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Unknowing mules are likely recruited through online job advertisements and spam email.
Job titles may include, but are not limited to, “mystery shopper,” “payment processing agent” or “money transfer agent.” Mules may also be recruited through romance and lottery scams.
The recent economic recession and high unemployment rate have provided a large population of long-term unemployed people who are vulnerable to this type of scam.
They are then instructed to electronically transfer funds to a third party, often in another country.
Mules are also often instructed to make transfers to the third parties via a money-service business, such as Western Union.
Even though the job offers will seem suspicious to many, those who feel they don’t have anything to lose will give it a try.
Unfortunately for them, most mules are only used once and will never see a commission.