14th May, 2018
Criminal gangs are increasingly targeting young people on social media to act as ‘money mules’ – a crime that can result in a 14 year prison sentence. A money mule is a person who transfers illegally-obtained money on someone else’s behalf. In most cases, criminals contact children – as young as 13 – online and offer them cash to receive and transfer money using their bank account. This Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20th May), NatWest MoneySense has released two new sets of PSHE resources to help combat this issue and highlight how financial circumstances impact upon an individual’s wellbeing.
The new resources aim to ensure pupils understand the positive and negative effects money-related choices can have upon their wellbeing, feelings and emotions and link directly to various PSHE learning objectives. The topic for 8-12 year-olds lets pupils explore how different financial circumstances, including debt, can affect wellbeing with the help of an interactive game. The topic for pupils aged 12-18 focuses on important issues that put young people at risk – online gambling, unmanageable debt, and money mule schemes – and includes sources of advice and support for young people who might be affected by these issues. In addition to this, there are dedicated money mules fact sheets and activity sheets for teachers and pupils which provide further information and tips on how to avoid falling victim to the crime. The new topics make up just part of the My Money Safety module which is one of four modules spanning the MoneySense programme, the others are My Money Future, Money in the World and My Money Management. The aim of the programme is to provide pupils with a comprehensive view of the world of money, and help them towards a better financial future.
Working with We Are Futures, NatWest MoneySense has developed these new, engaging resources to help tackle a serious problem which worryingly shows no signs of slowing down. Simon Dukes, Chief Executive at Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, says: “Our new figures show that money muling amongst young people is on the rise. This is a serious issue that not only has consequences for the money mule, but for society as a whole.” Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles from Metropolitan Police’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online Unit (FALCON) believes the way of combating this issue is through education, commenting: “We don’t want to give a whole young generation convictions when maybe they’re at the start of their life and they’ve actually made a mistake. What we actually want to do is give them the knowledge, the skills and the powers to stop them making those decisions in the first place.”
This Mental Health Awareness Week teachers can help begin the process of stamping out money mule schemes by giving their pupils the tools and knowledge to protect themselves, but also to understand the impact their money choices both now and in the future can have on their wellbeing. To find out more and register for the free resources visit: https://natwest.mymoneysense.com/moneymules
Educating young people to the risks of money mules and the harmful effect this can have on their mental health is all our responsibility. If you’d like to know more about how we can support you educate the young people in your organisation, please contact Ash Cheah-Lord on 020 7198 8420, or email firstname.lastname@example.org