We all know the old saying – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Criminals may try and deceive innocent people into laundering money from illicit proceeds of crime. Usually, people are innocently recruited by criminals as money mules through tantalising job advertisements or by luring them into scams such as romance or other types of scams.

It may look like easy money or you may think you are just helping a friend, but the consequences are serious for laundering illicit proceeds of crime.

Money muling is an illegal activity that helps foster the cycle of criminal activity such as drug dealing, human trafficking, and online fraud. Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to the law and money muling - you are breaking the law by laundering the illicit proceeds of crime.

Seventeen Australians were charged last year under a global money-laundering sting led in Australia by the AFP, which has also prevented $2.6 million of dirty cash being laundered through financial institutions.

The AFP-led Taskforce DOLOS partnered with Europol's seventh annual global anti-money mule operation, known as European Money Mule Action 7 (EMMA7), leading to 1803 arrests around the world.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), of which The Mutual Bank is a proud member, has thrown its support behind a global campaign to raise awareness of money mules.

Our message is to think twice – be cautious and don’t be fooled by criminals. They can be very convincing and will try and gain your trust through romance scams, promises of large inheritance, lottery winnings, or the use threats and intimidation techniques. If in doubt, stop all contact and seek assistance from family, friends, and the Police. Also never give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.

Please be alert for job advertisements that are poorly written and have spelling and grammatical mistakes, and unexpected phones calls and social media contact from people you don’t know.

As always, our Member Service Team is here to help. If you think something is “not quite right” or believe you may have been scammed, please get in touch as soon as possible on 1300 688 825.

Stay safe. Stay scam aware.