals to open financial institutions accounts for them and pay back them. In other scenarios, bank accounts are opened applying somebody’s own info with no their awareness. Fraudsters then use the account to execute illicit transfers of funds to other accounts.

The unique opening the account is referred to as a “money mule”, and individuals can unwittingly be considered a dollars mule if their account is used for these transactions.


Wandsella states the boost in fraudulent accounts and transfers desires to be witnessed in the context of the not too long ago posted yearly criminal offense figures which indicated that banking on electronic platforms now exceeds all other transaction channels in SA.

“The increase in on line transactions has been accompanied by a apparent raise in mule account schemes in SA in the last few a long time, with criminals having advantage of people’s vulnerability with the promise of uncomplicated cash.”

He adds that targets are normally approached on the net, or by using social media platforms, with younger persons usually lured into these schemes.

“TymeBank has robust stability techniques in area and in addition to protecting consumer accounts, our technological know-how also allows us monitor suspicious exercise, but criminals are generally hunting for ways to conceal their sick-gotten gains.”


TymeBank claims it is established to prevent the opening of mule accounts and adamant about closing accounts that are shown to be employed for suspicious transactions, including that there is probably a “very small percentage” of mule accounts between its client base.

Raising pattern

“We are observing an increasing trend in this spot globally, as perfectly as in the domestic banking field, as referenced in the Sabric [South African Banking Risk Information Centre] crime data. The swift development in electronic adoption and social media is a important contributor to this craze,” claims Wandsella.

“We find that individuals are not mindful of the implications of remaining a cash mule.

“If you are identified guilty of being a funds mule you can damage your credit and monetary standing and you could also conclusion up in prison for funds laundering.”

TymeBank warns people today to look out for the approaches generally utilised by criminals:

  • The fraudster asks the unsuspecting account holder to transfer revenue on their behalf into a 3rd-bash account in exchange for a fee, and with the 3rd-social gathering account often at the same lender, the transaction can be processed in genuine time
  • Anyone methods you and asks you to open up a lender account on the internet and then make it possible for the other man or woman to use it, typically supplying an rationalization as to why they are not able to open up their own financial institution account that may well sound innocent and
  • Criminals also use lost or stolen id documents to open mule accounts.

“Customers also need to have to play their component by subsequent some straightforward rules,” states Wandsella.

“Besides encouraging to fight the around the world problem of cash-laundering, it may well also continue to keep you out of jail.”

He says no 1 must under no circumstances share their financial information or give accessibility to their bank account to any individual they don’t know and trust.

“Don’t believe in email messages, texts or equivalent communication from a person that claims you cash in trade for accomplishing really little.

“Be cautious of offers promising a way to make revenue rapidly and simply,” says Wandsella.

“If this takes place, don’t accept the offer, and report it to the law enforcement.”

Read through:

Men and women ought to report a missing or stolen identity doc or identification card to the South African Fraud Prevention Providers (Safps) to prevent fraudsters opening a bank account or credit rating amenities with your aspects.

“Forewarned is forearmed. Keep educated about the hottest banking fraud and frauds,” says Wandsella.