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A while ago I was contacted by an old friend who wished to borrow my bank account to do online transactions, which has online banking enabled, while theirs is not. They want to confirm payments before sending the digital goods, so the plan is: whenever a payment is made, I told them and transfer the money, then they release the goods. I agreed and there were several payments, which I promptly transferred to them as soon as I received them. All of this happens in just one day, and no payment made and no further contact, until a few weeks then, my account got frozen.

It turned out that they seem were advertising selling tickets in Instagram, in which they provided my account number and told buyers to send the money there. The tickets were never sent, and the day after the money was sent the Instagram account was deleted. This was the day after I was contacted, so it matched out.

This 'friend' denied the connection with the seller account. The complication was that I've never met in-person with them.

I can prove the chat requesting the borrowing, via Messenger and Whatsapp.

What should I do? Can I be prosecuted if the victim of the fraud reported this to the police? What are my options?

This happened in Indonesia, but I'm interested if this happens in other countries.

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    The title of your question is not entirely accurate. You participated in online fraud and helped your "friend" to steal other people's money, however unwittingly, and you need to come to terms with this. – brhans Jan 23 at 12:30
  • Similar to what @brhans said, why are you saying that they "borrowed" your bank account? You maintained sole control over your account and when money came in from whoever, you immediately transferred that money to someone else. – A.fm. Jan 31 at 1:11
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I can’t speak for Indonesia but if you did this in Australia you would be a criminal.

You either committed fraud or are an accessory to fraud. You would probably be considered an accessory at and after the fact which means you are subject to the same maximum penalty as if you had committed the fraud yourself - 10 years in jail.

In addition, you are liable to repay the money taken, jointly and severally with your ‘friend’. However, if they can only find you, you cannot recover from your ‘friend’ as you were engaged in a joint criminal enterprise.

Scams such as you describe are distressingly common and many people fall for them. As such, assuming the court accepted your story (because you might actually be the fraudster and have just made it up) you would be unlikely to get close to the full sentence and if you caught the judge on a good day, might even escape jail. If you are lucky, the jury might acquit, even though, on the facts, they shouldn’t - juries do what juries do. If you’re really lucky the police might decide not to prosecute.

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