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Blog Fraud/Identity Theft

Don’t be a money mule

Fraud/Identity Theft
Don’t be a money mule

Money mules are people who receive and transfer money obtained from victims of fraud and are recruited through several methods.

Transferring money/valuables on behalf of others only benefits criminals and may even lead to serious consequences for you.

How are money mules most often recruited?

Work-from-home scams

You can easily spot a scam if the job posting offers easy money for reshipping packages, buying gift cards or money orders, or transferring money, which can be done at home. The Federal Trade Commission has a great list of some common work-from-home scams.

Confidence scams

If a person or business you don’t know offers you a cut or commission if you transfer money for them, it’s definitely a scam. These scammers will typically try to gain your trust to get you to become a mule for them. Learn more about some of the tricks they use to get you.

Lottery scams

When someone, out of the blue, asks you to transfer or accept money for them to collect a lottery prize, it is most often a money mule scam. View some of the warning signs of a potential lottery scam.

Romance scams

If you meet someone on a dating app or social media and they ask you to transfer money or packages, they are taking advantage of you. End contact immediately. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a list of some of the most common romance scams and how to avoid them.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Don’t engage in financials transactions with strangers.
  • Don’t take a job that promises easy money and involves sending or receiving money or packages.
  • Check any work-from-home opportunity or money transferring offer with a trusted family member or friend. You can also contact your Better Business Bureau chapter or access your state’s corporation directory to help verify if the business is legitimate.
  • Report money mule activity/scams as soon as possible.

To report a money mule scam, please visit the website of the United States Postal Inspection Service or call 1.877.876.2455.