Don't Be a Victim of Coronavirus-related Scams
This page contains important resources to help you, the American consumer, avoid being taken advantage of by criminals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Money Laundering: Don’t Be a Money Mule
Criminals are using the unprecedented national response to the coronavirus pandemic as an opportune moment to further their criminal behavior. To avoid being detected by law enforcement, criminals use money laundering techniques to conceal the identity, source, and destination of illicitly obtained money. Criminals often prey on unsuspecting individuals by creating elaborate stories to assume false identities to gain your trust by pretending to be an entrepreneur or a bachelor looking for romance.
“Money Mules” are individuals who transfer illegally obtained money on behalf of others using bank accounts, wire transfers, money orders, or checks.
The United States Secret Service, we would like to remind you to protect yourself and the nation:
- Never respond to an offer to earn quick and easy money.
- Never agree to receive and send money on behalf of others.
- Never share your bank account or personally identifiable information - PII.
- Never open a joint account with anyone other than close family.
Contact law enforcement or your local Secret Service Field Office if you suspect you were approached to become a money mule, or you have unknowingly become one. Money laundering is a crime, and so is being a money mule.
For more information read: Don’t Be a Mule
Know Your U.S. Treasury Check
Our "Know Your U.S. Treasury Check" campaign contains information that consumers and financial institutions can use to identify counterfeit U.S Treasury checks by knowing what to look for and where to look.
To report a COVID-19 related scam, please contact your local Secret Service Field Office.