Before There Were Scammer’s Money Mules
In the early days – just 10 years ago, scammers did not need money mules. They got their money directly, usually via Western Union. Scammers controlled the money transfer business, and even had their own moles inside these agencies – in some cases, they may even have owned the agencies. This was part of the poor controls that caused Western Union to be fined over $450 million dollars in 2016.
Those days came to an end when the money transfer business and governments began to crack down and illegal transfers direct to scammers.
However, today, scammers and criminals of every type have figured out that people are easily manipulated into becoming mules.
We Understand How It All Came To Pass
We know that victims can be easily lured into becoming a 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. for their fantasy relationship partner. Some fall for becoming a mule through fake job 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., and almost every imaginable type of 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. can result in becoming a mule.
However, there is an ever-growing number of people who willingly participate.
But we also know it has to stop.
To Stop It
To bring this to an end, there is going to be a lot of pain; a lot of good people will go to jail, and a lot of easy-money people will also go to jail.
This is going to get very ugly because it is the one thing that law enforcement can take control of!
This is going to expand government control of all banking, finances, and money movement.
One recent proposal for a law will require police and tax authority approval to send more than 1,000 dollars anywhere. This is going to lead to incredible scrutiny over every transaction.
Do we really want to go there? Do we really want government in our lives more than they are now?
But what choice do we have?
Banks Are Also Fighting Back
Banks are also looking at their complicity and their liability in all of this.
In truth, the banks did what their customers asked them to do, but everyone blames the banks. This is already resulting in banks filing bank 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. charges for any false statement made by victims, and this is likely to expand.
We expect banks to create “trap statements” to catch victims is lies in order to protect themselves in exactly the same way the money transfer services do now.
Tens of Thousands Of Mules
Right now, some estimates are that there are more than 25,000 money mules working for Nigerian & Indian scammers. We think the number is much larger.
Law enforcement only has one option, and that is locking down access to money services. But that has also led to conversion to mules handling cash.
It is an arms race, and it will impact all of us!
The more the problem grows, the worse it is going to get for everyone that tries to use financial services. Some states are considering forcing pack & ship stores to sign affidavits that they know what is in the packages they send.
This is going to get more controlled and that is not always better, but what choice is there?
If You Are A Mule
If you are a mule, go now to your local police and help them stop the scammers. If you go in yourself, they will welcome your help, but if you wait and they find you, it could mean jail time!
If you want to learn more about mules – the consequences and the path to safety, please read our 5 Steps Guide for Money Mules – click here.
Follow the money. Cut it off in transit!
This is the way! Going after the mules is the easy and effective answer. But it will bring government intrusion into everything.
What do you think?