The caller, “Jordan Blake,” claimed to be with the U.S. Marshals Service and told B. Singh that his Social Security number had been used by someone in Texas who committed a string of crimes and was on the run.

The caller told Singh that law enforcement would come for Singh, unless he took some steps.

“I was frightened and did not wish to be caught up in any sort of criminal behavior,” Singh would later tell real law enforcement officers in a court filing. “’Jordan Blake’ then insisted that I send him money so that he could issue me a new Social Security number from a federal courthouse and mitigate any further concerns with the alleged identity theft. I complied with his instructions.”

Singh, a transportation company owner from California, sent cashier’s checks for nearly $60,000 to Tiburcio Bazaldua in San Antonio and $12,500 to another man in Indiana.

Court records show “Jordan Blake” was no marshal, but a cog in a nationwide scam that uses several layers and “money mules,” people who transfer or move illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else.

Money mules add layers of distance between crime victims and criminals, which makes it harder for law enforcement to accurately trace money trails. There are so many variations of the scam and has become so prevalent that law enforcement officials have alerted people that fraudsters are even spoofing real phone numbers of federal law…

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