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With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, money mule scams are on the rise. One in particular relates to unemployment benefits where people are getting caught up in the movement of illegal funds unknowingly. The article, “What’s a money mule scam?” from the Federal Trade Commission, explains what money mules scams are and how to protect yourself.
What is a money mule scam?
A money mule scam is where scammers send illegally earned money to a victim after they believe they either won a prize, stumbled upon a work from home opportunity, or met someone through online dating who needs monetary help. After the scammer sends the victim money through gift cards or wire transfers, they will ask them to send some of it to a “third party” and keep a portion for themselves. The third party is the scammer's account. When the victim deposits the money to the scammer’s account, the scammer is less likely to get caught with illegal funds, and the victim is left to deal with the consequences.
How to avoid money mule scams
What to do if you suspect you’re involved with a money mule scam