Beware of offers of easy money

Offers of easy money or a great deal?

Don’t be a victim of Financial Crime

 

 

Individuals may approach you online or in person to gain your trust into allowing your bank account to be used to receive or send money for other people, sometimes in return for a fee.

However, it could mean that you are unwittingly facilitating money laundering and this is a serious crime. Money laundering is the process of accepting and/or transferring money which could be obtained from crimes, such as fraud, drug trafficking, people trafficking or terrorism, into appearing to originate from a legitimate source, such as your business.

Consequences of money laundering and reporting

If your business is suspected of laundering money, your account will be closed and this could affect your credit history and future financial applications. In addition, this is an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison and/or fine.

Tips to help reduce the risk of money laundering through your Business

  • Never let a third party use your account to receive money on their behalf, and never transfer on or withdraw this money to hand over to the third party.
  • Apply additional checks and report third-party payments, whether by cash, credit card or bank transfer, which have no clear rationale or justification.
  • It’s important to know your customer and understand their source of funds for payments to your account because the funds may be from illegal activity.
  • Be aware of overpayment of invoices and then a subsequent request for a refund as the initial payment may be from illegal activity and if you are asked to send back the money to another account and not where the money was sent from, this could make the illegally obtained money seem legitmate.
  • If a business proposal or deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Educate your employees as to what red flags they need to look out for to ensure your business operates lawfully.

Report any approaches or concerns to your bank, Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 for customers in England and NI, or your local police service on 101.

Find out more about how you can protect your business here.

Share this page

Go back to the top of the page