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Am I unwillingly involved in money laundering?

(225 Posts)
mamabird201313 Mon 10-Aug-20 00:44:06

Ok money laundering might be a bit extreme but I'm wondering if I've been taken for a mug by friend.

So friend and her DH own a shop selling discounted food and during lockdown it's really taken off and they're doing really well (to the point that they're opening another shop next month) Now her DH has always been a bit 'dodgy' and she's briefly told me a bit about tax evasion, selling dodgy goods in the past etc but I've always just decided to mind my own business.

A few weeks ago she transferred me £20 without telling me, and I didn't think anything of it because she owed me money from an event ticket we'd paid for but had been cancelled due to COVID. Then the next day she transferred me about £80. So I messaged her asking what it was and she replied all shocked saying that she thought she'd transferred it to herself so could I send it back to her. (It's worth mentioning here that the reference for the money into my bank said PAYPAL and then her name, and she asked me to send it to her bank account.

Anyway, last week she messaged asking if she could do it again because she didn't have her other bank account set up to do transfers, she only had me set up on there hmm before I could reply she'd sent me £95 so I obviously just had to transfer it back to her.

Now I'm thinking could this be dodgy? Like is she doing this to a few people and is it a way that they're taking money out of the business and sending it to people to try and hide it in some way? Obviously I'm hoping that I'm wrong and I'm just being over dramatic because the thought that she's doing something willingly that could get me in to trouble naturally really upsets me and would ruin our friendship.

So basically I'm asking if this would ring alarm bells to you?

OP’s posts: |
Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Mon 10-Aug-20 00:46:38

It does sound odd but I couldn’t guess at anything more

Aquamarine1029 Mon 10-Aug-20 00:54:20

Don't involve yourself with dodgy people and tell her very clearly to never transfer money to you again.

MrsClatterbuck Mon 10-Aug-20 01:03:20

I would tell her not to do this again. Sounds very strange and there is a type of money laundering called layering. If she uses the same account there will be a audit trail going from her account to yours and back again. I would definitely nip it in the bud.

JuniperFather Mon 10-Aug-20 01:03:37

Anyway, last week she messaged asking if she could do it again because she didn't have her other bank account set up to do transfers, she only had me set up on there hmm before I could reply she'd sent me £95 so I obviously just had to transfer it back to her.

This is dodgy as hell. She is trying to create a transaction history with you and others to show a paper trail for an account.

Tell her NEVER to transfer to you and contact your bank to put a block on any transactions to and from.

The downright liberty of it is what would annoy me.

user1471457751 Mon 10-Aug-20 01:06:26

You need to stop this now. If she can transfer the funds into your account she can transfer the funds into her own account.
And stop being friends with dodgy tax evaders

mamabird201313 Mon 10-Aug-20 01:07:56

Thanks for all the replies, something just doesn't sit right with me and I'm glad I'm not being over dramatic! I will definitely tell her not to do it again and look at getting a block put onto my account.

I do really want to know if there is something to it mainly because how can I ever trust her or carry on being her friend if she's involving me in something without my knowledge or consent?

OP’s posts: |
MooseBeTimeForSummer Mon 10-Aug-20 01:13:45

She might be sending them to lots of people. Also known as Smurfing.

Hairthrowaway Mon 10-Aug-20 01:15:55

Definitely sounds like a modern money laundering scam

Next thing you know your accounts are frozen, the transactions are reversed and you’re left in the red, you might be registered on cifas etc

Hairthrowaway Mon 10-Aug-20 01:17:59

Make sure you screenshot all her messages re the transactions to help prove you weren’t aware at the time

However bear in mind that plausible deniability is less likely to be accepted the longer this goes on/the higher the number of transactions involved

mamabird201313 Mon 10-Aug-20 01:19:46

Ok now I'm really stressing that I'm going to get in trouble when I had no idea what she was doing (that's if she is doing something wrong)

Should I report it to somebody to cover myself? Or should I just refuse to do it again and break off the friendship?

OP’s posts: |
Ijumpedtheshark Mon 10-Aug-20 01:22:07

It sounds like money laundering to me. If they are evading tax then the money is proceeds of crime.

Ijumpedtheshark Mon 10-Aug-20 01:28:20

I’d usually say just stop doing it and slowly break off contact with her. However it’s difficult because now you are suspicious and by not reporting it you might be considered complicit. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of this issue will come along soon to help you.

PineconeOfDoom Mon 10-Aug-20 01:33:10

Sounds very dodgy. I would speak to your bank and ask them if they can block her for you. If they choose to report it, well, not your fault, you were just asking for their help.

cabbageking Mon 10-Aug-20 01:34:12

She has her own bank account and a pay pal account. There is no reason to be using your account. Sounds dodgy.

user1468538201 Mon 10-Aug-20 01:35:42

She's setting you up for larger transactions. Put a stop to it immediately. If you does it again either send it back in the same manner or just close the account at your end. Either way this person is not a friend,please don't mistake her for one.

Sootthus Mon 10-Aug-20 01:38:41

sounds very much like money laundering. Report it to your bank. If she does it again I would ask your bank if they can reverse the transaction rather than you send it back. She dragging you into something dodgy, don't get involved

Candodad Mon 10-Aug-20 01:39:04

I’d say she is sending money from the business account to you. She will have created an invoice for something business related and she’s claiming that the business needed to pay for it. Then you are sending the money to her personal account. Doing this means the business shoes less profit and pays less tax.

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 10-Aug-20 01:43:12

Report it because if it is dodgy the banks will find a way to blacklist you (there are Anti-AML / fraud lists shared between banks with names of dodgy people on it). Paypal is mostly owned by HSBC.

TehBewilderness Mon 10-Aug-20 01:43:16

It is skimming with fake refunds, I think. Sell something, customer dissatisfied, refund.

TehBewilderness Mon 10-Aug-20 01:43:54

I forgot the last bit is write off the loss while pocketing the cash.

MayDayFightsBack Mon 10-Aug-20 01:46:26

This is definitely a form of money laundering. Tell her to stop it immediately or you will flag up the transactions with your bank.

Honestly, she is not a friend and you need to dump her from a great height.

FortunesFave Mon 10-Aug-20 01:47:39

It's something to do with making it seem like her outgoings are more than they are.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 10-Aug-20 01:50:07

Please do not extend loyalty to this person, op. She's up to no good and you need to protect yourself. If that means cutting her out of your life completely, so be it. I think you should.

HermioneMakepeace Mon 10-Aug-20 01:51:50

Yes, you're money laundering. I think you should speak to your bank and ask if they can put a block on money coming from her account to yours.

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