Criminals are using the unprecedented national response to the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity 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.
Here are a few ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim:
- 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