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The big problem of "money mule" in South Africa

South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) has issued a statement that warns the public of the danger of being accepted as a "money mula".

"Money mule" is someone whose bank account is being used by another person or entity.

This type of fraud is made possible by technology such as biometric identification and results in the consequences of innocent surrounding people.

"People on the streets are being accepted as cash men with the promise of quick payouts using a bank account," said SAFPS Executive Director Manie van Schalkwyk.

These "money mules" are used by others consciously or unconsciously, and usually is hired by someone who does not have a bank account or wants the payment invisible.

This problem has become so prevalent in South Africa that SAFPS has opened a new category of fraud that specifically addresses this issue.

"There is a risk for consumers to be complicit in a criminal offense and to be involved in fraud," said van Schalkwyk.

"It may look like simple money, but the victim has no idea what money is used for, and it's often illegal profits and even human trafficking."

In South Africa, most people are employed in the streets, but this problem is prevalent around the world, and many recruits are done over the internet.

"There is nothing" easy about this money, "said van Schalkwyk.

"If you allow the use of a bank account as a third-party banking intermediary, you are violating the contract with the bank and recorded as a monetary mulage."

"You could look at the criminal record for a lifetime, and even worse you would become a party to a devastating crime of trafficking in human beings."

SAFPS said it worked closely with local banks to maximize security and awareness of this type of fraud.

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