Social media created opportunities for virtually anyone to earn money. The option to monetize anything is more accessible than it's ever been. Who'd have ever thought that curating a seemingly perfect and enviable life through pictures would be a viable profession twenty years ago? It's to the point that teenagers, ineligible for legal employment, earn more than their parents through YouTube channels and Tik Tok accounts.
As with any innovation, criminals exploit new technology for their benefit. Social media money laundering schemes are only one of the many examples of how criminals are perverting the sanctity of Instagram, and – – I- I'm sorry, I couldn't even finish that sentence with a straight face. "Sanctity of Instagram," phew, that was a good one.
In any event, savvy criminals are using people's desire to emulate the flashy lifestyles they see on social media to recruit gullible rubes into laundering their money. The criminals refer to these patsies as money mules, and, as you'd probably expect, the "job" comes with a hefty risk for those who undertake it. In the video linked above, Vice provides a window into the world of social media money launderers.