They say if a deal sounds too good to be true, it likely isn’t such a good deal after all. Yet, people still find themselves entangled in scams and criminal enterprises because they fall for get-rich-quick schemes.
While falling for a scam might leave you vulnerable to exploitation by bad actors, there is another kind of scam that could lead to serious felony charges.
Don’t be a money mule for others
You likely are wondering, “What is a money mule? According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), money mules are people who engage in a form of money laundering wherein they pass “dirty” money acquired through illegal enterprises like drug sales or human trafficking through their bank accounts. This legitimizes the money generated from criminal activities.
3 types of money mules
The FBI considers the below three categories when pursuing someone on charges of muling money:
- Unwitting mules – These people are unaware of the illegality of their actions when they transfer money in and out of their bank accounts for others. Sometimes, these scams arise from lonely people seeking partners. But these love interests are merely trying to find naïve marks to further their schemes. Other unwitting mules may apply for jobs and be told transferring money is part of their job description, so they comply.
- Witting mules – These types of money mules may originally have begun as unwitting participants. However, over time they either became aware of the circumstances or willfully ignored multiple red flags or warnings that their actions were fraudulent.
- Complicit mules – This third group of money mules is not only fully aware that their activities are illegal, but they may also be involved in the recruitment of others. Some even openly advertise that they are willing to launder money for criminal groups and individuals.
What to do if you face charges for muling money
Immediately stop all criminal activity related to laundering money. Whether you have been arrested yet or not, you will need to begin building a strong defense against the bank fraud charges you face.