Avoid being lured into a money mule scam

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)– Have you ever received a letter in the mail with a check asking you to deposit it to your personal bank account and send back some of the money via money order or a gift card? Have you applied for a job on-line or received notice that you’ve won a prize and are asked to pay an upfront fee?

Law enforcement calls these money mule scams and are only a few of the many ways being used to get access to your personal information and steal your money.

Whatever the story, they want to send you money, and then ask you to send it on to someone else. But most often, that money is stolen. And there never was a job, a prize, or a relationship, only a scam.

If you deposit a scammer’s check, it might clear. But later, when the bank finds out it’s a fake check, you’ll have to repay the bank. If you give them your account information, they may empty your account. And if you help a scammer move stolen money, even if you didn’t know it was stolen, you could get into legal trouble.

If you think you might be involved in a money mule or money transfer scam, stop transferring money. Notify your bank, the wire transfer service, or any gift card companies involved. Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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