a person using their mobile device to text

Don't become a Mule

March 9, 2021

white avoiding scams keyboard key

Do you know what a money mule is? It’s a person who helps criminals receive and move money obtained through fraud. This person might be aware that they are involved in criminal activity, but often they have no idea. They are being used by criminals to unwittingly assist in the movement of money.

Sometimes people become mules by responding to an ad or social media post that promises money in exchange for little effort. And sometimes a new acquaintance you’ve met online might ask you to receive or transfer money. These are red flags and could be an attempt to recruit you into illegal activity.

Think twice before you agree to help someone move money!

  • Don’t open a bank account or move money at someone else’s direction.
  • Don’t give anyone access to your bank account or debit card.
  • Don’t allow anyone you don’t know to deposit money into your account.
  • Don’t take a job that promises easy money or involves sending or receiving gift cards, money, or packages.
  • Don’t agree to purchase gift cards at someone else’s direction.
If you suspect you have been used as a money mule, follow these instructions:

  • Stop communicating with the person giving you direction.
  • Tell your financial institution and consider changing accounts.
  • Report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  • Protect yourself by learning about scams and money mule activity.
Money mules help criminals steal money from senior citizens, businesses, and our very own SMB customers.

For more information, visit the US Department of Justice website.