Tik-ing time bomb: Social media companies told to crack down on money mule ads
City bigwigs have demanded social media companies clamp down on “money muling” ads on their platforms which could leave young people blacklisted from credit for life.
Teenagers are being targeted on TikTok by criminals who promise quick money in exchange for participating in fraudulent activity, or so called “money muling”.
An increasing number of teens have been operating as money mules, volunteering to accept payments from criminals before transferring most of the money – bar a cut – to a new account, an investigation has found.
Anti-fraud experts warned those youngsters volunteering for the schemes risk being blacklisted from credit for life – affecting their ability to get loans, mortgages and even phone contracts.
UKFinance demanded social media companies step up efforts to crack down on these practices.
A spokesperson told City A.M.: “If an offer of easy money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
They said the banking industry was working with platforms and firms to remove accounts with links to this activity.
This follows warnings of digitally-savvy but financially-naive youngsters being drawn into a “wild west” of fraud online as an increasing number of influencers focus their attention on promoting cryptocurrencies.
The City watchdog last week urged young investors not to dive into the world of cryptocurrency based on social media posts.
Simon Fell, a Conservative MP, said: “Social media companies should be far more active in flagging content”.
A TikTok spokesperson said their guidelines made clear they “do not allow content which depicts or promotes money muling” and “content that attempts to financially harm our community goes against our values.”