Are you a mule?
Wikipedia defines a mule as the offspring of a horse and a donkey. The advantages of mules are that they are easily bred, inexpensive to maintain, and are strong, hardworking pack animals of even temperament and disposition. They’ll do the hard work of a donkey without the usual stubbornness or argument.
Scammers love mules. A scam mule is the offspring of a law abiding but naïve citizen of a western or affluent society and an African criminal. They do the grunt work of the scam without complaint, for little or no compensation. They’re also regarded as disposable by the scammers. They’re usually the one that law enforcement finds first and take the brunt of scamming consequences because the scammer is insulated by his anonymity and corrupt society where he remains hidden.
What scam mules do:
1. They print and mail fake checks to victims – usually thinking they are managing the scammer’s payroll.
2. They forward and reship stolen merchandise to the scammers.
3. They cash checks and send cash to the scammer.
4. They accept funds the scammer has scammed out of other victims and resend funds to the scammer.
5. They open bank accounts for scammers.
6. They allow scammers to use their own accounts.
7. They call victims to vouch for the scammer as if they know them personally.
8. They allow the scammer to use their address, phone number and other personal information.
. . . and much, much more.
Usually a mule is not aware that they are being used. Often when they discover they have been used, it’s by law enforcement arresting them for various charges relating to their individual offenses. Judges are rarely sympathetic and we’ve heard of mules even serving time in jail. They’re almost always held financially accountable. They are the end of the paper trail of the scam.
If you have been asked by your online contact to do anything from above, even if you were given a very realistic, legitimate reason, you are being used as a mule. Never do anything from above for somebody you've only met online, no matter how they explain it. You can get into serious legal trouble.
If you have been used as a mule, our advice is that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible.