A new report by the Journal.ie has uncovered a sinister money laundering operation involving young festival attendees.
According to the Gardaí, criminal gangs often target young people looking to earn easy money as “money mules”. The process involves “recruiting” people in order to gain access to their personal bank accounts for money laundering.
Victims of the crime are often unaware of the illegal nature of the act. Instead, the “employer” will tell them they are being hired for something like survey research. When the victim is “paid” for their time, they are sent a much larger sum than their payment. They are then ask to send the remainder of the “accidental” over-payment to another bank account. Despite being unaware that their action is criminal, this money laundering can land the victim in prison.
As students are often looking for easy ways to earn extra cash on the side of their studies, they are an ideal target. In addition, music festivals are suspected to be used to draw vulnerable and often inebriated young people into such schemes.
While women are more likely to be recruited in person, men are more often recruited online.
Gardaí advise any person who suspects they have been targeted by such schemes to report the crime immediately.