RSN™ Commentary: Stop Just Reading Headlines
How Many Of You Just Read The Post Headline?
The answer is most of you!
Not all to be sure. Many of you are interested in the substance of what is happening, but the majority of victims are looking for instant gratification that comes from stories of scammer arrests, or other actions to help you re-establish control in your life. So many victims just want to skim the information that would help them stay safe, instead of actually learning knowledge that they can use to help others as well.
We get 10 times the attention on a page of scammer photos than we do on an article about helping yourself recover from the scam. That is truly sad.
That Sounds Harsh And Insulting, Doesn’t It?
Over the last few years, we have interacted with hundreds of thousands of comments on our social media and websites, and one thing clearly stands out: how few victims actually read the information we present. We know they were there because they commented on a post or article, but they commented on what the HEADLINE said, and not on the article itself. Their comment clearly showed they did not understand the article since headlines many times are a small aspect of the story. Oh, and yes, we read every comment everywhere!
Consider What That Means In The Context Of Being A Scam Victim?
It means that victims are still being attracted to and make snap judgments from small bits of information instead of taking the time to explore and investigate thoroughly.
Isn’t that exactly what got them scammed in the first place?
A perfect example is a story we presented here on RSN about an Australian Woman who won an appeal to her prison sentence in Cambodia for drug mule charges. The comments were glowing, but since they did not read the story, it does not have a happy ending, since she is still in prison and facing a retrial. The headline was about winning, but the story is far from over – which the commenters would have known if they read it.
We see the exact same thing with the RSN™ Guides that we publish to help victims understand what happened to them and how to avoid them in the future. We know exactly how many people read them. This is especially true on Facebook since we can see who is liking and commenting compared to who clicks through to the article. This is not a rant, but a statement of caution.
Victims became scammed because of their lack of attention when they were initially contacted. Is that a fair statement?
We also know that most scam victims (statistically) are scammed more than once – of course, this is slightly unfair since some victims are scammed dozens of times. After a victim has been scammed once you would think that the lesson was learned and it would not happen again, right? Unfortunately not so.
There are many changes that a victim needs to make, many things a victim needs to learn to avoid scams in the future. We hear them say “Never Again” countless times yet they continue the same behaviors that brought them to the scam in the first time. Staying safe online is not a conviction to avoid scams alone, it is changing your behaviors to avoid them. A big part of that is taking the time to acquire knowledge and working on your habits – transforming habits from dangerous to safeguarding. Victims can skim information, but that is what scammers rely on – that you will not take the time to spot their flaws.
Our organization spends a vast amount of money creating content to help victims avoid scams in the future and recover from the ones they already experienced. This is a resource that is here right now for you to take advantage of. It costs you nothing but some of your time. Time that will be well spent since it helps you avoid losses in the future, helps you recover from the last scam, and help the people in your life to avoid scams as well. Isn’t that worth a few minutes of your time?
If it really isn’t please tell us and we can shut down right now and stop wasting money on what is of little value.
As a victim, you have to understand that your habits and behaviors led you to being scammed in the first place. You have to change because the scammers will not go away. The scammers are there waiting for you to make another mistake and let them in. You may think you know their ways, but there are hundreds of different kinds of scams out there waiting for you and the only thing that will stop them is the knowledge you need and the changes to your habits. You have to learn and defend yourself, and the way you do that is with knowledge, pure and simple.
Maybe you read this commentary, maybe you only read the headline. We will continue to help those that make the effort to help themselves. To the headline skimmers, feel free to see us after then next tie you fall for a scam!
RSN™ Managing Director
a division of the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS]
Miami Florida U.S.A.
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Tell us about your experiences with Romance Scammers in our Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »
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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:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBI (www.IC3.gov)
- The Scars Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on www.Anyscam.com
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 RSN Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: www.facebook.com/RSN.Main.News.And.Information.Home.Page
To learn more about SCARS visit www.AgainstRomanceScams.org
Please be sure to report all scammers HERE or on www.Anyscam.com
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