St Albans students warned about scams
PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 December 2014
College and university students in St Albans are being warned about money laundering scams throughout the county.
Detective Inspector Yvonne Lewis from the Herts Police Cyber and Financial Investigations Unit said officers had received reports of students being targeted by criminals, including at the neighbouring University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.
Students and other people have been approached by criminals in person or through social media offering payment for use of their bank account.
Once the account details have been handed over the fraudsters arrange for large sums of money to be paid into the account.
This money is then either transferred onto other accounts or withdrawn in cash, with the student then being paid a fee.
But, often they are not paid, or receive significantly less than they were promised.
And in some cases the account holder’s own money is withdrawn or transferred along with the criminal’s funds leaving them out of pocket.
Students have been warned also that in addition to any financial losses, allowing your account to be used could lead to a criminal conviction as:
• This is criminal activity and the police will actively pursue and prosecute anyone involved in money laundering offences.
• Handing over your bank cards to anyone means 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 are liable to a court making you repay any losses; this may be a far greater sum than you were actually paid.
• Should your bank suspect you are involved in money laundering offences they will close your account. If this happens you may not be able to open another account and will have trouble obtaining loans, mortgages or credit.
• If you are convicted of fraud or money laundering offences this will affect your ability to find work, as you will need to disclose this to employers.
Det Insp Lewis added: “The targeted person is told that as this is an inside job all they need to do, if challenged, is say that they don’t know anything about it and they won’t get into trouble and the bank are the only people who lose money.
“This is not the case. Anyone participating in money laundering is breaking the law and could face serious consequences.”
If you are approached or have any information regarding money laundering, please contact the Herts Police non-emergency number 101