These 10 prevention of money laundering tips can protect you from becoming a pawn in a scheme or con. When thieves appear to be spending more than they legitimately earn, it is easy for government officials to figure out the truth behind their illegitimate income. The only way to get around this is for criminals to hide the source of their funds; they must launder their "dirty" money to make it appear "clean." If you're not careful, criminals may end up using you as a way to hide their ill-gotten gains. Here's how to prevent this.
- Claim gambling funds, if you win in a casino or other type of gamble. If anyone tries to pay you a fee in return for pretending to have lost a larger sum to them, don't do it. It's illegal.
- If you own a business and someone wants to pay you in order for you to "fake" hire them, just say no. They'll want to give you a large amount of money that you'll then dole out back to them in the form of paychecks. Don't fall for it.
- If you own a cash service business, such as a hair salon or a taxi service, you may find a criminal wanting to pay you in order for you to hire them for real. The difference here is that they will actually work one day a week, yet will make up huge amounts of nonexistent clients that explains where their cash income comes from.
- Occasionally, a criminal may approach you at a garage sale, offering you cash in return for a simple favor. They will give you an expensive painting or other artifact, only to then purchase it from you at the garage sale for a cheap price. They can then sell the item at auction, getting back the money they spent on the original item while hiding the actual source of the money by claiming they bought it cheap at your garage sale.
- One money laundering scam involves a deliberate car accident between two willing parties, caused in such a way where you seem to be at fault. Although the criminal may offer use a hefty sum of cash in return, this is a form of laundering. Yet, remember: doing this is all illegal.
- A criminal may want to sell you a very expensive item which is, in fact, quite cheap. He will provide you the money to pay him for it, plus extra for your trouble. While you will make money on this "scam", it is most certainly not legal.
- Sometimes the criminal will have a legitimate business which overcharges exorbitantly for cash services, such as a car mechanic garage. When you go to them to fix your car, they will offer to fix it for free if you agree to appear to pay them way too much money. Your card will be charged for 4x the actual price while you get that same amount in cash. While you will get free service this way, it is not a legal way to do business.
- One con involves the criminal getting you to agree to purchase a worthless item at auction for way too much money. He provides the money along with a little extra to pad your pockets. Again, participating in the "scam" will earn you money rather than make you lose it. Yet, it's still just as illegal to participate in.
- Sometimes criminals use money laundering not to hide the source of their funds, but just the marked bills they can't otherwise spend. If someone needs a large amount of change, such as a stack of twenties in exchange for a number of hundred dollar bills, it is not enough to just check that the bills are not counterfeit; they may also be marked as stolen. Be wary of giving large amounts of change.
- Another way they might try to get rid of marked bills is to buy expensive items at a store only to return them later the same day. If you're a cashier, be aware that large returns are not just used with counterfeit bills, but also with legitimate bills that were recently stolen and are marked accordingly.
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