Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team
SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. 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 scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.
- Scam Money MulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit. – participating in the scam and engaged in money launderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. – 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.