The following is the text of a bulletin from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
Increasingly, fraud networks are recruiting unsuspecting fraud victims to receive and transfer money from other victims. When this happens, the victim becomes a money mule.
What is a Money Mule?
A money mule is an individual who is recruited by fraudsters to serve as a middle person to transfer stolen money. The mule may, or may not, be aware that they are a pawn in a larger network. When a mule moves money, it becomes harder to identify the fraudsters from the victims.
The money is often transferred using bank wire transfers, email money transfers, through money services businesses and virtual currencies. Typically, mules get paid for their services; receiving a small percentage of the money transferred. Money laundering is a crime.
Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself
Fraudsters use several methods to recruit potential Money Mules:
If you receive funds for any reason from an unknown individual or company, and you are asked to forward it elsewhere – DON’T!