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Government Agency News ICE breaking news

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Over the past three months, special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) partnered with federal, state and local law enforcement officials operating in Arizona in a national campaign to disrupt networks used by foreign fraudsters who obtain proceeds through various schemes. The campaign addressed conduct by individuals sometimes referred to as “money mules” who serve fraudsters by receiving money from victims and forwarding proceeds to perpetrators, many of whom are based overseas.

“During the initiative, HSI and partnered agencies successfully identified a variety of fraud schemes used to exploit these individuals, including computer technical support scams, romance scams, lottery scams, Internal Revenue Service imposter scams, and employment scams,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown. “I want to thank everyone who participated in this targeted initiative — there is no doubt that our actions have a profound impact on those who were either unaware of their actions and those who proactively engaged in fraudulent activity. Law enforcement is monitoring closely in efforts to stop these financial schemes.”

In Arizona, law enforcement took approximately 52 disruption actions against those responsible for facilitating a range of fraud schemes, including romance and lottery schemes. During the same time period around the United States, law enforcement officials took over 4,000 disruption actions against such individuals.

In Arizona, law enforcement that took part in these disruption actions served warning letters on the money mules, notifying them that they were moving illicit proceeds and that their activities were facilitating fraud. Special agents with HSI and the U.S. attorney’s office, along with federal and state law enforcement partners, also conducted outreach events to raise public awareness about scams and how fraudsters recruit and use people to receive and transfer fraudulent proceeds.

The agencies involved in this effort urge consumers to be on the lookout for signs someone is trying to recruit them. They provide the following tips: Do not to agree to receive money or checks mailed to you or sent to your bank account for someone you have met over the phone or online. Do not open bank accounts or cryptocurrency accounts at someone else’s direction or request. Fraudsters will lie to persuade you to help them. They may tell you various lies to persuade you to help; for example, that they are helping you get a lottery prize; they want to initiate a purported romantic relationship; they need money for some type of fake emergency; they’re offering you a job, an opportunity to invest in a business venture, or the chance to help a charitable effort.

Information about the Department of Justice’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

ICE breaking news HSI Arizona joins law enforcement partners to disrupt networks facilitating fraud schemes Government Agency News