SCAMMER URBAN LEGENDS – Chapter 4 – Obsessive Scammer Exposing
Originally published chapters 3 and 4 were together, we split them for greater clarity.
The Compulsion To Expose!
When someone is recently victimized by a romance scammer they fall into one of four main categories:
- Those that simply hide
- Those that panic
- Those that are enraged & want revenge
- Those that want to understand
After some time passes they will develop distinct Mindsets, but that is not what we are exploring here.
The Four Kingdoms
ONE: Those That Hide
Those that hide are the ones that are in shock and will tend to stay in denial. Of course, most victims are in some shock after they discover the scam, but sadly this group has an incredibly hard time coming to grips with the facts so tends to just wall it all off. In time they will have to deal with it, but for the immediate future, they will simply avoid it. If you can reach this type of victim early, they can be converted before the avoidance sets in, but once it does they will neither discuss it nor report it – they live as if it never happened and suffer in silence.
This is also the group that tends to be rescammed most ofter too.
TWO: Those That Panic
Those that panic demonstrate significant fear and a mania for grasping at anyone that can help them. This group will be panicked about several issues, and many times all of them at once:
- That they get their money back – may also owe others for this money
- That they find the real person and let them know
- That find someone to save them from the treats the scammer(s) made
- That they get their scammer arrested immediately
- That no one else finds out
They will exhaust a huge amount of energy looking for someone who will promise to fix it all, but of course, no one can. This is the type of victim that cannot focus on recovery and seeks the charismatic cult-like anti-scam groups who promise the sun, the moon, and the stars. In time they may come to their senses but more often become either denialists or haters. These are victims that rarely recover from their scam cleanly or rapidly, it may take many years to recover at all.
THREE: Those That Rage
Anger is a normal reaction to finding out that you have been fooled to the extent that scammers do. Anger helps break the bonding and triggers a positive response in a victims personality – up to a point. It is where anger completely drives one’s thinking that they lose it to rage and hatred. Those that rage are not only outraged at their scammer but they immediately believe they are going to save everyone and anyone in their way is the enemy. We explore this more below.
FOUR: Those That Need To Understand
The healthiest group are those that are angry and in shock but fundamentally need to understand. Understand how this happened, how another person could do this to them – not out of panic but out of a design to understand the hows and whys of it. This is the group that is applying critical problem solving to this understanding. They will explore and attempt to truly understand this new universe they have fallen into. This is also the group that is most likely to fully recover and does so in the shortest amount of time (6 months to 18 months).
Ragers & Haters
The ones that are enraged become instant vigilantes demanding justice and insisting that they are going to expose all the scammers. They are personally going to stop scammers all by themselves.
If you see this trend in yourself we advise local counseling because the path where this leads is not a happy one.
They have no experience in global crime, no experience in African Political Affairs, and no real understanding of how scamming really works. This is not to put them down, but to show that complete lack of preparation they have.
Many of these people create pages or groups on social media and trash anyone that disagrees with their limited perspective.
These are the Anti-scam Haters
They have convinced themselves and their cult-like followers that they are going to solve this problem all by themselves. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of them and they do real harm to the real cause of stopping this global crime wave. Worse, their total lack of understanding of victim trauma means that mostly they increase the harm to other victims.
Fortunately, at least there are plenty that DO have a clue!
However, What Almost All Amateur Scammer Hunters Share Is The Desire, In Fact, The Obsession, With Exposing Scammers
They will post an endless stream of scammer photos, names, and profiles online. It becomes a life mission for many, excluding any normal life they might have.
It does seem logical, that posting the scammer’s fake profiles, photos and names will make a difference. In some cases, properly performed it can make a difference, but the shotgun approach they take and the places they do it has little impact.
Unfortunately, this is just substituting one madness (the fake relationship) for another (scammer obsession)
The truth is that scammers really don’t care that much about being exposed. They are not shamed – that is your concept, not theirs. Victims never learn about scams before they are scammed so exposing does almost nothing to prevent new victimization.
In the 30 years since scamming moved online, exposing scammers has done almost nothing to stop them.
HAVE YOU WONDERED WHY IT KEEPS GROWING YEAR AFTER YEAR WHEN ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE OUT THERE EXPOSING SCAMMERS?
Endlessly Exposing Scammers Is Not The Way To Stop Them
The scammers are professional, they have organizations that create millions of fake identities each year – there are now more than a billion fake identities out there now. Exposing them is just a cost of doing business for them. They will simply create more.
They know that new victims will come along and greedily accept their wildest stories and endlessly reused stolen photos, because the prospect victims want what the scammers offer – a fantasy “happy ever after” life that they desperately need. It is simple economics. The scammers supply the fantasy and victims are the consumer demanding it. We are sorry to put it in such harsh terms but sadly that is what it is.
Exposing scammers doesn’t help most people before they become scammer’s victims, though in fairness it does help some who are looking for confirmation that they were indeed scammed. Getting scammer profiles deleted does help disrupt their communications with current victims and gives those victims a way out.
So What Does Exposing Scammers Really Do?
- It wastes a vast resource in human capital and keeps attention focused on the minutia instead of the big picture changes that could actually make a difference.
- It keeps people endlessly hating or arguing about who is doing it better.
- It causes rifts between this group and that. Anyone that questions their approach is the enemy.
- It is completely nuts!
If it is managed properly it can be effective at disrupting scammers but still, it is only affecting less than 1% of the fake profiles out there. Properly reporting (here on this website or on www.Anyscam.com) can make a difference since the SCARS Network delivers reports to governments around the world and has helped support arrests globally.
A Better Approach
About 25 years ago, here in the United States, Drunk Driving was a major menace. A group of people, some of whom were family members of those killed by drunk drivers started to look for solutions. They too started exposing drunk drivers, and it had a small impact – but it was after the fact. Eventually, the light bulb went off and they realized they needed to create change on two levels: society – making drunk driving completely unacceptable, and to also vastly increase government pressure on the drunk drivers and their enablers through greater penalties for these crimes.
Drunk driving stopped being something that was excused and became a serious crime. The government created new laws and started rigidly enforced them – this became the engine that changed this all. However, it took this group 20+ years to bring this about – today they are called MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
At SCARS we are following their model. Our team has been working against scammers for years now (and our founder for 27 years) – we turned away from the exposure concept because we know it does not work. We are focused on Reporting, Education, and real legal victims’ assistance & support!
Instead, we started applying “big data” database science to sharing scammer reports worldwide in real time, information about scammers where it matters. With governments, law enforcement, social media, and dating site operators (the few who will listen). But our progress is still slow – these are early days – a huge amount of additional pressure is needed to bridge the gaps in the legal barriers to scamming, but we are working on those too.
We need to increase the financial liability on Facebook and other websites across the board before they will stop enabling and start truly helping. Their negligence needs to cost them dearly before they will change.
We need government to apply huge pressure on scammer nations to crack down and stop it – these countries know it is going on and enjoy the foreign cash flow that comes from it. In Nigeria alone, it is estimated that scamming is their 3rd largest industry.
We need law enforcement to be better trained at every level. SCARS is developing training programs for law enforcement now working with our partners at the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice.
There are hundreds of other steps that are needed, and it is going to take a long time to see this fully reduced the way Drunk Driving has dropped over a generation.
Sharing Is More Important Than Exposing
However, do you know what the single largest component of stopping drunk driving was?
Getting people to be open about the problem with themselves, their friends and family, their communities, and their countries.
Today, most scam victims hide in shame or in denial. Those that are open, are mostly trapped in the endless “exposure mania.”
You Are The Most Powerful Tool To Help End Scamming!
BUT YOU have to share the information and HELP us create pressure on governments.
Singular voices have little power, but combined we can change the world.
Here is the real way to expose scammers:
- Join the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS] at www.AgainstRomanceScams.org it is free and easy – the larger our membership the louder our voice.
- Sign our government petitions – you will see them here on our website and our Facebook pages. HERE is a petition you can sign right now that will help – click here »
- If you have the financial ability to do so, buy ONE share of Facebook – shareholders have power! We will help you understand how to use that power.
- Talk to your local government Representatives – you elect them and they have to listen – Congressmen or women, Senators, Governors and tell them this has to stop and you will hold them responsible in future elections if it doesn’t. Become an advocate for change!
- Spread the word about scamming to EVERYONE you know. Children and Seniors are at most risk, but people are not talking to them about it. Start talking and do not stop! There is no shame, you just think there is.
- Make sure you have your security tight on your profiles and devices – check your friend’s list and get rid of people you do not personally know – practice safe onlining! Help your friends and family do the same.
- Report every scammer you find on www.Anyscam.com where it will be distributed and not wasted in a Facebook comment.
If you did these things, instead of focusing on just posting fake faces and wasting energy, we could dramatically drop scamming by half in a year, but it takes everyone to participate. Sadly, less than 1% of victims will do anything active, and less than 5% will even report them.
You Have A Choice To Make
You can follow and can stay involved with well-intentioned “exposure maniacs.” Or you can follow the rational approach to changing all of this,. Which will it be?
One is more immediately gratifying, the other is a long road to success.
But while you are helping rationally, you can also be helping yourself to effectively recover!
The choice is yours.
We hope you agree.
Please let us know what you think?
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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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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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