A Money Mule scam is a type of scam in which criminals use their victims to move stolen funds. Money mule scams can take many forms, and commonly involve online dating, work-at-home jobs or prizes. In a typical scam, the fraudster sends the victim money to deposit into a bank account and then asks them to send some of it to someone else, usually through a gift card or a wire transfer. When the initial check is later found to be fake, victims are on the hook for the full amount.
As the below infographic notes, you can avoid money mule scams by never using your own bank account or opening a new account in your name to transfer money for an employer; never pay to collect a prize or move any money out of your “winnings”; and never send money to an online love interest. If a money mule scam is suspected, you should break off contact with the scammer, inform your bank and report the incident to the FTC.
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