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US Law Enforcement Tackles Fraud and Money Mule Operations in Global Campaign


May 23, 2023

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US Law Enforcement Tackles Fraud and Money Mule Operations in Global Campaign

US law enforcement has taken over 4,000 legal actions against suspects accused of fraudulent schemes against consumers, including lottery, romance and tech support scams.

The crackdown on a range of fraudulent activities was announced after a three-month campaign coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, the FBI and the Postal Inspection Service, alongside various other US agencies.

According to a press release, the DOJ emphasized the importance of anti-fraud campaigns to tackle illicit activity and disrupt money mule networks globally.

On its mission to thwart schemes targeting consumers, the law enforcement agency said it will “punish” those who willingly assist in defrauding other individuals, and it aims to raise awareness of how easily consumers can become a pawn and unknowingly aid criminals.

During their efforts to tackle money-transmitting networks, the agencies were able to track down 25 people who were criminally charged with laundering fraud proceeds, thus impeding the abilities of fraudsters to receive illicit funds.

“Anyone can be approached to be a money mule, but criminals often target students, those looking for work, and those on dating websites,” said Eric Shen, Inspector in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Group. “When those individuals use the U.S. Mail to send or receive funds from fraudsters, Postal Inspectors are quick to step in and put a stop to money mule activities.”

As part of their education campaign, the agencies urge consumers to:

· Be on the lookout for any “recruiter” who may contact them to help transmit proceeds of fraud

· Stop any communication with individuals you meet online who ask you to receive money or checks and send them to someone else’s account

· Never open bank accounts or cryptocurrency accounts on behalf of people who contact you via social media, phone or other online methods

“They may falsely tell you that they are helping you get a lottery prize, initiate a purported romantic relationship and then tell you that they need money, or pretend to offer you a job, an opportunity to invest in a business venture, or the chance to help in a charitable effort,” the DOJ explained.

Individuals who willingly or unwillingly participate in money laundering schemes can face prosecution and other legal issues, or even become victims of identity theft, as criminals can collect and use their personal information to circumvent law enforcement.

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Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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