The Bank of Mauritius (Bank) wishes to draw the attention of the public regarding the misuse of debit cards and One-Time Passwords (OTPs) for internet banking and online transactions. These cases relate to a form of money laundering known as “money muling”. Money muling is a criminal activity whereby fraudsters (usually phishers) entice people, often unwittingly, to transfer funds obtained illegally, through their bank accounts.
The fraudsters often have recourse to scams including false job offers, promises of marriage, promises of easy money, and other fraudulent online transactions with a view to tricking people into becoming money mules. Once ensnared, the money mules are instructed to receive funds into their bank accounts and subsequently transfer these funds to other bank accounts which are mostly overseas. Furthermore, the one controlling the bank account can do the transfer remotely.
To avoid falling prey to such criminal activities, please ensure that you:
- exercise caution and do not engage in dubious transactions through internet banking
- do not disclose or share your bank account, card details, OTP, online banking login details, or any other personal details (for e.g. address, date of birth, mobile number, PIN, bank card number, expiration date of bank card and CVV) with anyone, including strangers or individuals claiming to represent a bank or financial institution
- are cautious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, messages or pop-up ads on social media requesting for your personal information
- regularly monitor your bank account statements and transaction history for any unauthorized activity
- immediately report any suspicious transaction or activity to your bank
- are always wary of offers that promise easy money or requests to use your bank account for financial transactions on behalf of someone else.
The Bank of Mauritius is working closely with the Mauritius Police Force to combat money muling and any related illicit activities. The public is strongly advised to exercise caution when receiving solicitations to engage into doubtful online banking transactions, and to immediately report such requests to the competent authorities.