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Money Mule Scams

If someone sends you money and asks you to send it to someone else, STOP. You could unknowingly be what some people call a money mule — someone scammers use to transfer and launder stolen money. Scammers often ask you to buy gift cards or wire money. They might recruit you through online job ads, prize offers, or dating websites.

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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID MONEY MULE SCAMS

  1. Never use your own bank account, or open one in your name, to transfer money for an employer.
  2. Never pay to collect a prize or move any money out of your “winnings.”
  3. Never send money to an online love interest, even if he or she sends you a check first.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SPOT A SCAM

  • Break off contacts with the scammers and stop moving money for them.
  • Tell your bank and the wire transfer or gift card company — right away.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

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