April 1, 2023


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TymeBank warns customers against becoming unwitting ‘money mules’

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TymeBank warns customers against becoming unwitting ‘money mules’

TymeBank has issued a warning to its prospects to caution them in opposition to allowing strangers use their financial institution accounts – even if they are promised payment in return for the favour.

The financial institution also issued a warning to the community in common after it discovered an maximize in so-named mule accounts.

A mule account is one particular that is opened for the sole function of transferring income from a person account to one more, generally as section of a procedure to launder revenue from prison activity.

“There’s a hazard that you could be helping criminals to dedicate crimes and conceal the funds they have obtained illegally,” claims George Wandsella, TymeBank’s head of enterprise possibility and fraud.

He says this is one thing that “could see you remaining arrested for getting a income mule and can also harm your credit history and fiscal standing”.

Criminals will often ask persons to open up banking companies accounts for them and pay out them. In other situations, lender accounts are opened making use of somebody’s personalized data without their expertise. Fraudsters then use the account to execute illicit transfers of funds to other accounts.

The particular person opening the account is referred to as a “money mule”, and men and women can unwittingly be regarded as a cash mule if their account is utilized for these transactions.


Wandsella states the enhance in fraudulent accounts and transfers requires to be witnessed in the context of the just lately printed once-a-year criminal offense figures which indicated that banking on digital platforms now exceeds all other transaction channels in SA.

“The increase in on the net transactions has been accompanied by a recognizable increase in mule account strategies in SA in the past handful of yrs, with criminals getting edge of people’s vulnerability with the guarantee of simple funds.”

He provides that targets are usually approached on the net, or by way of social media platforms, with young folks frequently lured into these schemes.

“TymeBank has sturdy security systems in spot and apart from protecting client accounts, our technologies also will help us check suspicious activity, but criminals are often seeking for methods to cover their unwell-gotten gains.”


TymeBank says it is established to reduce the opening of mule accounts and adamant about closing accounts that are shown to be utilized for suspicious transactions, adding that there is possibly a “very tiny percentage” of mule accounts amid its client foundation.

Rising trend

“We are observing an rising pattern in this location globally, as well as in the domestic banking market, as referenced in the Sabric [South African Banking Risk Information Centre] criminal offense stats. The swift expansion in digital adoption and social media is a critical contributor to this trend,” says Wandsella.

“We find that customers are not aware of the implications of getting a money mule.

“If you are found responsible of getting a cash mule you can damage your credit and economical standing and you could also stop up in prison for income laundering.”

TymeBank warns persons to glance out for the procedures usually employed by criminals:

  • The fraudster asks the unsuspecting account holder to transfer dollars on their behalf into a third-social gathering account in exchange for a price, and with the 3rd-celebration account often at the similar lender, the transaction can be processed in real time
  • Another person ways you and asks you to open up a bank account online and then permit the other particular person to use it, typically supplying an rationalization as to why they are unable to open up their individual lender account that could possibly sound innocent and
  • Criminals also use lost or stolen identity files to open mule accounts.

“Customers also want to engage in their component by next some easy rules,” states Wandsella.

“Besides aiding to fight the globally issue of revenue-laundering, it could also keep you out of jail.”

He claims no one particular should in no way share their financial aspects or give access to their lender account to anybody they don’t know and have faith in.

“Don’t have faith in e-mail, texts or related communication from somebody that promises you money in trade for executing quite tiny.

“Be mindful of gives promising a way to make revenue quick and simply,” claims Wandsella.

“If this takes place, do not take the present, and report it to the law enforcement.”


Persons must report a misplaced or stolen identity document or identification card to the South African Fraud Avoidance Providers (Safps) to stop fraudsters opening a financial institution account or credit rating facilities with your specifics.

“Forewarned is forearmed. Continue to be informed about the hottest banking fraud and cons,” says Wandsella.

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