Criminals have been targeting students, both online and in person, with offers of easy money and recruiting them to serve as money mules, often without their full awareness of what they are involved in. The role of a money mule involves receiving illicit funds into their bank accounts, and then transferring them to other accounts or cryptocurrency exchanges.


The money funneled through these operations often fuels a range of serious crimes, including cybercrime, terrorism, and human trafficking. In response, law enforcement agencies across Australia have intensified their efforts to combat such illicit activities and Universities have been warning their students that this is a form of money laundering for which those involved can be arrested and charged by the police.

Convictions for these crimes can lead to substantial prison sentences, ranging from 12 months to life imprisonment. 


Criminals employ various methods to recruit unsuspecting individuals into these schemes. They may reach out through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, as well as instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram. Fake job offers, often disguised as opportunities to become a ‘money transfer agent,’ are another common tactic. These recruitment efforts can also come through online pop-up ads, direct face-to-face contact, or deceptive emails.

Protective Measures

To safeguard yourself and others from falling victim to money mule scams, it’s essential to adopt a cautious approach:

  • STOP: Pause and consider whether the offer seems too good to be true. Exercise vigilance and skepticism.

  • CHECK: Conduct thorough research before committing to any opportunity. Verify the legitimacy of prospective employers, including checking for an online presence and confirming the validity of contact details. Be particularly wary of offers originating from overseas.

  • REJECT: Refuse to engage with any online posts promising substantial financial rewards. Avoid accepting messages or requests from unknown individuals, and refrain from sharing sensitive personal or financial information, even among acquaintances. Never agree to lend your bank account to anyone.

  • ACCEPT: Limit your job search to reputable websites and registered businesses with verifiable credentials..

Law enforcement is actively cracking down on these criminals. Stay informed, stay cautious, and stay safe.

Our team specialise in criminal law. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the best possible result. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.