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Between June-July 2018, an Instagram page called 247cashouts messaged me on Instagram asking if I wanted to make some extra money.

He told me the way it would work is; he collects money from businesses that are closing down. It seemed legit at the time. At that time, I didn't think anything of it.

I was persuaded to give my account details to him. I never actually met him. He called me and told me to increase the withdrawal limit. I gave the bank a reason saying it was money for my step brother and sister to go on holiday. A few weeks after payments of around £1500 was deposited and withdrawn from my account.

I had no affiliation with this, like I said all I thought I was doing was making some extra money. However I soon realised it was a type of fraud when my bank (NatWest) locked my account without stating a reason.

I told my family that I had fraud done on my account however I didn't tell them that I was played. I'm too embarrassed to say anything and scared of the consequences. It's December now and I've realised I have to tell them what happened but I don't know how to deliver it without me sounding like I was involved. I feel guilty and mugged off. What would happen to me? I know I shouldn't have lied however at the time I wasn't thinking straight and I didn't realise I was being used as a mule per say.

Please could someone advise me on what to do next?

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    Are you asking about what to tell your family? We can't help there. This site is for financial advice only. – DJClayworth Dec 16 '18 at 4:20
  • i need to know what i should do next in terms of who i should speak to. i was reading a bbc news article about a teenage girl 'money mule' who was in my exact position. They blacklisted her card for 6 years – user80627 Dec 16 '18 at 4:25
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You need to talk to a lawyer about that. Don't talk to the bank, let alone the police, about any of this, until you've talked to a lawyer first.

Other than that, the bank has already taken care of freezing your account, so that no more transactions will go through.

  • is there a chance i will get arrested? – user80627 Dec 16 '18 at 4:23
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    @user80627 That is something a lawyer will explain you. By default, assume that the answer is "yes". – void_ptr Dec 16 '18 at 4:35
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    @user80627 No one on the internet can say with 100% confidence whether you will get arrested or not. In such cases law enforcement agencies will based on evidence will determine the next steps. Speak to your family and a lawyer. – Dheer Dec 16 '18 at 5:37
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    @user80627 you can easily facilitate acts such as money laundering without ever making a transaction yourself, and that facilitation can easily see you with jail time. – Moo Dec 17 '18 at 5:45
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    @user80627 The problems are: 1) it may be hard to prove it wasn't you who deposited and withdrew the money, 2) it will be hard to prove that you weren't in on the scheme, 3) it will be hard to prove that you were completely reasonable in believing this to be a legitimate operation, 4) you lied to the bank about why you wanted a higher withdrawal limit, which was an element of the crime, and 5) you were actively involved, even if not in the central crimes. A lawyer in your jurisdiction is the only person you should trust on how serious these are-- not your own assumptions, and not SE advice – Upper_Case Dec 21 '18 at 22:01
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I told my family that I had fraud done on my account however I didn't tell them that I was played. I'm too embarrassed to say anything and scared of the consequences. It's December now and I've realised I have to tell them what happened but I don't know how to deliver it without me sounding like I was involved.

You hold your head high and tell them you've made a mistake, and will suffer the consequences. Talking to your family doesn't require a lawyer and it definitely doesn't require you to lie about what happened.

As for how to approach the situation with your bank and/or the relevant authorities: getting a quick consult with a lawyer is probably appropriate. At some point you'll likely need to get your account back if it had any of your own funds in it (or open a new checking account for your own purposes).

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For UK residents Citizen's advice is an alternative to going straight to a lawyer. You'll have to make your own decision on whether to admit it to your family.

Money laundering laws are harsh, however there are a lot of people who get suckered into your position on the edge of things, so it's somewhat unlikely that they will throw the book at you.

However, getting your personal details tagged by CIFAS as being involved in money laundering could well happen, and it may well follow you around for a few years. Harsh lesson, possibly, learn it and move on - you don't have to tough it out alone.

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