What Is The Difference Between A MULE and a MOLE

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

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What Is The Difference Between 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. and a MOLE

Scammers Are Well Known For Convincing Victims Into Working For Them, Knowingly Or Unknowingly Becoming Mules

But Scammers also place Moles in places where they need extra control!

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:

  1. 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. 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 EuropolEuropol 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. WEBSITE LINK.
  2. 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 fraudsterFraudster 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:

  1. Romance 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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” 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..

There are many more variations, but the essential truth of it is that they have convinced a normal person to engage in felony fraudFraud 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 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. 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 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. 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 cartelCartel 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 launderingMoney 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.

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

You may have become 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 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.

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Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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
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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams 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
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

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