Are you receiving money from strangers? If yes then make sure you report it to the bank management as soon as possible as you may be used as a way to move stolen money. You should always involve law enforcement and the bank management if you ever notice something suspicious going on in your bank accounts. If you are curious as to how you could be helping in moving stolen money, we at EzChargeback are right here to educate you on what may be going on and what you can do to protect yourself from this. Now it is important to know what a money mule is and what role it plays. Money mule is a term that is used by the law enforcement for someone who is being used to transfer and launder illegally for the purpose of acquiring money on the behalf of someone else.
Can you get in trouble for being a Money Mule?
As we have understood the role of a money mule in money laundering there is a high chance that yes you will get into legal troubles if you do end up providing any kind of help in the transfer of funds, even if it was done unintentionally. This may be confusing to you so let’s understand the situation with the help of an example. The scammer will often pretend to be someone who can offer you a job or reach out to you by saying that you have won a contest whichever tactic they apply to communicate with you, their goal is to send you money and then somehow get you to send it to someone else.
As this is illegal activity that they are trying to perform, they would often recommend transferring the wired money or using a gift card. How can you get stuck? Well the main idea of this is that the money is stolen so even if you are unintentionally aiding the process as a money mule, you are still taking part in the process so you would be investigated by the law enforcement. For example, if you deposit a fake cheque provided by one of these scammers the cheque may be approved initially but as soon as the bank detects that it is stolen money you will be the first one to be questioned and without a doubt you would be held accountable. The bank will need you to be the one to repay it and if you give the scammer your account information, they may end up misusing it. So, this is how you could even get into legal trouble for helping a scammer move stolen money unintentionally.
How can you avoid Money Mule Scams?
EzChargeback is here to make you aware of the several ways in which you can protect yourself from getting stuck in such situations so the most obvious one would be to stay away from jobs that require you to transfer money as you accepting those jobs would surely increases the likelihood of you getting stuck in one of these Mule scams. Especially since you may unintentionally be helping out a scammer in moving stolen money. Another very common mistake which makes people take part in mule scams is sending in money in order to collect prizes. I am sure you have been contacted at-least once in your life by an agent saying that you have won a prize which is always something that is desirable for most people.
Well the chances of that being a scam are very high and they often ask you to send in a certain amount to receive that reward and unfortunately these are almost always scam which get people to help move stolen money without even being aware of it. Scammers are criminals who know exactly how to get innocent people like you to fall into their trap and get you to help them move stolen money of possibly other people who get scammed by them just the way you are being scammed. I am sure you would not want yourself or anyone else to fall prey to these scammers. This is why it is better to educate yourself on how to stay clear of these scammers than to blindly fall prey to them.
How to get out of a Mule Scam?
Now that EzChargeback has helped you understand how these mule scams work and how you can protect yourself from them, it is also important to know what to do next if you have already fallen prey to these scams. The most important and the first thing you need to do is to stop transferring the money and to notify your bank, wire transfer service and the gift card companies involved as soon as possible. Lastly you need to report it to the FTC on the website ftc.gov/complaint.