Are You A Money MuleMoney Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes.?
This SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Guide Will Help You Better Understand What A Money Mule Is And The Potential Consequences To Someone That Becomes One.
Always remember that if you were involved as a money mule unknowingly, you must contact your local policeLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first. or you might be considered an active participant.
A SCARS Steps Guide
5 Steps Guide For A Money Mule
Have You Received Or Collected Money From Or For A ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. Or A Stranger? – You Might Be A Money Mule!
If you are a Money Mule, this is a very confusing time for you
You may or may not have been the victim of a scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. – some money mulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit. are involved in a romance scam, employment scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., etc., and some participate thinking they are going to make quick money! You may be in confusion, fear, and angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.. You will be unsure about what to do now.
We have helped millions of scam victims and many many money mules and we know that it comes down to FIVE (5) BASIC STEPS.
First Thing A Money Mule Must Know
You need to understand that this may not be your fault, but there can be serious consequences for a Money Mule unless you act responsibly now!
Do not feel ashamed of what happened. The scammers are professionals – yes scammers, there was more than one – they work in teams. They are expert manipulators, and you were not prepared. That assumes that you did not act as a muleMule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes. willingly.
Time is important after you discover the activity – there is a limited window for the police to act to help you in sorting this out. But if you do not report this to them, and they come after you, you may be facing criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. prosecution.
This is going to be hard, and most mules will not want to face this.
When the time comes to talk with your family & friends, and we recommend that you get the advice of a criminal defense attorney immediately.
THE 5 STEPS
STEP 1: Stop All Communications!
You must blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• all contact with your scammers or whoever you were receiving or collecting money for. And make absolutely sure that you preserve all evidence of your communications with the criminals.
You may be unsure if they are criminals, but let the police make that decision for you – just assume they are.
STEP 2: Accept That You Were Involved & Became A Money Mule
This means that you have to accept that you are the victim of a crime and if you received money for or from the criminals you became a Money Mule.
It is all about the deception, it was all lies. Nothing that you were told is the truth, so none of the stories or promises matter anymore because they were all lies. This is hard to accept, but it is what you have to do to be able to move forward.
As part of this STEP, you must report it to the police – this is your confirmation to yourself that you accept that you were involved in this even if you did not know that you were. You start with your local police – this is not easy, you will feel embarrassed and shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness., but you do not need to. The police are not always going to be sensitive to scam victims, but reporting matters regardless. This is your lifesaver because you will need to report and cooperate if they are going to take your side – if they have to come and find you it can become very serious and possibly involve jail time.
Once this is done, put it all away, and don’t look at it again if possible. But do not destroy it or throw it away. You may need it in the future,
STEP 3: Focus Only On Yourself – Not The Scammers
You will be doing this Step before, during, and after Steps 4 & 5
Do not try to track down or contact anyone, and do not try to be a vigilante, just let the police do their job. Any further contact with the people you were involved with could alert them about police involvement – you do not want that. It could also complicate how the police view you!
Now you need to focus on your own emotional health and stability. Scams can be very traumatizing and they can lead to serious mental illnessMental Illness Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. unless you take care of yourself. The scam happened, but now it is time to turn your back on that and focus on yourself and how you are going to move forward and recover.
We recommend that every Money Mule take two immediate actions to help themselves:
- Join one of our support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. or forums: On Facebook go here (SCARS Education & Support Group) or go to www.ScamVictimSupport.org and join our support forums for scam victims (assuming that you are one.)
- If you feel you need someone locally to talk to we recommend that you seek a local traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counselor. If you are looking for local trauma counselors please visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd
You do not need to tell your family or friends at this point unless you need to – that can wait until you are feeling stronger.
The process of recovery will take some time – it depends on how long you were in the scam, and the involvement as a mule, and the depth of the trauma you are experiencing. Do not try to rush it and do not assume you will get over it instantly. Most scam victims will need months and sometimes longer to return to emotional stability. How seriously you take your recovery will determine how successful you will be – there are no shortcuts. It is hard and it takes work.
The self-imposed trauma from being a mule can also add to your guilt and sense of shame. Mules enable scams and can do real harm to many people.
A Word About Fear
Many scam victims, especially those that engage in being a money or parcel mule are in fear after they discover the real situation. You might be afraid of the scammer’s threats or something else. you might be afraid of legal consequences. You do not need to be afraid – the police will help you sort this out, but do contact an attorney first. But if you really feel fearful tell your local police about this too.
If You Need To Talk To Someone Right Now
If you feel that you must talk to someone right now call this number (in the U.S. & Canada): 1-800-273-8255 – it is available 24 hours in English and Spanish. To find other crisis hotlines for your country search on Google for “Crisis Hotline.” Remember, there is no shame in asking for help.
Lock Yourself Down
After the scam and any involvement as a mule, you will need to make sure that you lock down your social media profiles to ensure that the scammers cannot see your life anymore! Go through your privacy setting and change anything public to private.
Also, if you shared any financial or banking information with your scammers you will need to protect those accounts. Contact your bank and notify them you have been scammed and change your account numbers and access information – do this for anything that you think might be at risk.
STEP 4: Talk with an Attorney
We recommend that anyone that thinks they were involved as a Money Mule or other type talk with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Being involved in a criminal enterprise is not something to be ignored. You will need guidance and possibly legal support when you talk to the local police, and help to make sure the police do not hold you criminally responsible.
Remember, the criminals made you an accessory to their crimes. You need to get this under control.
Additionally, even if the police do not charge you for any crime, other victims can hold you responsible for their financial losses. So you may be facing civil litigation in the future and you will need legal support.
STEP 5: Talk with the Police
This is going to be scary, but this is the right thing to do because if you don’t they will find you eventually. If they have to track you down, you could be facing charges, do your best to avoid that by going to them first and cooperating in every way possible (as your attorney advises.)
Expect to be there for the whole day. Police interviews can be very lengthy and they will need to make sure they know everything. Hold nothing back, tell them everything. Always tell them the whole truth. If they think you are being deceptive it will only make it worse.
To Learn More About Money Mules
At this point, you have to focus on learning to better understand what happened to you. You are a victim and became a money mule – that does not mean you are an expert in scams. Learning is an essential part of controlling your fear, anger, and confusion. It is part of your recovery process.
SCARS publishes a number of guides and information to help a Money Mule understand their situation.
The consequences are serious and we can not overstate how important it is to take control of the situation by learning, speaking with an attorney, and reporting to the police.
By cooperating with the police you may well be saving other victims from losing their life savings. Your silence will only enable the scammers or criminals to make more victims!
Do the right thing. Do your duty and report these crimes!
SCARS Money Mule Articles:
- What Is A Money Mule? – An Overview
- Money Laundering Presents Grave Dangers For Scam Victims & Mules
- Money Mule Series: About Banking & Legal Responsibility
- All About Money Mules
- Scam Victims & Violating The Law
- Giving Out Your Banking Information – SCARS™ Scam Warning
- What Are Scammer Money Mules?
- Understanding and Protecting Yourself Against Money Mule Schemes
- The Difference Between A Scammer’s MULE and a MOLE
- Landmark Case Changes Everything For Money Mules
- Criminal Crack Down On Money Mules Worldwide
- Europe Continues The Global Crackdown On Money Mules
- Missouri Money/Parcel Mule Convicted
- Another Senior Faces Jail As A Scammer Drug Mule
- Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal
- FBI Warning About Scammers Recruiting Mules
- Rubberband Bank Wire Transfer Scams [Infographic]
- Why Reporting Matters?
- Editorial: Attitudes Are Changing
Do You Need Support?
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SCARS provides the leading Support & Recovery program for relationship scamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? victims – completely FREE!
Our managed peer supportPeer support Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or in a support group. Peer support is also used to refer to initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help organizations and others meet, in person or online, to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis. Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has "been there, done that" and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as SCARS Volunteers receive special training and may be required to obtain Continuing Education Units, similar to clinical staff. Some other trained peer support workers may also be law-enforcement personnel and firefighters as well as emergency medical responders. groups allow victims to talk to other survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com and recover in the most experienced environment possible, for as long as they need. Recovery takes as long as it takes – we put no limits on our support!
SCARS is the most trusted support & education provider in the world. Our team is certified in trauma-informedTrauma-Informed Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care needs to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective care services with a healing orientation. Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. care, grief counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling., and so much more!
To apply to join our groups visit support.AgainstScams.org
We also offer separate support groups for family & friends too.
SCARS STAR™ Member
SCARS offers memberships in our STAR program, which includes many benefits for a very low annual membership fee!
SCARS STAR Membership benefits include:
- FREE Counseling or Therapy Benefit from our partner BetterHelp.com
- Exclusive members-only content & publications
- Discounts on SCARS Self-Help Books Save
- And more!
To learn more about the SCARS STAR Membership visit membership.AgainstScams.org
To become a SCARS STAR Member right now visit join.AgainstScams.org
To Learn More Also Look At Our Article Catalogs
Essential Tools For Every Scam SurvivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
SCARS Website Visitors get an Extra 10% Discount
Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout
SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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Your generous purchase allows us to maintain our scam avoidance, support, and recovery services. Please help SCARS and stand proud.
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By the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.
A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
To see Scammer Photos visit www.ScammerPhotos.com
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org
The information in this article was very well researched very informed. I learned a lot about what was happening to me and what I have been involved in. Thank you so much for bringing the light I truly have been a victim.
We are the leaders in supporting scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. victims worldwide. Thank you for your comment.
This is a great article and clearly details how the process works .