Sussex Police have issued a warning to social media users after a teenager was targeted by a scam known as ‘cash flipping’.
‘Cash flipping’ is used by criminals who lure vulnerable victims into parting with a small amount of money – and their bank details – with the promise they will receive a larger sum in return for their services.
Their account is then used to move money in and out of.
Offenders will often create excuses as to why no reward is deposited, as previously promised.
While the financial loss can be minimal, detectives are warning young people that they could unknowingly assist in money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Andy Westwood said that they are currently investigating a recent offence in which a 13-year-old boy was targeted by an unknown man on Instagram.
“He was asked to pay £2 into the person’s account and provide his account details in return for an investment.
“Thousands of pounds was transferred in and out of the victim’s account, at which point he became suspicious and rightly raised his concerns with his mother, who contacted us.
“Enquiries are ongoing and we are liaising with young people in the area – and local schools – to offer support and advice on how to protect themselves from such scams.”
Police are advising anyone concerned not to voluntarily hand over any bank or personal details, and to report any suspicious activity.
DI Westwood added: “If something seems too good to be true, then it most likely is. Use your instincts, remain vigilant and protect yourself from criminal activity.”
Parents are also being advised to monitor their children’s social media channels, and to report any unusual banking activity or expensive purchases which may be out of the ordinary.