‘Money mule’ scams target unsuspecting victims in Mississauga, Brampton

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Published March 13, 2024 at 10:02 am

Money mule scams in Mississauga.

A scam that seeks to turn people into online “money mules” to help organized crime is once again on the radar of police in Mississauga and Brampton.

In ongoing efforts to keep residents informed of the latest frauds that seek to take people’s money, and potentially get otherwise innocent victims caught up in criminal acts, Peel Regional Police took to social media this week to alert the public to a prevalent fraud scheme.

Fraud investigators in Peel say the “money mule” scam is one fraud in particular people should know about.

According to police, “a money mule is someone who transfers illegally obtained money between different accounts, while earning a commission on the money they move.”

In their post to X (formerly Twitter), police also urge people to “be cautious of job scams, romance scams and advance fee frauds. Stay vigilant. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Fraud investigators with Peel police said in earlier public warnings that if “you are moving funds/money around for someone you haven’t met, chances are you’re being used as a ‘money mule’ and assisting organized crime. Being in possession of funds illegally obtained is a crime.”

To avoid being victimized, police suggest people:

  • do not engage with any online posts offering large sums of money
  • do not let anyone else transfer money through your bank account
  • do not accept message requests from people you don’t know
  • do not share bank and personal details with anyone you don’t know or trust, even among friends or family

For those who do fall victim to this or any other scam, police say they can still take steps to protect themselves and their money. But they need to take immediate action, police add, in order to prevent or minimize any losses.

While police are constantly fighting scammers and alerting residents to the latest frauds year-round, they’ve stepped up their efforts in March, which is Canadian Fraud Prevention Month. It’s an annual campaign that seeks to help people recognize, reject and report fraud.

Earlier this month, Peel police warned the public to be aware of fraudsters using tactics that are “more convincing than ever” as they look to scam people out of their money during tax season.

Anyone with information on frauds is asked to call police at 905-453–2121, ext. 3335, or Peel Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Police encourage people to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or Peel Regional Police websites for more information and tips on how to avoid being victimized.

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