- Santander ’fake job ad’ experiment convinces one third of Brits to apply for a job as a money mule. Only fifteen per cent rightly identified the role as that of a money mule.
- Of those who fell for the ad, seven per cent said they would still apply for the job even after they were informed it was a role as a money mule.
- Those aged 18-24 years were most easily duped, while regionally those in Northern Ireland were most likely to fall for the scam.
- 71 per cent of people are unaware of the term ‘money mule’ but even when given an explanation of what it is over a quarter thought it may carry no criminal punishment.
One third (32 per cent) of Britons would apply for a job as a money mule, helping criminals to launder money. That’s the finding of an experiment carried out by Santander to shed light on just how convincing the ‘bogus job ad’ is: a technique which criminals use to lure people looking for work into transferring money connected to criminal activity.
Santander’s experiment involved presenting 2,000 British adults with a falsified job description to work at a fictitious company called Money Spark as a ‘Financial Transaction Control Analyst’. Details of the role included ‘receiving and processing of incoming cash funds’ and; ‘transferring of funds to accounts indicated by our managers’.
While some people were suspicious of the description of the role and spotted the tell-tale spelling mistakes and bogus link in the ad, one in three (32 per cent) said they would definitely apply for the job if they were looking for work. What’s more, one in four (27 per cent) said they would leave their current job to join the Money Spark Company. Alarmingly, upon learning the job was a front for criminal activity, seven per cent said they would still accept the job anyway. Only fifteen per cent correctly spotted the role was for a money mule.
Although 91 per cent of Britons are familiar with the term money laundering, almost three quarters (71 per cent) of those taking part had not heard of the term ‘money mule’. The research also suggests that many Britons are not aware of the true risks associated with becoming a money mule.