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Beware of money laundering schemes in East Texas

A multi-million money laundering network that involves crypto-currency was busted by federal authorities, in an operation that was initiated right here in East Texas

TYLER, Texas — 21 people were arrested in relation to a money laundering network. Federal authorities say the fraudsters use cryptocurrency to steal from their victims.

"An investigation targeting cryptocurrency money laundering networks that facilitate the movement of fraud proceeds from victims here in the United States to transnational organized crime groups," said William Smarr, Special Agent in Charge for Dallas Field Office.

According to the FBI, the United States remains the most targeted country for fraud schemes.

"We're able to disrupt more than 300 million in annual money laundering transactions, seize millions of dollars in cryptocurrency and cash and identify thousands of victims," Smarr said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said most of the victims are less tech-savvy. Authorities say you can protect a loved one by explaining to them how these schemes work. 

Scammers can gain access to you through social media, email and even phone numbers by using multiple fraud schemes. If someone is urging you to send money or asking you to make questionable financial deposits, their likely trying to steal your money.

"This is a very common thing that we deal with almost very regularly on a daily basis here in Tyler," said William Mack, Resident Agent in Charge of Tyler Resident Office.

And while online thieves are targeting you—work is happening every day in east Texas, target them.

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