Money Mule Scheme Targets Teenagers and Young Adults
A disturbing new method of profiting from online child sexual abuse material is using teenagers and young adults as money mules. A money mule is someone who wittingly or unwittingly transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another person.
In this scheme, teenagers and young adults are being recruited on social media and online gaming platforms by producers of child sexual abuse material. The perpetrators are posing as IT service or gaming upgrade companies. The fake companies ask the individuals to accept payments from the company’s customers through digital payment platforms. In return, the individuals can keep a percentage of the money. They are then instructed to change the remainder of the payment into cryptocurrency and send it on to the company. What these criminals are really selling to their customers are links to child sexual abuse material.
FBI Omaha is asking parents and caregivers to warn their teenagers and young adults in their lives about this illegal money mule scheme. Those who have been targeted may have received an unsolicited email or contact over social media promising easy money for little to no effort. If they have received such a solicitation, they should not respond to it and should not click on any links it contains.
If you believe your child is participating in a money mule scheme, they should stop transferring money immediately and call FBI Omaha at 402-493-8688.