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May 15, 2024

CFTC Warns Public of ‘Money Mule’ Scams Involving Crypto Disguised As Work-From-Home Opportunities

By Conor Devitt

Students and job seekers should be wary of a specific type of crypto scam falsely promising work-from-home opportunities, warns the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“Money mule” scams involve criminals tricking people into sending and receiving money into their bank accounts, digital wallets, or spot-market crypto trading accounts as part of their supposed job responsibilities.


Melanie Devoe, director of the CFTC’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach (OCEO), warns that even unwitting participants in money laundering can be charged criminally.

“Young people looking for summer jobs may be just looking for part-time income and could be attracted to offers that require being online a few hours a day. Unfortunately, they could become unwitting accomplices to money laundering or what the criminals call ‘money mules,’ and that association could land them in jail.”

The CFTC notes that victims might be directed to use Bitcoin (BTC) kiosks or other on-ramps to move cash into digital assets on a blockchain. They might also receive a large payment to a single crypto wallet and then be directed to split that payment and send it in smaller portions to a list of other addresses.

The regulator also warns the public to look out for “pig butchering” romance scams.


In a pig butchering scam, bad actors form a relationship with a victim online to gain their trust and convince the victim to invest in cryptocurrency platforms that the scammers control. Once the victim has invested a significant amount of money, the con artist disappears with the funds.

The fraudsters refer to their victims as “pigs” because they use elaborate storylines to “fatten up” the victim into believing they are in a close relationship.

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