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SCARS|RSN™ Guide: Hiring Private Investigators To Track Scammers
The Question Is: Should You Hire An Investigator To Track Down Your Scammer?
This is a very loaded question. Meaning it implies many things, not all of them good.
We are assuming that you mean the scammer behind the fake or stolen photo? Or do you mean the person pictured?
Let’s Start With The Scammer Behind The Fake Profile – Identities – The Stolen Photos!
The First Question Is A Big WHY?
Why do you want to hunt down the real identity of your scammers (remember that it is very likely that you were scammed by a team)?
Let’s look at the basic assumptions about your scam:
- You interacted with a series of fake identities – one or more
- Nothing you were told was the truth
- Unless you did a bank to bank wire transfer you probably do not even know who received the money – yes you can use fake names with MoneyGram and Western Union in some countries
- The photos were stolen – even if the scammer admitted later the “truth” and showed you a “real” photo of them it can all still be lies
- If they sent something (a gift) to you it was most likely with stolen credit cards
So What Do You Really Know?
You were sold a nice fairytale. You were deceived into believing a fabricated relationship or other scams. But almost nothing was real.
Every victim wants closure and justice, but the simple fact is that they are in short supply. Seeking these things for this kind of crime typically results in obsession, vigilantism & scam baiting, or increasing the trauma you already experienced because of frustration that will come from failure.
Hire A Detective
Yes, it is possible to hunt them down.
There are real detectives out there that will take on these cases, and it is expensive.
No one YOU can find on social media or on the web is going to be trustworthy, because the scammers hunt for victims they can scam again under the promise of recovering your money or identifying the scammer. Facebook has hundreds (thousands?) of fake detective agencies. You will not be able to tell the differences remotely in most cases between an honest detective in Nigeria from a fake one, plus no matter how much you are paying the local detective, the scammers have more money and can buy them off!
We have used people in the past, and there is even a verified SCARS Member agency in Germany that is reliable (you can contact us by email for their identity if you want – at [email protected]).
But Once You Have The Name Of Your Scammer Then What?
Yes, you can spend money to track them down.
You can spend even more money to personally go to Africa or wherever and meet with the local police.
In most cases, this goes nowhere – mostly due to the poor quality of the evidence or the lack of real names used in the transactions. In many cases the local police will want money to investigate – this can be yet again another scam. However, less than a handful of scammers are ever arrested because of this.
Most Scammer Arrests Are The Result Of Two Main Actions:
1. Properly reporting scammers: to your local police, to your national police (FBI »), and to Anyscam.com »
Reporting scammers serves several purposes:
- It helps governments – local and national – understand the magnitude and scope of these crimes, even if there is nothing they can do immediately, this helps them decide on budgets and resources.
- As evidence accumulates and is combined it leads towards information that can be used to identify real individuals and in some cases even arrests. These are then also placed on watch lists for when they cross borders. Then they can be apprehended and tried.
- They can also be used by major international police agencies such as the FBI or Europol to work with local countries to sweep for scammer groups and cartels as was done so effectively in 2018 with thousands of arrests.
- Reporting also helps to identify the scammer’s middlemen or MULES. Removing them helps shut down a scammer’s operational netw