Several students have been victims in a particular sort of money laundering scam. Often these scams look like normal jobs, and are sometimes advertised on official job search websites.
Adverts offer positions such as 'mystery shopper’ – though it is possible that other job titles could also be used. When a student responds to the advert they are asked to give personal details and are then sent a letter containing American Express travellers cheques. The student is directed to deposit the travellers cheques into their bank account and, once cleared, to take a proportion as payment and transfer the rest of the deposit abroad.
To date, all the travellers cheques received through this scam have been counterfeit and this appears to be an elaborate way to launder the counterfeit travellers cheques via personal bank accounts.
There is a variation of this scam not involving travellers cheques, where stolen or illicitly obtained money is transferred directly into your account and your are asked to transfer it to another person so that the trail is harder for the police to follow.
This process is illegal in the UK and can carry severe penalties.
Even if you did not know this was a scam the police can still charge you and penalties can still be applied to you.
In most cases your UK bank account will be closed and you will also not be able to open another one as there will be a fraud notice on your financial record. Your bank would also be required by law to report any suspicious of money laundering or illegal transfer to the police.