What Is a Money Mule?
A money mule is someone who transfers or moves illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else.
Criminals recruit money mules to help launder proceeds derived from online scams and frauds or crimes like human trafficking and drug trafficking. Money mules add layers of distance between crime victims and criminals, which makes it harder for law enforcement to accurately trace money trails.
Money mules can move funds in various ways, including through bank accounts, cashier’s checks, virtual currency, prepaid debit cards, or money service businesses.
Some money mules know they are supporting criminal enterprises; others are unaware that they are helping criminals profit.
Money mules often receive a commission for their service, or they might provide assistance because they believe they have a trusting or romantic relationship with the individual who is asking for help.
If you are moving money at the direction of another person, you may be serving as a money mule.