Beware of the financial mule, this check scam that is rampant on social networks

This may seem obvious to some, but if a stranger on the Internet asks you to cash a check for them, it’s probably a scam. Well known to bankers, this scheme called “the financial mule” consists of making the victim believe that they will receive profits by agreeing to provide this small service. Of course, it is still a fake check.


You may not have used a check in a while. Between the proliferation of digital payment methods and, above all, the risks of scams that are too great for merchants, this little piece of paper has been falling into disuse for several years. Which does not prevent scams from persisting. And as is often the case, it is on social networks that hackers are most active.

The financial mule technique continues to claim victims every year. The principle is as simple as it is formidable. The scammer offers his target to cash a check in his place, for reasons as diverse as varied: payment for a professional service, any impediment or, even better, assurance of a benefit for the victim. In most cases though, it doesn’t take long for things to go wrong.

Don’t cash these checks that disguise a financial mule

In most cases, the fraudster contacts his victim again shortly after cashing the check to tell him bad news: the amount sent is greater than expected and part of the amount must now be returned to rebalance the balance. accounts. If the victim complies, it is unfortunately too late. She will realize some time later that the cashed check is a fake, a simple pretext to make her send a transfer to the sponsor.

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Just as you should never click on a link that seems suspicious to you, never agree to cash a check from a stranger on the web. For professionals, also stay on your guard against customers who claim to have made too large a transfer. If in doubt, always wait a few days before returning the surplus, to check that the amount does not suddenly disappear from your account.

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