Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide

Are You A Money Mule?

This 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 police 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 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 scam – some money mules are involved in a romance scam, employment scams, etc., and some participate thinking they are going to make quick money! You may be in confusion, fear, and anger. 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 mule 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 criminal 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.


STEP 1: Stop All Communications!

You must block 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 shame, 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 illness 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:

  1. Join one of our support groups or forums: On Facebook go here (SCARS Education & Support Group) or go to and join our support forums for scam victims (assuming that you are one.)
  2. If you feel you need someone locally to talk to we recommend that you seek a local trauma counselor. If you are looking for local trauma counselors please visit

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.

Did You Receive Money From A Scammer, Or Give A Scammer Access To Your Accounts?

You may have become a Money Mule. This is a crime!

You may have been involved in money laundering or aiding and abetting transnational criminals. Do not try to hide from this – this is serious, and if you are discovered (and you will be) then you might be prosecuted.

You should report these crimes to your local police – however, we strongly recommend that you speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. You have no time to waste. You cannot avoid this, do it today!

SCARS is not a law firm and we are not attorneys. The information we provide is for educational purposes only. See additional disclaimer below.

To find a criminal defense attorney in the United States visit FindLaw here: Criminal Law – FindLaw  For other countries look for your local directory of criminal defense attorneys or solicitors.

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!

Don't Become A Money Mule! Or Else!

If you think you have become involved as a money mule or in any other way supporting criminals you can contact us confidentially by email at — we are not attorneys, but we are a victims’ assistance provider and we are here to help guide you.

The Problem with Money Mules - a SCARS Infographic
The Basic Money Mules Model - a SCARS Infographic
What Is A Money Mule
Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide 1
Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide 2
Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide 3
Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide 4
Are You A Money Mule? A SCARS 5 Steps Guide 5

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  1. Mary Stebbins January 21, 2023 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    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.

    • SCARS Editorial Team January 22, 2023 at 7:57 am - Reply

      We are the leaders in supporting scam victims worldwide. Thank you for your comment.

  2. YeVonne Johnson March 25, 2021 at 1:37 am - Reply

    This is a great article and clearly details how the process works .

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