Home » IRS Criminal Investigation Atlanta Field Office warns US taxpayers to protect themselves from money mule scheme

IRS Criminal Investigation Atlanta Field Office warns US taxpayers to protect themselves from money mule scheme

by Minden Press-Herald

During the annual, multiweek Money Mule initiative, which takes place in March, the IRS Criminal Investigation Atlanta Field Office is bringing attention to a crime many people may not be aware they are committing.

Criminal enterprises rely on networks of people to move illicit funds between bank accounts, currencies and blockchains to evade law enforcement. The money mule networks recruit participants through a variety of means, including social media, employment and dating websites, email spam, classified ads, and dark web forums.

“In many cases, the people used to move the funds are unaware they are committing a crime,” said Acting Special Agent In Charge, Demetrius Hardeman, IRS:CI Atlanta Field Office. “It is important that individuals protect themselves from being tricked into committing crimes by knowing the signs of a money mule scheme.”

Signs that a person is being solicited for a money mule scheme include:

  • Receiving an unsolicited email or social media message that promises easy money for little to no effort.
  • A prospective or current employer asks you to open a bank account to receive and transfer money on their behalf.
  • As an employee, you are asked to receive funds in your bank account and then transfer those funds via wire transfer, a money services business, or the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Your online companion asks you to receive money and then forward those funds to an individual you don’t know.

Criminals engaging in a money mule scheme may strike up an online relationship and then ask their romantic partner to transfer funds on their behalf using money services businesses, wire transfers or the U.S. Postal Service. At times, the mule may be told to keep a portion of the funds for themselves, making them a recipient of illicit money.

If you or someone you know believes they are part of a money mule network, immediately stop all communication with suspected criminals. Do not transfer money or any other items of value. Maintain receipts, contact information and relevant communication like emails, chats, and text messages. Notify your local CI field office and report suspicious activity to www.ic3.gov. Contact information the IRS:CI Atlanta Field Office at [email protected]. The field office covers the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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