Scam Victims Are Often Converted Into Money Mules Aiding The Criminals To Receive Stolen Money From Other Victims And To Engage In Money Laundering
Money mules typically scam victims that are manipulated into helping criminals launder money. They do this by receiving money from criminals or other victims – usually without knowing that they are involved in a crime – and then transferring it to other accounts, often in different countries. Money mules are often used by scammers to move money that they have stolen from their victims.
There are many ways that scam victims can become converted into money mules. Some of the most common methods include:
- Romance scams: Scammers will often pose as someone they are not, such as a soldier, a businessperson, an oil rig worker, or a doctor, in order to build a relationship with the victim. Once the victim is emotionally controlled, the scammer will ask them to help them with a financial problem, such as transferring money to a family member or for their business in another country.
- Online job scams: Scammers will often post fake job ads online that promise easy money. Once the victim applies for the job, the scammer will ask them to receive money from a third party and then transfer it to another account.
If you think you have been converted into a money mule, there are a few things you can do:
- Stop transferring money. This is the most important thing you can do. Once you stop transferring money, the criminals will not be able to use your accounts to launder money.
- Report the scam to the authorities. Start with your local police and then federal/national law enforcement. You can report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the FBI – but make sure you report to the local police first. This is essential in helping to establish your innocence in case there are questions later on.
- Contact your bank. Let your bank know that you have been a victim of a money mule scam. They will be able to help you close your account and prevent the criminals from accessing any more of your accounts.