Increasingly, recruiters and operators of walkers advertise their mules on underground Telegram channels. There, criminals can seek out walkers of certain genders, ages, and ethnicities. A CNBC report called messaging platforms a "one-stop shop" for check fraud mules.
Criminals typically pay a flat fee of $200-300 to retain the services of a walker. In most cases, the perpetrators do not interface directly with the walker themselves. Instead, they interact directly with a walker operator who oversees the deposit attempts.
Operators aim to make their walkers look like legitimate customers to avoid any hassle at a branch. They obtain fake IDs matching the owners of beneficiary account(s). They often make an effort to dress their walkers well and even groom them at hair salons so as not to raise red flags.
Walkers are hired only to make the deposit in person at a branch. The criminal who hires the services of a walker must already possess a beneficiary (mule) account and stolen or forged checks ready for deposit. Some walker services are quite organized, requiring advanced reservations and keeping tight schedules for their “walks.”