Moles vs. Mules
Sadly, many victims believe in the lies that scammers tell so completely that they become accomplices in the cybercriminals schemes. Some face arrest and jail time as well.
Most of these are converted into what are called “MULES“.
They serve two roles:
- Money 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. serve to help transfer and launder money for scammers, and also as a drop point for fraudsters to receive money from other victims. Thus they become a part of the chain in scamming other victims themselves. This is a serious crime worldwide, and recently 1,500 Money Mules » were arrested through the actions of Europol The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organized crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states. The Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from authorities in the member states. Based in The Hague, it comprised 1,065 staff as of 2016.
- Parcel Mules are people that help criminals forward packages they receive. Usually, these are merchandise the scammer buys using stolen credit cards. This is also a serious crime in that it involves receiving and trafficking in stolen property.
However, there is another kind of scammer helper that spies on other people for various purposes. These are called MOLES!
Is A Person That Helps The Scammer By Acting As A Spy Or Information Gatherer
These serve several purposes depending on the story the fraudster 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. is spinning:
- Romance Scam 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. Information Mole: this is a person who is usually told that people are defaming the scammer and saying he/she is a romance scammer. They ask the Mole to join a group, watch a website, or chat with someone to learn more about what is being said about them.
- Business Information Mole: this is a person who is asked by the scammer to keep an eye on a competitor, a partner, or other business that they are concerned about. The stories can be wide-ranging, but they get the person to do the spying and communicate the information back to the scammer.
- Recruiting Mole: in this case, the scammer has a story about how they need additional people to help them do something that seems legal and legitimate. So they ask the Mole to help them recruit others. These could be scam victims or virtually anyone. A good example of this is in the case of “Work From Home” scams 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..
There are many more variations, but the essential truth of it is that they have convinced a normal person to engage in felony fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. with them. They may not know it, but that is what they are doing, and face the criminal 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. charges that can follow.
Amazingly, there are at least a few thousand such Moles being manipulated at any given time. We are extremely watchful for these in our own support 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. and other educational activities, when we find them we will immediately ban them and refer them for police investigation – not because we want them to go to jail, but so that the police can intervene with their authority to stop their actions and hopefully lead to useful information about the scammer or scammers.
This sounds like scammers are brilliant to have worked all this out, but in reality, they are copying the tactics of other criminal enterprises such as Drug Runners and Human Traffickers. It is a sad truth that in today’s world anyone can be a Mole for a criminal cartel A scamming cartel is any criminal organization with the intention of engaging in larger-scale financial fraud operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various scammer gangs to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest scammer gangs organizations reached a size and scope of a major enterprise, including control of corrupt politicians and local officials. In truth, most scammer cartels do not exactly meet the definition of a cartel, but the term stuck and it is now popularly used to refer to any large criminal fraud organization. – even Children.
Ironically, Many Moles Are In Fact Also Mules!
By engaging in both behaviors, not only does the Mule face criminal charges for money laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. but their Mole activities now face Criminal Conspiracy.
Prosecutors we have spoken with hate to prosecute the elderly who fall for this, but given the extreme number of victims, many times the Mule or the Mole is all they can go after. In most cases, the penalty is severe and can result in prison sentences of 5, 10, or more years – which for these participants can be a life sentence.
What To Do If You Are A Mule Or A Mole?
It is strongly recommended that if a person was duped into working for a scammer that they contact an attorney immediately who can act on their behalf to go to the local police before the police come knocking on their door.
To learn more about this visit our 5 Steps Guide for Money Mules – click here
As our organization works to resolve the larger governmental and legal issues worldwide, you can help by being ever watchful for the behaviors that give a Mole (or Mule) away.