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 Warning over new “Deets and Squares” scam

 10/06/2019

Police are warning youngsters to be wary of handing over their bank details to anyone in exchange for money.

The scam, which is referred to as “Deets and Squares”, has seen young people targeted by ‘money mules’ to hand over their bank details to fraudsters in exchange for money.

Whilst there have not been any examples of this in Durham, there have been instances in other areas.

More than 4200 account holders under the age of 21 were targeted nationally in the first half of 2017. 

For many young people the opportunity of getting cash by allowing someone to use their bank account for a bank transfer is tempting. However, knowingly becoming involved in such activity runs a risk of a prison sentence and a ruined credit history which can incur financial problems into later life.

Nationally, banks are being alerted to this method of exploiting children and young people and materials have been produced which aim to educate children and young people and, support parents to protect their children from this kind of exploitation.

These top tips include:

1.   Check children’s bank statements with them regularly, ensuring every transaction can be accounted for.

2.   Make sure they know not to give anyone their PIN, passcode, or password, even to someone claiming to be from their bank or the police.

3.   If a child comes home with new clothes,trainers, electronic devices or other items that cannot be accounted for, ask them how they got the money to purchase them.

4.   Explain that allowing someone else to use their bank details, regardless of how attractive or plausible the offer is a potentially a serious criminal offence that could damage their financial future. That this means they may not be able to get a mobile phone contract, mortgage, car loan.

5.   Teach them the simple rule that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

Detective Sergeant Chris Fixter, from the Fraud Squad said: "This is money laundering and if implicated your bank will close your account.

“This will affect your future ability to open a bank account and obtain credit for things such as mobile phone contracts.”