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SCARS™ Insight: The Difference Between A Scammer’s MULE and a MOLE
Scammers Are Well Known For Convincing Victims Into Working For Them, Knowingly Or Unknowingly
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 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.
- 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!
A Mole 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 is spinning:
- Romance Scam 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 tot he 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.
There are many more variations, but the essential truth of it is that they have convinced a normal person to engage in felony fraud with them. They may not know it, but that is what they are doing, and face the criminal 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 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 – 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 but with 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 sever 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.
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.
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A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Mole, Money Mule, Mule, Parcel Mule, Scammer Plant, Real Person Working For A Scammer, Scammer’s Accomplice, Scammer’s Spy, Working For Scammers