SCARS|RSN™ Insight: Are Scams Manslaughter or Murder? The SCARS Doctrine

/SCARS|RSN™ Insight: Are Scams Manslaughter or Murder? The SCARS Doctrine

SCARS|RSN™ Insight: Are Scams Manslaughter or Murder? The SCARS Doctrine

SCARS|RSN™ Insight: Are Scams Manslaughter or Murder?

Our data suggest that 10 to 15 people commit suicide every day resulting from Romance Scams!

Let us ask you a question?

In most developed countries, if someone dies during a crime it is murder or at least manslaughter!

A death that occurs during the commission or attempted commission of any felony constitutes murder” is the classic definition of the felony murder doctrine. This doctrine has been roundly criticized and narrowed by commentators and legislators, yet it still exists in some form or other in nearly all U.S. states and most developed countries. Modern statutes make it first-degree murder when the death occurs during very serious, specified felonies, such as rape, robbery, burglary, and arson. Deaths occurring during the commission of all other felonies become second-degree murder.

Unintentional Death

The rule applies whether the felon kills intentionally, recklessly, or even accidentally; and even when the death was unforeseeable. For example, a robber whose gun discharges by mistake, killing a bystander, can be charged with felony murder. And, a killing by a codefendant can be attributed to the defendant, as when one of two robbers kills a victim, then is himself killed– the surviving partner can be charged with felony murder.

As these examples illustrate, a perpetrator can end-up charged with murder in the most attenuated circumstances. The problem here is that normally, first-degree murder requires that the prosecutor prove that the defendant intended the death and had a state of mind called “malice.” Broadly speaking, malice is evidence of a “depraved heart,” or an evil state of mind. Prosecutors get around the malice requirement by arguing that the intention that propelled the underlying felony constituted “implied malice.”

The Rationale Behind the Felony Murder Rule

Several theories attempt to justify the felony murder rule, though they find little support in legal scholarship. The most common one is to claim that the felony murder rule deters crime. This theory argues that if would-be felons realized that they’ll face murder charges if an accidental death happens during the offense, these folks will re-think their crime plans (or at least commit their offenses more carefully). The trouble is, reason doesn’t support this argument (how does one deter an unintended act?). And, no empirical data supports this argument.

Limits on the Rule: All Felonies?

As noted earlier, modern laws differentiate between inherently dangerous, serious felonies, and all others. First-degree murder applies to deaths occurring in the former group, second-degree to those in the latter.

Some courts identify “inherently dangerous” crimes by analyzing them in the abstract, and asking whether by their very nature, there’s a substantial likelihood that a killing will result. Other courts examine the facts of the individual cases before them, and decide on a case-by-case basis whether, given the circumstances and the defendant’s conduct, the death should be considered first- or second-degree murder.

The above is courtesy of

We presented the above because we now believe that deaths ARE occurring as a direct result of Romance and other forms of Online Fraud. But specifically in the case of Romance Scams.

In a recent landmark case: A young Massachusetts girlfriend of a boy that committed suicide was convicted of driving her boyfriend to commit suicide – by texting him to “get back in” his carbon monoxide-filled car – was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. This was a form of socially engineered manipulation. Read about it here:

So then the question is: if romance scam victims commit suicide directly resulting from the manipulation, humiliation, and financial loss caused by the romance scam (which is a felony) then should not the scammer also be charged with Felony Murder – at least 2nd Degree?

This hypothesis presents a unique and interesting opportunity to change the nature of attention to romance scams.

This would result in changing it from strictly a financial crime, to a crime of violence that does result in deaths.

Currently, lawmakers, governments, and law enforcement view romance scams as a minor crime resulting in financial loss. As any victim could tell you, this is violence!

However, if we can directly connect the act of engineered manipulation, just as int he case of the girlfriend above, to the death of a victim – even at their own hands – then it will radically change the nature and perception of these crimes.

It can also be done at the local state level too, which makes it vastly easier to enact.

Additionally, murder is a crime that almost all countries will extradite a suspect for. Meaning that even though Africa does not really care about scams, there are extradition treaties in place for crimes such as murder.

We will be exploring this further with our own legal team and our network of legal scholars. But we would like to hear from you about your thoughts and willingness to take the matter up with your elected representatives. We believe this “SCARS Doctrine” concept can forever change the way romance scams are viewed and enforced.

Please share your thoughts on this, and if there are any attorneys reading this, please speak up or contact us directly at

Copyright © 2018 Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS]

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated


A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.


TAGS: , , , , , , , The SCARS Doctrine

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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI (
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.

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Visit our NEW Main SCARS|RSN Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime:


To learn more about SCARS visit

Please be sure to report all scammers HERE or on

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SCARS|RSN, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support Group, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.

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SCARS/RSN™™™ is the official News Magazine of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams™ Incorporated [SCARS]™ It is edited and published by the SCARS/RSN Team, a division of SCARS. SCARS is the world's leading anti-scam charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization, based in Miami Florida U.S.A. Its founder has been involved in combating online fraud since 1991. SCARS™ - the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. is a charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to advocating victim's causes and changing government and law enforcement attitudes toward online fraud for good! Please join us in becoming a member of SCARS - it's free! Add your voice so that the world will listen at last - just go to The SCARS/RSN website and all of our publications (including social media) are maintained by our own staff employees and volunteers to provide you the most up to date information about scams & scammers from around the world. We show you how to avoid them or recover from them. SCARS is the only registered online crime victims' assistance & support organization in the world. Be sure to report scammers here. Also, visit our main Facebook page for more information about romance scams.

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  1. Tammy Truesdale March 14, 2018 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Yes, this is on point. The devastation of a fake romance and left with financial ruins nearly kill me. The lost, confusion and disappointment with their criminal intentions is attempted murder in my view. I strongly believe their scams is designed this way because they are that evil. Here in America we have a high increase of a suicide rate lately and yet it has not been properly study why for the sudden increase. Before our justice system imprison it’s own victim citizens for what they didn’t know nor understood of their behavior acts and reactions being scammed needs to change desperately. The second or third thing run through my mind was worrying did I broke any federal laws. For someone that always been a citizen that upholds the law and now realize that they allow themselves unwillingly to get involved with criminals is a frightening situation. When you lose everything the last thing one wants to lose is their freedom too. So much shame and embarrassment along with the painful fake memories that was never had to survive through. These scammers and fraudsters needs to be changed with murder in the first degree if they cause any victims to take their own life. These criminals are cold hearted without a living soul. Finally, absolutely mental health in this country is leaking for victims. Not enough providers nor fast enough to save lives. The waiting list is about 6 months to a year; I guess depending on which state you live in. If you’re lucky enough in getting services through the justice system is short terms about 3to6 months. Once a week or biweekly for about45 minutes. Really, is this the best American can do? It’s critical for survivors like myself to get involve and help other victims and help prevent and educate others for falling for scammers and fraudsters. It’s so true when your say” there’s light at the end of the tunnel”. I agree 100% it’s my responsibility to help others from becoming the next victim. That’s why it’s taking me some time because I still working out so issues that I still have with myself. I’ve given up on love and trying to work over 80 hours a week. Talk about avoidance and denial; its still all me, myself and I. It’s easier this way to fill the emptiness and loneliness in my life. The good news is I’m working on it and aware of where my mind and heart is.

  2. Rena March 14, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    For me they are guilty. They are just interested in money. They destroy people without any thought about what happens to their victims. If there is any way to get them they should be punished like murders

  3. Jacinta hyland March 14, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

    I have to agree that anyone who has been pushed to their limits financially and emotionally and it ends in them taking their own lives, absolutely the mongrel/s should pay for their crimes. Always a paper trail should be accessible!! The MESSAGE of do not give these people the time of day or money is NOT getting to everyone.
    A multi media like “ELLEN” etc needs to be used to deliver this message!!!
    I am devastated to learn people have taken their lives.
    I am so over NOT being able to enjoy my friends time on the internet as I’m to busy blocking them.
    Stay strong everyone, the more we block them, the more we piss them off and it makes us all stronger against them. REPORT&BLOCK

  4. Brigitte Röhrig March 14, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Ich glaube ich bin auch einen Scammer auf den laim gegangen. Ich schreibe mit ihm seit einem Jahr und wir telefonieren auch zusammen. Ich habe mich überreden lassen ein paar Nacktfotos von mir zu schicken und jetzt verlangt er von Zeit zu Zeit Geld von mir sonst will er die Fotos in alle Netze sowie zu meinen Kindern schicken. Anfangs sagte er für ein Flugticket doch es kommt immer etwas dazwischen so das er nicht kommen kann. Und das schlimme ist das ich ihn Liebe.

    • Romance Scams Now Editorial Team March 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Brigitte, you do understand that you are being scammed, right?

    • Moni March 17, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Wenn du diesem Arsch weiterhin dein Geld sendest,wirst du bald nichts mehr haben. Er erzählt Dir irgendwas von liebe. Aber es ist nur ihre Masche. Du solltest dir wirklich Gedanken darüber machen, das Du nur betrogen wirst.

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