It Is The Relationship Between Predator & Prey!
Unfortunately, the Predators are winning!
A predator is an organism that eats (or preys) another organism. The prey is the organism which the predator eats.
Some examples of predator and prey are lion and zebra, bear and fish, and fox and rabbit. The words "predator" and "prey" are almost always used to mean only animals that eat animals, but the same concept also applies to plants: Bear and berry, rabbit and lettuce, grasshopper and leaf.
It also applies to humans, such as criminal and victim.
Predator and prey evolve together, just like our scammers and victims. The prey is part of the predator's environment, and the predator dies if it does not get food, so it evolves whatever is necessary in order to eat the prey: speed, stealth, camouflage (to hide while approaching the prey), a good sense of smell, sight, or hearing (to find the prey), immunity to the prey's poison, poison (to kill the prey) the right kind of mouth parts or digestive system, etc. Likewise, the predator is part of the prey's environment, and the prey dies if it is eaten by the predator, so it evolves whatever is necessary to avoid being eaten: speed, camouflage (to hide from the predator), a good sense of smell, sight, or hearing (to detect the predator), thorns, poison (to spray when approached or bitten), etc.
In the world of online fraud, the scammer similarly evolves to stay ahead of the victims, but the victims must also evolve to stay ahead of the scammers. It is a cycle that all such organisms evolve within.
The fastest lions are able to catch food and eat, so they survive and reproduce, and gradually, faster lions make up more and more of the population. The fastest zebras are able to escape the lions, so they survive and reproduce, and gradually, faster zebras make up more and more of the population. An important thing to realize is that as both organisms become faster to adapt to their environments, their relationship remains the same: because they are both getting faster, neither gets faster in relation to the other. This is true in all predator-prey relationships, unless acted upon by outside influences.
Another example of predator-prey evolution is that of the Galapagos tortoise. Galapagos tortoises eat the branches of the cactus plants that grow on the Galapagos islands. On one of the islands, where long-necked tortoises live, the branches are higher off the ground. On another island, where short-necked tortoises live, the branches are lower down. The cactuses (the prey), may have evolved high branches so that the tortoises, the predators, can't reach them, but then they evolved to be able to.
There are also other influences that can determine if predators or prey survive. These include other predators, other varieties of prey, as well as external influences.
It is important to understand this concept when we look at the growth of online fraud.
With the explosion of the internet, online predators have increased their populations exponentially. Today, it is estimated that there are over 80,000 Romance Scam Predators out there, and likely that number will double in just a year. These predators are in almost every country, though they prosper in the more lawless places of the world.
Unfortunately, the victims (the prey) are not evolving rapidly enough. There is no balance between the scammers and the victims, the scammers are winning. Eventually there will have to come a reduction in scammers, but these will simply be the more inefficient ones (the slower ones), leaving the more efficient super-scammers.
Outside influences have to play a major role. Law enforcement is largely absent from this equation. Only a handful of the most obvious scammers get captured. This needs to go up many orders of magnitude to contain this predator population.
Unfortunately, there is no good news in sight. The scammers are going to continue to expand their numbers with ever greater success, until two things happen. One is that the environment changes. The other is that the victims (or potential victims) change.
The environment will take a while. Many things have to come together to effect this. Greater controls on international money transfers. Vastly increased law enforcement globally. Larger and more coordinated data clearing houses. De-anonymizing social media and all communications are essential to re-establishing authenticity. However, these are long term changes that will take a decade at least.
So what does that leave? Victims.
For victims to change, it requires a change in their online attitudes more than anything.
Victims believe it is somebody else's problem. Or that somebody else has to save them. Even after they become victims, the vast majority do nothing about it.
The thing is, you have to evolve. And you have to help those around you evolve too!
If you do nothing before, during, and after, the scammers just get better and fatter. If you evolve to avoid them, and you actively help others do the same, then you deny "food" to the scammers and their numbers will reduce. Ironically, this is called Capitalism - supply and demand. You reduce the demand by reducing the supply of victims!
This is really your choice.
Victims (and potential victims) can remain cattle for the scammers, or become aggressive, grow horns (tools and weapons), and become largely immune to the scammers techniques.
We and other victims advocate groups are doing all we can to help you learn and evolve, but this is totally up to you to take advantage of what is offered. You need to learn and change, and become an advocate for others yourself. Find other local victims, form a social group and meet face to face. Discus what you can do and how you can help, this is how it is done. Just clicking LIKE does nothing.
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