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2601 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

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Home Blog What is a Money Mule Scam?

What is a Money Mule Scam?

 
Money Mule Victim Falling For Scam

Scammers may try to use you to move stolen money. If you help them, you could be what law enforcement calls a money mule.

Money mule scams happen several ways. The story often involves scams related to online dating, work-at-home jobs, or prizes. This is how it usually works:

image of paper check

Scammers send money to you, sometimes by check.

money sent to someone Then ask you to send (some of) it to someone else. They often want you to use gift cards or wire transfers. Of course, they don’t tell you the money is stolen and they’re lying about the reason to send it. And there never was a relationship, job, or prize. Only a scam.
caution symbol

What happens next? If you deposit the scammer’s check, it may clear but then later turn out to be a fake check. The bank will want you to repay it. If you give the scammer your account information, they may misuse it. You could even get into legal trouble for helping a scammer move stolen money.

How can you avoid money mule scams?

  • Don’t accept a job that asks you to transfer money. They may tell you to send money to a “client” or “supplier.” Say no. You may be helping a scammer move stolen money.
  • Never send money to collect a prize. That’s always a scam, and they might be trying to get you to move stolen money.
  • Don’t send money back to an online love interest who’s sent you money. Also always a scam — and another a way to get you to move stolen money.
  • Criminals are good at making up reasons to help them move money. Don’t do it. The money may be from other people they scammed. You may be helping criminals hurt people just like you.

If you think you might be involved in a money mule or money transfer scam, stop transferring money. Notify First Citizens Bank, the wire transfer service, or any gift card companies involved. Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

For more information relating to scams, check out the following resources:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

https://aba.com/consumers
 

Article provided by the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information.

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