What is a Money Mule scam?
BEWARE: Don't get tricked into becoming a Money Mule! If someone sends you money and then asks you to send it to someone else, STOP. You could be what some call a "money mule" — a person scammers use to transfer stolen money by getting you to buy gift cards, wire money or withdraw cash from your personal account.
Scammers might recruit you through online job ads, prize offers, or dating websites. Or, they may ask you to do it as a “favor” for a distant relative or acquaintance.
They don’t tell you the money is stolen, and they are lying about the reason to send it. If you share your account information with them, they may misuse it and you could get into legal trouble.
How to Avoid a Money Mule Scam
- Never use your own bank account, or open one in your name, to transfer money for an employer.
- Never pay to collect a prize or move any money out of your “winnings.”
- Never send money to an online love interest, even if he or she sends you a check first.