DANGER – THE ADVENT OF CYBER INVESTIGATORS
Cybercriminals operate the world over. We know this.
Cybercriminals steal billions of dollars from individuals around the world. We all know this too!
This is a problem of epic proportions with as many as a million new victims in 2016 alone.
Like all areas of economic activity, this creates an environment for business – some honest some not. Some are specific service businesses that claim to help victims. Some actually do help victims (like us).
In fact there are many such businesses. Some are for profit, some are not for profit, some are free.
While we have no problem or issues with fundraising activities that are honest and transparent, we have issues with those that are not.
Here are examples of dishonest business activities:
- People that claim that they go to African countries and get scammers arrested with or without a fee.
- People that claim they can get any part of the victim’s money back – with or without a fee.
There are also honest – as in legitimate businesses registered in their country that are also a concern:
Online or Internet Private Detectives
This is a new class of business that has emerged in the last year that claims to assist victims with their 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.. In many cases they do provide services, such as: identification of IP addressGeolocation Geolocation is the utilization of a device IP address, along with other device signals, to determine geographical location. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as 192.0.2.1 that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. An IP Address can be used to locate a physical computer's location. location, and confirmation where the scam originated. They can also act on your behalf with your local authorities.
Unfortunately, these private detectives have no power to get your money back from Africa, or elsewhere. They also have no ability to get someone arrested. The world simply does not work that way,
If you have been a victim, regardless of how frustrating it may be, there are no magic answers. No one is going to save you from the consequences of your actions. No one is going to recover your money or get justice for you most of the time …
UNLESS the criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. is in a Western Country. Even then, the only reliable enforcement is when they are IN YOUR COUNTRY. Then you local policeLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first. can and will act. But those are less than 1% of all the online scamsScams 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.. So the odds are not good.
There are a couple of exceptions, such as Scammers that operate in the Philippines – since these are mostly real people, money can sometimes be recovered. But they are mostly not.
You need to recognize that you made a terrible mistake that you now need to work through. You need to focus on the financial impact and the emotional impact of the scam. Your recovery is really the only thing you have control of. The more you dwell on 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., the longer it will take you to recover and move on.
This is not a satisfying answer, but it is the simple truth.
You can pay an investigator thousands but in the end all you have are more questions. You can get those same answers right here for free.
And never listen to anyone that tells you a story about how they go to Africa to get scammers brought to justice. The vast majority of them are liars or worse.
Members of our team have been there and made the attempt over the years. But these countries are neither safe nor responsive. You are just as likely to be targeted by a gangGang A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. as you are to get a local police to listen to you. These are countries riddled with terrorists and people who care nothing about killing a foreigner. This is fact and the rest is fantasy.
The only way you can get a scammer arrested in their country is if your national police make the trip – without you in most cases – to set up a sting, but in these cases only one or two scammers are arrested. That is a drop in the bucket, which is why American or European police so rarely do it.
We are sorry to say this but you should expect no significant support from law enforcement (unless the scammer is in your country), and no justice.
You should focus on recovering emotionally and leave it at that. Because in the end that is the way forward.
We sincerely understand where you are, since we are also victims, but fantasies just make it harder to recover.
All our best wishes for you.
The RSN Team