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SCARS|RSN™ Scam Basics: The Ethics Of Warning Other Victims
Many Victims Find Still Other Victims When Hunting For Scammers Online. Is It A Good Idea To Warn Them That They Are Being Scammed?
This is an interesting ethical question and it depends on the context of the situation.
There are two types of victims that you will likely encounter out there in social media:
- Scam Victims – involved in or being groomed to be a victim by the scammer
- Scam Money Mules – participating in the scam and engaged in money laundering – usually, without any idea that they are doing it
When you are viewing a typical fake or scammer social media profile you will see a number of people commenting or engaging with the scammer and your first impulse is to warn them.
Unfortunately, their reactions may not be what you would expect. If they are fully engaged with the scammer – meaning in the relationship, then you are going to appear hostile to them and their relationship. If they are more casual then alerting them can help create a better outcome, but the problem is how to know?
Additionally, alerting strangers that you see on a fake profile can have consequences to you personally. They can report you to the social media platform – this can result in suspension or loss of your account.
Therefore, what we recommend is to “TAG” the profile as fake and let the victims decide for themselves.
How to TAG?
- First, make sure that your personal profile is locked down and that only your friends can see anything – so that you are not leading a trail of bugs back to your home, family, and friends
- Next, post a graphic that identifies the profile as fake – this can be done in a comment very easily – especially a comment on a scammer’s post that has a lot of victim activity.
Here is the graphic we recommend:
You can download this graphic here: https://romancescamsnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/hello-my-name-is-fake-profile-bomb.png
YOU ARE FREE TO POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES THAT ARE FAKE
We call these “Fake Bombs.” It is the best way to TAG a profile as being fake and generally, the scammers will not even see them. Worse case they will block you. But this is very visual and a clear warning to those already on the profile and those that come later (assuming it survives).
In the end, it is a better solution and just remember, that we do only what we can do!