International scammers are becoming more brazen by sending in-person couriers – also known as mules – to people’s homes in an attempt to trick victims out of their money.

In an alert this week, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported an uptick from May to December of 2023 in a scam, which instructs victims to liquidate their assets. Unsuspecting people are usually instructed to convert their assets to cash, or gold, silver and other precious metals, as a supposed safe way to protect their funds. The scam, often targeting senior citizens, has led to losses of over $55 million, the agency said.

What is new about this scam?

The escalation and change to in-person tactics for scammers, who usually “hide behind the veil of the Internet” or remote countries, is what is different about the latest scheme, said Chris Pierson, CEO of BlackCloak, an Orlando, Florida-based cybersecurity firm.