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NBS warning - Don’t become a money mule! Don’t be duped!

Have you ever replied to an advertisement that promised quick and easy earnings? Did you then, for a commission, let your bank account be used to receive an electronic funds transfer from a third party who you did not know, perhaps on multiple occasions involving different amounts?

By acting in this way, you may have become what is known as a ‘money mule’ and your bank account may have become a ‘mule account’ for money laundering or terrorist financing. Such action may have criminal consequences.

A money mule is a kind of ‘straw man’, i.e. a person who is put in a position or used to commit a crime in such a way as to conceal the identity of the person or persons who benefit from that crime.

Money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money.

How does a mule account work?

After agreeing to and receiving an electronic funds transfer from an unknown third party, the money mule, for a commission, transfers the money from his bank account – the mule account – to another unknown third party: either by withdrawing the money and handing it over, or by performing an electronic funds transfer. Such activity is used to launder the proceeds of crime.

All banks track payment transactions in progress and will alert the police if they deem a transaction to be ‘unusual’.

If the provenance of the funds being transferred is not clear, the bank may go so far as to block the account and report the account owner to the police.

BEWARE! You could thus unwittingly become subject to criminal proceedings!


  • Don’t give personal data or details of your financial affairs to people you don’t know who may be pressuring you, or promising you a financial reward, for such information.
  • Keep your personal and financial data well protected.
  • Don’t enter into an atypical contractual relationship with people who you don’t know.
  • Don’t let your bank account be used to receive electronic funds transfers from third parties who you don’t know.
  • Don’t share the access data for your bank account.
  • Don’t respond to adverts promising quick and easy earnings in return for your bank account number or a photocopy of your identity card or passport.
  • Don’t register as an entrepreneur if someone you don’t know is pressuring or inducing you to do so.

National Bank of Slovakia
Communications Section
Imricha Karvasa 1, 813 25 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.: +421-2-5787 2142, +421-2-5865 2142, +421-2-5787 2169, +421-2-5865 2169

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