SCAMMER URBAN LEGENDS – Chapters 3 – It’s All About The Scammers

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SCAMMER URBAN LEGENDS – Chapters 3 – It’s All About The Scammers

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– Chapters 3 – It’s All About The Scammers

Originally published December 2017, updated September 2018

This article is about posting scammers – exposing them online. This is not the shame as reporting them. Reporting scammers is essential and it is making a differrence, here we are talking about posting photos online to shame or expose the scammers!

Posting Scammer Photos

One of the things you notice immediately with most “anti-scam” groups on Facebook or on their websites is how they post an endless stream of fake scammer photos, fake names, and fake profiles.

Why Do They Do That?

They do it (at least in part) because they believe it is the way to “EXPOSE SCAMMERS”

Every victim will tell you, that they want to “EXPOSE SCAMMERS”

Exposing Scammers Will Stop Scamming

Just ask any of these anti-scam groups or most victims.

Except for one little problem.

It Will Not Stop Scamming

In simple point of FACT, it has done almost NOTHING to stop scamming.

Countless groups have been using this “steamroller” approach to fight scams for more than a decade. We ourselves tried it for several years. It was just the thing everyone did, so it must work, right?

Except It Did Almost Nothing

Scamming has increased year over year since 1990 when online scamming became a thing. In fact in the period from 2008 through 2016, online fraud doubled EVERY YEAR!

What Is The “Stated” Purpose Behind Showing These Endless Faces?

The idea is a simple one. By displaying all of these fake faces, people will see them and not be scammed. Make sense?

No, It Doesn’t Because No One Sees Them Until It Is Too Late

People who are not yet a victim never look at these.

Because people do not believe they will ever be victims before they are victims, and are not paying attention to these before they get scammed. People only look for scammer information and at these displays AFTER they become a victim. You are only reading this article because you are already a victim or came close to it or have a friend or family member who is.

Is There Any Value?

Yes, there is but it is limited.

The first real value comes from being found in Google or Facebook searches. Meaning that if you are already a victim or at least suspect you are dealing with a scammer, these can help you confirm it – confirm that you are.

The second is more important than confirmation, and that is the disruption it causes. Meaning that by exposing them then reporting them, particularly to Facebook you can disrupt the scammer’s communication with their victims. This gives a number of victims a pause to consider what they are doing and hopefully wise up. But is Facebook scams are about 35% of the total of romance scams, and Facebook only takes down a few thousand a week, it is a small effort. However, it is worth it if it can save even a single victim.

The third is that there may be a therapeutic value in that reporting or exposing scammers gives them some small measure of control after they lost all control. However, this can also increase rage and hatred for scammers with negates any beneficial effect. It needs to be done in such a way as to provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment without the hate. We operate a group on Facebook specifically for this purpose: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RSN.Army/

They serve no other purpose for the victims other than these three.

The fact is that scammers create millions of fake identities a year – currently, over ONE BILLION fake identities are online. Far more than anyone can comprehensively catalog or report. Even with the thousands of reports SCARS/RSN gets a month, it is still just a drop in the bucket.

In a major way, it works against victims, because the scammers used to keep identities longer. Now they throw them away much more quickly. In fact, the large scammer organizations have whole departments dedicated to creating fake identities in quantity.

Why Does Almost Every Anti-Scam Group Do It Then?

Two simple reasons.

  1. They are not professionals in any form of law enforcement, nor have either forensic or criminalistics experience. They are also not psychological professionals, with any experience in crime victim counseling or behavior therapy. In other words, they are just victims that think by virtue of their experience as a victim, they are now qualified to show everyone else the way.
  2. It is what draws their audience to them. In other words, the secondary addiction that victims tend to fall for is the NEED to see scammers and feel like something is being done. It is a true placebo effect, and for some it is helpful, but for most it is harmful. But the victim is really just taking one obsession (the fairy tale relationship) and replacing it with another one.

Most of the groups that do this are not SCARS Members. SCARS Members focus on more effective means to support victims.

However, many of these other groups are really just about creating a following – in other words a flock – as in a cult. Charismatic Anti-Scam leaders look to ratchet their follower numbers up through the roof as their measure of dominance in the anti-scam space. It is a kind of competition. They desire control over the largest population of victims possible, regardless of the harm they are actually causing, because they either don’t know or care. Some of the “Scam Haters” groups are fully aware they are doing this, some are not.

You can see the manifestation of this in their rejection of established best practices and ethical standards. For example, SCARS fully adopted the NOVA Standards for Victims Assistance https://againstromancescams.org/code-of-professional-ethics-for-victim-assistance/, and a few of these groups completely rejected the idea that they had an obligation to protect the victims who were members of their groups. Some have been debarred for non-compliance with the SCARS Code of Conduct & NOVA Standard.

Crime victims’ assistance and support are regulated activities in most of the Western countries, it is just that these groups tend to believe they know better and reject the requirements, certifications, and standards that are required. SCARS fully adhere to these standards and requirements for itself and its members.

It’s A Marketing Tool Disguised As Meaningful Effort

As we said, the endless display of scammers and fake faces is really a marketing tool that anti-scam hate groups use to pull in victims and keep them dependent. The victims believe this works because they are told it does, so it is an endless loop of co-dependency. With the victim’s emotional health suffering as a result.

Why Do We Do It Then?

Yes, it is true that RSN has pages of scammers (but they are separated). We do it for a few reasons.

As you have seen on our pages, we are very focused on teaching awareness and avoidance skills and providing meaningful victims’ support. Our use and display of scammers are limited so that:

  1. We use limited examples, not an endless stream, in the context of awareness and avoidance education.
  2. We limit the number because a victim drowning in an endless stream of scammers is actually harmed – meaning the more you look at scammers the more lost and hopeless you will feel as a victim, especially in the early stages of your recovery.
  3. We limit their display because we follow sound strategies, tactics, and other means of changing how scammers are addressed. We work with governments around the world – the only people that can have an impact on global fraud. We partner with governments and law enforcement, dating websites, and others to bring about real change at the source.
  4. Photos and fake names are mostly useless because they are NOT hard data. They can’t be used to locate or identify a real scammer or cybercriminal. It takes the accumulation of hard data to eventually identify, watches for, and finally apprehend cybercriminals. Fake faces are a waste of time – mostly.

However, as said before we do have groups organized to report fakes to Facebook because we can at least be disruptive. We understand its value and how to manage it without adversely affecting the victims who volunteer to help.

But The Problem Is That Most Anti-Scam Groups Sold This As A Panacea

Victims have come to expect this, and if we do not do some of it, we reach fewer people and cannot share a more rational set of messages. It is a “Catch 22”.

What Really Matters

If you are a victim, you really should limit the amount of exposure you have to scammers and fake faces. You need to recover emotionally. Feeling you are part of a community is a major part of this, feeling that you are not alone is critical, but feeling like it never stops will not help.

In our support groups, we do not expose victims to endless photos and scammers, we focus on life and recovery, and on how each person is going to make it through the aftermath of the scam – not reliving it endlessly.

Many will disagree. Some hate us and accuse us of being incompetent because of this. But think it through.

You will come to the right conclusion. If you don’t, that is fine too.

We Help Those That We Can And Do Some Good In The Process

Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams


RSN Team

a division of SCARS
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

Scammer Urban Legends

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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 (www.IC3.gov)
  3. 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.Inromation.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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SCARS/RSN™ RomanceScamsNow.com™™ 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 www.AgainstScams.org. 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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6 Comments

  1. Katy December 29, 2017 at 1:57 am - Reply

    How would you know if he is a Scammer, i have a friend and i think he is being a victim by scammers they are either using him to scam his wife of money,they keep giving him troubles like he need to pay his overstay,BTA,and they are harassing him because he accidentally pushed the thief from stealing his wallet.The family wants money for compensation.

  2. Edraline+Bates December 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    “What a great idea and I agree all the stuff you just wrote.” The participation of one is a great deal and a voice to spread out and let everyone we know, know’s what’s going on. I’m happy to know that this organization helps me to overcome and understand how the Scammers operates. Thank you for opening my outlook ways having friends with a perfect stranger on a network. I understand now and I greatly appreciate all the hard work you all put into it to share and educate us.

  3. Michael December 6, 2017 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Your right,today have noticed bios are containg less info and more pics like that,b4 I used to use to decide if allow as friend by things found in bios,lil ‘‘tid bits you could say yes possible scammer or not, now I just have to assume more than actually believe by what finding, so now when see bios minus info i dont even except,to risky to take chances on. Also in regards to exposing the is exactly as it is,only that nothing else. There is nothing you can do to arrest or stop them just get as much data as possible to get info to public to have as guide to maybe identify them or tools to know what to look for maybe recognize an MO or two,
    This is a business all it is it creates jobs and boosts the economy just small example,if you look at jobs it creates to fight,everything from government
    Agencies to the person creating said bios,it’s the money generated by this that will benifit governments and business alike. But also disagree with the search for hard data,I was affected even though I knew what was going on it’s the physcy that gets affected it’s a very powerful tool they use to expose your weaknesses and it works very well no matter who you are to look from the outside looks easy to say not you but get inside and play off your emotions it’s difficult not to be affected especially when thier story revolves around children or any family member that they conger up to use against you,the thoughts of what if play hard in your descission to walk away, what if it’s true your walking away from a possible mother and child that need help,what if by walking away they become victims of unimaginable circumstances or worse death! If you have any feelings of compassion towards your fellow man it will wear you out thinking about and will you stay around instead of walking away before it does as I did,just wanted to play along for fun but soon realized I was going to be a victim because it wore on me,the thought of the what if’s crept in and mentally was torn and confused this is what you warned about in previous articles
    But through it I knew could not do anything even though I did not loose the 10,000 to 5,000$ she was seeking in the scream,but continued to seek out basis of this scam and perused her with anger and resentment for what she put me through or as I put myself through,, found out how big this line of scams reaches out as time goes on every rock uncovers another persons involvement with proof to back it up the hard evidence is what you claim is needed ive get them,and when
    All leads end I will turn over evidence if for nothing more than
    Info for public is all it will amount to and evidence I uncover may help define their operations and unveil a better insight to how they accomplish this ,and to me don’t have much in way of money to help victims but have plenty of time due to work ending disability
    I can at least part with info to better help if possible and if it’s madness as you seem to suggest
    It probably is but old and knowledgeable enough in life
    And the streets to manage.

  4. Linda December 6, 2017 at 6:20 am - Reply

    It may not stop the scammer but it will let others see and know that the man or woman in the photos they were sent and are in love with is not the same person, that they are fake and they are scamming them. I know that tr would have helped me before I got so far into the scam.

    • Romance Scams Now Editorial Team December 6, 2017 at 9:03 am - Reply

      That is true, but with several million new profiles created each year, all the exposing in the world will only be a drop in the bucket. Reporting on the other hand is important – through this website or on Anyscam.com because they get to the right people who can make use of them.

      • Linda December 6, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply

        I found the truth about being scammed through this website. Because people posted information and photos about their scammer who was also my scammer on this site. It made me stop dead in my tracks and I got away from him before I was completely broke. So I thank this site for saving my life. <3

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