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Be Wary of Work-From-Home Scams that Can Lead to Federal Charges

Posted by Posted on in Federal Crimes

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Working from home and online jobs are more popular than ever. Unfortunately, many scammers are taking advantage of this situation by offering seemingly legitimate jobs that are actually money laundering schemes. The FBI and BBB have warned of these scams and explained to job-seekers that getting caught up in these scams can even lead to federal charges.

Moving Money or Packages for a Third Party May Lead to Money Laundering Changes

Many people are looking for jobs they can complete from the comfort of their own home or car. Unfortunately, not all job listings are from legitimate employers. One common scam involves inspecting and delivering packages. The individual is asked to receive packages and then re-label the packages and ship them elsewhere. What the package inspector may not know is that the packages were purchased using stolen credit card information and they are simply a middleman in an illegal scheme. Anyone participating in a scam like this could face criminal charges for money laundering or conspiracy.

People may also become involved in an illegal scheme by transferring funds from one account to another. So called “money mules” are used to launder profits from illegal activities like drug trafficking. The money mule may be asked to move funds via cryptocurrency, wire transfer, prepaid debit cards, cashier’s checks, or other means. The purpose of the transfer is to muddle the path of the funds and make it harder for police to understand where money is coming from. Being a money mule can lead to criminal charges for bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.

Signs a Work-From-Home Job May Be an Illegal Scam

Illegal scams present themselves as legal jobs to unsuspecting job seekers. However, there are usually a few red flags that should raise alarm. Some signs that a job may actually be an illegal scam include:

  • The job seems too good to be true and involves little effort on your part

  • The “employer” does not have an official company email address or phone number

  • You are required to open a bank account for the job

  • You are required to receive money and then transfer the money to another party through a wire transfer or other method

  • You cannot find information about the employer online

  • You were recruited for the job through a dating app or other unusual method

Contact a Chicago Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges after being involved in a money laundering or money mule scheme, you may be facing significant jail time and other penalties. Our Illinois federal crimes defense lawyer can help you defend yourself. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/crime/fbi-work-from-home-scam/67-59e65cd5-b965-484e-a035-5aa0d1b59439

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/money-mules

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