Police E-Crime Laboratory are warning the public not to participate in the latest internet banking scam as doing so would effectively mean they are participating in money laundering.
Criminals are accessing bank accounts and transferring funds to another NZ person who is then asked to transfer the money overseas minus a commission. The person transferring the funds overseas has been earlier recruited for a scam similar to the Devancy scam, which did the rounds in September last year. The Devancy type scams work by convincing people to accept deposits into their bank accounts which they then forward to a third party, usually overseas minus a transaction fee or commission which they are allowed to keep.
The bank account owner may not know the funds have been stolen and transferred through Internet banking. They keep the margin and transfer the funds out of the country. It is also possible that the funds go through a number of New Zealand accounts before it finally leaves New Zealand.
This is in fact a form of Internet money laundering, and people who fall for the Devancy type scams are party to this laundering process. Money laundering is a specific offence under the crimes act and not knowing the money was stolen is no excuse.
National e-crime Lab Manager Maarten Kleintjes says, anyone who is being offered a percentage for just passing on funds through Internet banking should be very suspicious and notify Police straight away of who is trying to recruit them. They should also inform their bank. Police also want to hear from anyone who has already been recruited and is waiting for their first transfer (email to: firstname.lastname@example.org).