I was reading a question and answers about a classical scam. The modus operandi is clear.
It made me wonder about the legality of receiving money out of nowhere on my account. How legal is that? (in
Europe France, if this matters).
Do I have to be able to explain why some money was transferred to my account? I would pay all the relevant taxes but it could very well be a generous donation from someone in the Caimans or Germany (these examples would cover opaque and legal sources of money transfer).
What is the threshold between "this money looks like money-laundering" and "this money looks like a generous donation"? In particular: is it up to me to explain where the money comes from, or is it the sender's problem? (in other words, when getting a wire transfer from a German bank, can I assume that proving the legality of this money is on German's side?)
CLARIFICATION: Following comments and answers, I would like to clarify that my question is specifically about the legality of receiving money
- one does not know the source of,
- which is unclaimed (= gift/donation),
- and not a transfer mistake
- (and paying all relevant taxes).
If it is not legal, what should the receiver do? (I do not see a way to "reject" a transfer, once it is on my account I can only stare at it)