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The fraudster, acting as a predator, will attempt to cultivate a relationship with the victim based on lies.Schemes that target unknowing participants are typically focused on employment and relationship scams.A money mule is a person who receives and transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of others.Unknowing mules are likely recruited through online job advertisements and spam email.In some cases the scammers may be the one to create a profile on a dating site and wait for a potential victim to contact them.Typically, the profile will include a photograph of a very attractive young woman who will have no trouble attracting would-be suitors.Mules are also often instructed to make transfers to the third parties via a money-service business, such as Western Union.Occasionally, mules will deliver cash in person to representatives of the crime group.
There are a number of variations on the same basic scam.In some variations of the scam, the fraudsters may not ask for money directly.Instead, they may ask their victim to cash money orders or cheques and wire them the proceeds.The money orders or cheques will turn out to be fake or stolen and the victim will be left out of pocket and possibly held responsible for receiving stolen funds.The scammers may also try to trick victims into revealing sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
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If you begin corresponding with a person with a view to a possible romantic relationship, remain cautious even if the relationship seems to be progressing very well.