A student has fallen victim to a nationwide money laundering scam in Leeds. The Saudi Arabian student, currently studying at the University, went to the police after he was concerned a large deposit in his account was suspicious.
The student was looking for a job, and decided to use a reputable Leeds-based agency that offered a job-finding service. The company then sent him some information about a potential job, and also told him he would need to complete a course.
The company transferred £1,200 into his account, and asked him to pay the sum into another account for the job training. The student was suspicious when he realised that they had not checked his identification. He then approached the police, who advised him to return the money.
Speaking to Leeds Student, the University’s dedicated police officer PC Matt Guy said, “Our assumption was that it was a money laundering scheme where by criminals use innocent students accounts to clean their dirty money.
If he had forwarded the money he could have been seen to assist in this illegal venture and potentially been left answering questions at his local police station. He added, “if you are offered a “business” deal that looks too good to be true or that just seems dubious it probably is.
Contact the student advice centre, your bank or your local Police force to get advice about any incident which may be fraudulent.”
The scandal is one that has been featured nationally this week, with the BBC reporting “A study by Financial Fraud Action, which tackles fraud on behalf of banks, claims people are being recruited as unwitting ‘money mules’, who allow their own bank accounts to be used to disguise the proceeds of crime.”
Words: Phil Mann