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When Tim spotted the opportunity on an online marketplace to ‘sell’ his Wise account, the money on offer was tempting. His account wasn’t being used much anymore, and he could use the money for important expenses. It was a win-win situation.
Speaking to Lucas who wanted to buy the account, Tim took a payment of 1,500 SGD into his main bank account and handed over the email address and password needed for his Wise account. Lucas quickly changed these, and reassured Tim he wouldn’t hear from him or Wise again.
But what Tim didn’t realise was that he was facilitating both fraud, and money laundering. Lucas was using his legitimate account, set up with his passport and personal details, to scam people and move the money illegally.
While Tim might not have known exactly what he was doing, he’s now at the centre of a very serious criminal case. Tim has been a money-mule, and as such has perpetrated a serious crime. His bank accounts are now blocked, and he could be left with a criminal record and even a potential prison sentence.
At Wise, keeping our customers safe is a top priority for us. But we need you to help us too. When using Wise, make sure to follow our terms and conditions.
Make sure to follow the below:
Never disclose your Wise Account password or your customer reference number (which starts with the letter 'P', followed by a series of numbers) to any third party. Keep them safe. Change your password regularly.
We will never ask you to provide your password to us or to a third party. Tell us if anyone asks for your password and contact Customer Support if you are not sure.
Sometimes, allowing someone access to your account via remote software
might feel harmless, but it’s not. It’s one of the simplest ways for scammers to get their hands on your account, and go undetected. It’s a breach of your contract with Wise, and for good reason.
At Wise, we will never ask you to download software to access your device, or offer to make a payment for you. Our customer service agents will give clear instructions over the phone, or on email, but will never ask to take control of your device.
The only reason a stranger would need you to make a payment on their behalf, is if there’s something they want to hide. For example, there’s a legal reason the money they want to send can’t be seen to come from their bank. Making payments and moving money for someone you don’t know, often with a small payment for the trouble, is a classic sign of money laundering.
Fraudsters often target people who don’t have a history of criminal activity to make these transactions seem less suspicious to banks. You won’t know where the money is coming from, or where it’s going, but it could be used to fund drugs, child trafficking or even terrorism.
If you allow your account details to be used for fraud you could face a sentence of up to 14 years, depending on where you live. Money muling is a very serious offence, and can have long term impacts on your future finances.
Don’t make payments on behalf of another person, and keep your account safe from potential scammers and fraudsters.
Tim's story is a combination of events that have happened to real people, but in itself is fictional to help raise awareness about scams currently affecting the financial sector.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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