(Last Updated On: March 25, 2022)

Equivocation – The Magician’s Choice – The Arts Of Manipulation

Psychology Of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.

A 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. Insight

Many Victims Believed That They Made Their Own Choices During The 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.

They Frequently Cannot ForgiveForgiveness What Is Forgiveness? Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Themselves Because Of It – But In Reality, Most Of The Time 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. Made Or Led All The Major Decisions

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. & Magic Have Much In Common

Scams & Magic Tricks are all about manipulation and control. The relationship is far closer than scam victims realize.

The levels of manipulation that a scammer puts their victims through can be as profound as that of an expert magician or mentalist.

YOU KNOW THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REAL MAGIC, RIGHT?

IT IS ALL MANIPULATION AND ILLUSION!

Yet spectators to a magic show swear it was real – that it really was magic!

But it really is just skill! Skill at manipulation and illusion. Skill at forcing the spectator or audience member to do what the magician wants.

The same is true for scammers – either by training or intuitive skill, scammers have stumbled upon many of the same techniques that magicians use to control a victim in the same ways a magician controls a spectator or audience member!

Magician’s Choice is just one such technique. It is used extensively during fake videos to make the victim believe that they are making choices at specific times during the video, such as asking the person to perform some act as confirmation that they are really there, when in fact it was a prerecorded video. The scammer, like the magician, triggersTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. a situation and forces the outcome or selection (Choice) when and where they want. However, not all scammers have the skill for this, which is why not all scammers can pull off a convincing video chat using what is really a recorded video!

This is also one of the reasons why so many victims believe the Urban LegendUrban Legend Urban Legend An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend is a genre of modern folklore comprising stories circulated as true, especially on social media. These legends can be entertaining but often concern serious topics. They may also be confirmation of moral standards, or reflect prejudices, or be a way to make sense of societal anxieties. Urban legends are most often circulated orally but can be spread by any media, including newspapers, mobile news apps, e-mail, and social media. Some urban legends have passed through the years with only minor changes and seem impervious to exposure as untrue. that they were controlled by Voodoo or JuJu magic!

Magician’s Choice

Equivocation (or “Magician’s choice” or “Equivoque”) is a verbal & visual manipulative technique by which a magician gives an audience member an apparently free choice, but frames the next stage of the trick in such a way that each choice has the same end result.

For example, the Magician may deal two cards to the table and ask a member of the audience to select one: if the audience member chooses the card on the left, the Magician will say something like “you keep this card, I’ll take the remaining card”. If the audience member chooses the card on the right, the Magician will take that card. Thus, the choice of which card to use is really made by the Magician.

These basic techniques can be expanded to include practically any number of items, such as an entire deck of cards. For larger sets, items may first be grouped, then split up. The magician must quickly and carefully craft chatter to convey the impression that the actions he or she takes with the items truly reflect the intent of the audience member.

Some Of The Techniques Used By Magicians Are

CARD FORCING: Equivocation can be used to force a card without the use of sleight of hand. The use of this kind of verbal force in close-up magic apparently offers a subject a free or random choice of card. It is not as common as sleight of hand or other methods because of its complexity and the skill required.

MENTALISM: In another use, a Mentalist may perform an apparent act of mind-reading by using the “magician’s choice” to force a particular envelope that relates to a needed outcome. A Mentalist may also force an effect from a certain outcome, as in taking something ordinary and using it to show their magical prowess.

EFFECTIVENESS: In each of these examples, the effectiveness of the equivocation (manipulation) involves the “information gap” between what the spectator knows and what the spectator thinks they know. In the Magician’s Choice (force,) the spectator does not know anything about what will happen to the two cards he initially selects. However, the spectator thinks that they are making a free choice in an otherwise scripted sequence of moves. In the effect of the prepared envelope, the spectator thinks they know that the envelope involves a prediction, but does not realize that the envelope, in fact, involves three predictions.

Equivocation tends to lose its effectiveness if repeated in the same context, since the spectator gains more information from one performance to the next, thereby shrinking the information gap. For example, a spectator may wonder why their choice was kept in some cases and discarded in others. Equivocation is a particular form of alternate ending that forces where double-entendre wording is used and a different pattern of results to questions can be noticed, but its real strength is best realized when augmented with artful psychological techniques.

The Scammer’s Use

Recognizing that scammers are far from stupid we see that the scammer uses artful manipulation to control the victim throughout the scam. From situational manipulation, such as during a prerecorded video chat and making the video believe it is real – to longer-term manipulation, making the victim believe that sending money is their own idea!

Scammers, in reality, are expert manipulators. The better a scammer is at this, the shorter the scam and the more the scammer makes!

Remember

There is only one defense against this kind of manipulation: DO NOT PLAY!

In other words, the only way to evade this level of manipulation is simply never to allow yourself to be in a situation where a scammer can take control.

It is not intelligence that avoids scams, in fact, your intelligence works against you. It is behavioral protections – stay away from the triggers and temptations that led you into the scam in the first place.

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This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!

The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.

After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.

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A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

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This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.

The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.

Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.

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Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!

Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you

Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!

As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.

The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.

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