Money Mule and Job Scams

You are looking for a job that offers to pay you a lucrative amount just by opening bank accounts.

There's only one problem: You were asked to provide your bank account in exchange for a sum of money.

Avoid being a money mule!​ Read More

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Money Mule: Complicity

Unwitting or unknowing mules
Not aware that they are involved in a bigger criminal scheme. These individuals are typically recruited via scams such as romance scams or more recently, job scams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, these individuals genuinely believe they are helping someone who is acting as their romantic partner or employer.

Witting mules

Ignore warning signs of criminal activity or are willfully blind to the financial activity they are participating in. They may have received warnings from bank personnel but continue to open multiple accounts. These individuals generally begin as an unwitting mule.

Complicit mules

Aware of their role as a money mule and complicit in the larger criminal scheme. They might regularly open bank accounts at various institutions with the intention of receiving illicit funds or openly advertise their services as a money mule and actively recruit others.

What is a money mule?

Any individual who transfers funds, on behalf of, or at the direction of another. Money mules are recruited to assist criminals with laundering proceeds from illegal activity and are often promised easy money for their participation.

How are money mules recruited?

Unsolicited emails or other communications requesting to open a bank account, cryptocurrency wallet, or business in their name.

Romance scams.

Job scams promising easy money.

Non-payment/non-delivery scams.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can be recruited to be a money mule; however, targeted populations include the elderly, college-aged students, and newly immigrated individuals.

 

Cyber-expertise or knowledge is not required the money mule will be directed on how to open accounts and process various transactions.

Consequences

Money mules are putting themselves at risk for identity theft, personal liability, negative impacts on credit scores, and the inability to open bank accounts in the future. Furthermore, they and their families could be threatened by criminals with violence if they do not continue to work as a money mule.

Depending on the country, these individuals face prison sentences, a fine, or community service, even if unwitting. 

Tips

STOP communicating with the suspected criminal.

STOP transferring funds or items of value.

 

Maintain receipts, contact information, and communications (emails, text messages, voicemails) so the information may be passed to law enforcement.

Notify your bank or payment provider.

Notify and report suspicious activity to Law Enforcement.

How to prevent

Do not accept job offers that ask you to receive company funds into your personal account or ask you to open a business bank account.

Be suspicious if a romantic partner asks you to receive or transfer funds from your account.

Do not provide your financial details to anyone (e.g., bank account information, logins, passwords).

Do not provide copies of your identification documents to anyone (e.g., driver’s license, social security number)

 

Conduct online searches to corroborate any information provided to you.

Reach out to your financial institution with banking questions or concerns about financial transactions in your account.

Beware of people you meet online