FBI warns public about money schemes amid COVID-19 pandemic

"Protect yourself by refusing to send or receive money on behalf of individuals and businesses for which you are not personally or professionally responsible."

FBI warns public about money schemes amid COVID-19 pandemic
Money mules are often targeted through online job schemes or dating websites.

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The FBI is warning the public about possible money mule schemes exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the bureau, fraudsters are stealing money and accessing personal and financial information by targeting people through online job schemes and dating websites, but there are ways to identify possible fraud.

The FBI said scammers often use web-based services like Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook to request information.

If you are being asked to receive funds into your personal bank account via wire transfer, or if you’re being asked to open up a personal bank account for the business, it’s most likely you’re dealing with online fraud.

“Watch out for emails, private message and phone calls from individuals you do not know who claim to be located abroad and in need of your financial support,” the FBI said in a news release.

Common fictitious individuals committing fraud include those claiming to be U.S service members, citizens working abroad, or citizens quarantined abroad.

If you believe you or someone you know has been solicited to be a money mule, contact your local FBI field office. You can also report suspicious activity by visiting ic3.gov.

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