Computer Crime Research Center


Money orders scam, beware!

Date: November 01, 2005
Source: The Australian

Australians have been warned they risk prosecution if they become involved in a money-laundering internet scam.

Victoria Police said today at least two cases had been reported at Castlemaine, in central Victoria.

Banks were freezing the accounts of those suspected of being involved in transacting stolen money, a police spokeswoman said.

The scam involves Australians giving their bank account details to an overseas organisation, which places the stolen money in the local account.

The Australian account holder then withdraws the money and wires it back overseas, but keeps between 5 and 10 per cent themselves.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said today law enforcement agencies had already prosecuted a number of Australians with money laundering and similar offences.

"People might think they are getting a good deal, but in reality it is stolen money and they are leaving themselves open to prosecution," an AFP spokeswoman said.

The AFP said that often the person receiving the money did not know it was stolen because those who recruited them had used a cover story, such as a foreign company without offices in Australia needing an agent to receive funds on its behalf.

The AFP said a professional-looking website – sometimes legitimate recruitment sites, job advertisements and instant messages – were generated to give an impression of credibility.

"Australians approached to perform this sort of work need to be aware that there are no legitimate companies that will ask individuals to perform this sort of activity," the AFP said.

"Where individuals perform such functions they are actually assisting foreign offenders commit their crime and in the process laundering the stolen money."
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