Bedfordshire Police have informed us of a scam involving children and young people referred to as “Deets and Squares”. “Deets” is slang for bank details and a “Square” is a credit or debit card. Young people are becoming ‘money mules’ by handing over their bank details to fraudsters in exchange for money, making them accessories to the fraudsters’ crime. The UK fraud prevention service Cifas have stated that in the first half of 2017 there were 17,040 instances of ‘misuse of facilities’ fraud which involves the genuine account holder misuses their account for profit. 4222 of these account holders were aged under 21.
For many young people the opportunity of getting cash by allowing someone to use their bank account for a bank transfer is tempting. However, knowingly becoming involved in such activity runs a risk of a prison sentence, a ruined credit history which can incur financial problems into later life.
We are alerting professionals to this method of exploiting children and young people and to the materials that have been produced by Barclays which aims to educate children and young people and, support parents to protect their children from this kind of exploitation.
These top tips include
- Check Children’s bank statements with them regularly ensuring every transaction can be accounted for.
- Make sure they know not to give anyone their PIN, passcode, or password, even to someone claiming to be from their bank or the Police.
- If a child comes home with new clothes, trainers, electronic devices or other items that cannot be accounted for, ask them how they got the money to purchase them.
- Explain that allowing someone else to use their bank details, regardless of how attractive or plausible the offer is a potentially a serious criminal offence that could damage their financial future. That this means they may not be able to get a mobile phone contract, mortgage, car loan.
- Teach them the simple rule that if it looks to good to be true, then it probably is.
Further information can be located here: https://newsroom.barclays.com/r/3516/school-gate_scams__barclays_declares_fightback