What’s a "Money Mule"? Someone who transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another. It’s important to be aware of this tactic so you can avoid unwittingly helping a scammer move funds.
Scammers will often use a third-party individual as a ‘money mule’ to funnel fraudulent gains from one account to another. They’ll gain access to a victim's account, then send funds out of that account by electronic transfer or Wire to another person; they’ll then ask that recipient to forward a portion of the funds to another account, often overseas, sometimes by wire transfer, other times by methods such as purchasing gift cards or other instruments.
How Do Scammers ‘Recruit’ a Mule?
These scams can take a variety of forms, such as an apparent online ‘romance’, a work-from-home job offer, or similar. In short, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What Are The Consequences?
There can be various financial or legal consequences for acting as a money mule, whether you’re aware of the fraud or not. Treat requests like those described above with skepticism and talk to your financial institution if you have concerns.
For more information on Money Mule scams, what to do to protect yourself, what actions to take should you become a victim, you can read:
Staying one step ahead of scammers will help keep you and your money safe.