Impact of Crime Victimization

The Impact of Crime Victimization

Understanding How Financial Fraud Crimes Affect Their Victims

Victimology – A SCARS Guide

The Impact of Victimization On Financial Fraud Victims

Portions courtesy of the: Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, United Nations, U.S. Department of Justice


Criminal victimization is a frightening and unsettling experience for anyone.  It is unpredictable, largely preventable, and often unexpected.  Unlike normal life experiences, victimization is not sought out and is never welcomed.  It is debilitating and demoralizing.  Its effects can be often long-term and difficult to overcome.

Victims may be confused, fearful, frustrated, and angry.  They want to know why this happened, and why it happened to them.

Victims often have no knowledge of who or where to turn in the aftermath of the crime.  They feel insecure and do not know who to trust or rely on for support, understanding, and help.  Not only do they suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially from their victimization, but they are also often burdened by the complexity of the criminal justice system.

Why should we talk to scam victims about victimization and all that it brings to their lives in the short term and the long term?

It is important to talk to scam victims about the effects of victimization because it can help them understand and process their experiences. This can lead to a sense of empowerment and control over the situation, which can help them move forward. Additionally, discussing the impact of the scam can help identify and address any negative short-term and long-term effects on their lives, such as financial loss, emotional distress, and mistrust. In this way, talking to scam victims about their experiences can also help to prevent future scams by raising awareness about common tactics and warning signs.

Why should we talk to scam victims’ families and friends about victimization and all that it brings to their lives in the short term and the long term?

It is important to talk to the families and friends of scam victims about the effects of victimization because they can play a vital role in supporting the victim during this difficult time. It can also give them a better understanding of what the victim is going through and how they can help. Additionally, discussing the impact of the scam with the victim’s family and friends can help them identify any negative short-term and long-term effects on the victim’s life, such as financial loss, emotional distress, and mistrust. This information can help the families and friends to provide necessary emotional support and assist in the recovery process. Furthermore, talking to families and friends can help raise awareness about common tactics and warning signs, which may prevent them from being scammed themselves or even help them to detect if the victim is being scammed again in the future – which is not uncommon.


Crime occurs when someone breaks the law.  Each country has its laws that define what is unlawful – what is a crime.  When someone commits an act that is a violation of the Law, they may be charged with a crime and arrested.

Some crimes are against property (for example, break and enter and fraud) and other crimes are committed against persons (for example, physical and sexual assault).  Some crimes involve both property and people. Some crimes are against a person’s physical body and some are against them psychologically.

All crime is serious and should be treated as such.  It is important to remember that even a relatively “minor” crime can be devastating to a person’s life.

That means that every crime must be reported to the police!

Crime Prevention

People try to avoid victimization by being aware of their surroundings, having safety plans, and perhaps even taking self-defense classes.  Having a safety plan is a good idea, but it cannot guarantee personal safety.  Keep in mind that most people are victimized by people who are known to them, not strangers.

This also breaks down when crimes happen outside of the physical world, online, or by phone. But these crimes can have just as much impact as a physical assault.

Who Is A Crime Victim?

A victim of crime may be defined differently depending upon in which country you live.  For the purpose of preparing a victim impact statement (which we will talk about elsewhere), a victim is defined as:

  • the person to whom harm was done or who suffered physical or emotional loss as a result of the commission of the offense; and
  • family & friends can, in some cases, also be considered a victim

In general, crime victims are those people most directly affected by crime.  Even if an offender is never found, the person who has been victimized should still be considered a victim.  It is a myth that if no offender is caught, then no crime or victim exists.

Family members, friends and others who care about the victim may also be affected when a crime is committed.  These people, along with the victim, may need information and support.

How Does Crime Affect People?

Crime affects everyone differently.  Victimization often causes trauma and depending upon the level of trauma that a person has already experienced in their lifetime, crime can be devastating.  In general, victimization often impacts people on an emotional, physical, financial, psychological, and social level.

The Emotional Impact of Victimization

All of these topics are discussed in more detail in other articles here on this website.

Shock, Disbelief, and Denial

Initially, victims may find it difficult to believe they have become a victim of crime.  They may even pretend that it did not happen at all.  These reactions can last for a few moments or they may be present for months and even years.  It is not uncommon for victims to assume a ‘childlike’ state and may even need to be cared for by others for some time.  It is also common for victims to feel as though the crime occurred when they were in a dreamlike state.

Once the initial shock of the crime has worn off, victims may experience other emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, confusion, guilt, shame, and grief. These emotions are normal, and victims should find professional victims’ assistance and counseling if at all possible.

Anger or Rage

Victims may be angry with God, the offender, service providers, family members, friends, the criminal justice system, or even themselves.  Many victims experience strong desires for revenge or to get even.  Hate may even be felt by victims.   These strong emotions are often disapproved of by the rest of society, which can leave the victim feeling like an outcast.  It is certainly justified for victims to feel anger toward the person or people who harmed them, but extended anger over a long period should cause concern – the victim should seek professional help if their anger lasts more than 4 or 5 weeks.

Fear or Terror

It is common for victims to feel terror or fear following a crime that involved a threat to one’s safety or life, or to someone else a victim cares about.  This is often the case when scams end too!

Fear can cause a person to have panic attacks if they are ever reminded of the crime.  Fear can last for quite some time following the commission of a crime and under certain circumstances, it can become debilitating.  Fear or terror that becomes overwhelming is unhealthy and victims should consult their family physician or other professional about it as soon as possible.


Many victims are frustrated by the feelings of helplessness or powerlessness that surface when the crime takes place.  This can be especially true if victims were unable to fend off an offender, call for help, or run away.  Also the case after scams where the victim is under the criminal’s control. After the crime, victims may continue to feel frustrated if they cannot access the support and information that is necessary for their healing.


Victims of crime may become confused if they are unsure of what actually happened, as crimes often occur quickly and are chaotic.  Victims might also become confused while searching for answers to questions like “why did this happen to me?”  It may be impossible to find out why someone else intended to hurt them.

Fortunately, for scam victims, those answers are here on our website.

Guilt or Self-Blame

Blaming oneself is common.  Many victims believe they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they were foolish, gullible, or naive.”  If the victim does not have someone to blame, they will often blame themselves.  Guilt is also common when no offender is found.  Later on, when reflecting upon the crime, victims might feel guilty for not doing more to prevent what happened.  Lastly, some victims will experience ‘survivor guilt’ – they feel guilty that they survived while someone else was injured or even killed.  In the case of scam victims, this presents itself as guilt when they are more affected than others.  Too often, family and friends may even blame the victim.  Too often, society blames victims as well.

Shame and Humiliation

Sadly, some victims blame themselves, particularly victims of sexual abuse/assault or domestic violence or relationship scams.  Victims of violation – either physical or psychological, for example, have long-lasting feelings of “being dirty”, and those feelings cannot be “washed away.”  Some victims even feel self-hatred because they believe that they can no longer be trusted by those who are close to them.

Grief or Sorrow

Intense sadness is often the most powerful long-term reaction to crime.  It is common for victims to become depressed after a crime occurs.

The Physical Impact of Victimization

At the time of the crime, or upon discovering that a crime has occurred, victims are likely to experience a number of physical reactions.  These may include an increase in the adrenalin in the body, increased heart rate, hyperventilation, shaking, tears, numbness, a feeling of being frozen or experiencing events in slow motion, dryness of the mouth, enhancement of particular senses such as smell, and a “fight or flight” response.  It is also common for people to lose control over their bowel movements.  Some of these physical reactions may occur immediately and others may occur after the danger has passed as trauma sets in.

Physical reactions to crime can be so powerful that they reoccur quite some time after the crime, for example with the victim’s memory of the events.

Of course, in most physical crimes there are physical injuries. However, we are going to limit our discussion about these to those that affect victims who were not physically harmed in the crime itself.

After the crime, victims may suffer a range of physical effects including insomnia, appetite disturbance, lethargy, headaches, muscle tension, nausea, and decreased or even increased libido.  It is common for these reactions to persist for some time after the crime has occurred. These are usually responses to trauma.

Some victims may experience long-term side effects as a result of the crime committed against them.  Other victims may experience ongoing health-related problems such as headaches, stomachaches, and emotional outbursts.  Even after the physical wounds have healed (assuming there were any), some victims may experience pain or discomfort for a period of time or even for the rest of their lives.

Research evidence exists to prove that such a crime outcome has a negative effect on the long-term psychological recovery of the victim.  A victim’s culture, gender, and occupation may also influence their reaction to their recovery.  The reaction of others to the victim’s physical condition may also be difficult to accept or become accustomed to.

Some victims may never be able to return to work as a result of the crime.  Victims who are unable to return to work or lead a “normal” lifestyle following victimization are constantly reminded of the pain and suffering they have endured at the hands of the criminal.  This can cause a great deal of mental anguish, not to mention social isolation and dependency upon social assistance or crime compensation awards.

Victims who have suffered these physical effects or injuries as a result of a crime by another person may experience strong feelings of fear, anger, and bitterness.  This sort of victimization is a life-altering experience that may leave victims questioning their personal safety for many years to come.

The Financial Impact of Victimization

Victims who may have money stolen through financial fraud have been financially injured.

In many cases, stolen money are never recovered.  Understandably, this is very distressing to victims who may feel guilt, anger, and frustration if they are unable to recover their life savings. Fortunately, in some cases money can be recovered, but only if the victim reports the crime to local police.

Although the financial impact of crime is less documented than the physical, emotional or social impacts, victims may certainly incur costs in the following ways:

  • Paying back debts.
  • Having to give up their homes or other possessions in bankruptcy or debt collection.
  • Higher insurance premiums as a result of victimization.
  • Credit damage due to any loans they may have taken out during the scams.
  • Installing security measures to feel secure.
  • Accessing health services.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Participating in the criminal justice system, for example traveling to court, child care, and attending the trial.
  • Obtaining professional counseling to come to terms with the emotional impact.
  • Taking time off work or from other income-generating activities.

In some cases, such as cybercrime where there were threats against the victim, victims may feel a need to move, a process likely to incur financial costs.

In the long-term, crime can adversely impact the victim’s employment.  The victim may find it impossible to return to work, or their work performance may be adversely affected, resulting in demotion, loss of pay, and possibly dismissal.

Marital and other relationships are also likely to be affected by crime and this may have a significant effect on the family’s financial position. Many married victims of a relationship scam end up divorcing their spouse.

Research shows that the shock waves from victimization touch not only the victim but also the victim’s immediate family and next of kin, neighbors, and acquaintances.  This holds true for the emotional and financial consequences, and the effects can endure for years or even for a lifetime.  While this is to be expected in connection with offenses such as murder, torture, and rape, cyber-enabled crimes can also leave enduring feelings of powerlessness, insecurity, anger, and fear.  Communities and organizations can also be victimized leading to their deterioration over time, especially in the case of any workplace-related scams or cyberattacks.

The effects of victimization hit particularly hard on the poor, the young, the elderly, the powerless, the disabled, and the socially isolated.  Research shows that those already touched by prior victimization are particularly susceptible to subsequent victimization by crime.

The Psychological Impact of Victimization

It is almost impossible to predict how an individual will respond to crime. However, there are distinct patterns or effects or behaviors with cyber-enabled financial fraud.

Psychological injuries created by these crime are often the most difficult to cope with and have long-lasting effects.  As crime is usually experienced as more serious than an accident or misfortune, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that loss and emotional injury have been caused by the deliberate act of another human being.

Common Reactions To Crime Can Be Split Into Four Stages:

Initial Reaction

The initial reaction may include shock, fear, anger, helplessness, disbelief, and guilt.  As mentioned previously, some of these reactions may reoccur at a later stage as well, for example when attending a trial or going to a healthcare provider for therapy or treatment.


A period of disorganization may follow these initial reactions.  This phase may manifest itself in psychological effects such as distressing thoughts about the event, nightmares, depression, guilt, fear, and a loss of confidence and esteem.  Life can seem to slow down and become meaningless.  Previously held beliefs and faiths may no longer provide comfort.  Behavioral responses might include increased alcohol or substance abuse, fragmentation of social relationships, avoidance of people and situations associated with the crime, and social withdrawal. This is where trauma is starting to become noticeable.

Reconstruction & Recovery

The third stage is reconstruction and recovery, which leads to the fourth stage of normalization/adjustment/acceptance.  Victims often try to come to terms with crime by longing for everything to be as it was before and to turn the clock back.  In this crucial stage of recovery, victims begin to fully accept the reality of what has happened.  Victims may try to reinterpret their experience and possibly find an explanation for what has happened or decide that the crime has lead to personal growth.

However, there are also false states that can appear during the recovery. These biases or resignation can lead to false feelings of healing, bad decision-making, and abandonment of the recovery process.


The boundaries between these different stages are not as clear-cut as outlined here and victims may not progress smoothly through the stages, but at times hover between them, jump forward, or regress.

The extent to which people (victims, witnesses, family members, community members) may be affected by crime will vary enormously among individuals; at one extreme people may shrug off very serious crimes with no noticeable effects, while at the other extreme people become “stuck” in a particular stage and never move on.


When a person is under great stress, as many people are who are victimized, he or she may have more difficulty than usual thinking clearly, keeping their emotions under control, staying physically healthy, or behaving appropriately in social situations.  The trauma of being a crime victim can definitely impact a person’s ability to function. The impact on clear thinking is especially a problem and can cause the victim to end recovery, support, or professional care long before it is appropriate.

Becoming a victim of crime is a major stressor in one’s life.  A victim may feel continuously uncomfortable or in a state of crisis.  It may be difficult to restore a state or sense of balance to one’s life.  As their outlook on life has changed significantly by the crime, some victims cannot ever restore that sense of balance.  They may have trouble trusting others, taking part in activities they used to enjoy, and be fearful of places or strangers.

These are all reasons why professional support and counseling is so important for every crime victim!

Social Injuries & Secondary Victimization

Social injuries are those that may be caused by society in the aftermath of the crime.

They may include being treated insensitively or not receiving the services and/or information that a victim requires, especially true very often by the local police.  Anyone can cause a social injury: a family member, a friend, a law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, a member of the clergy, a crisis counselor or a victim services worker.

In the case of scam victims this is most often the case with so-called instant experts – other victims that believe that because they were a victim, they are now instantly qualified to advise and direct other victims. This results in delay or avoidance of real recovery support and professional care, and increased traumatization since these tend to create anti-scam hate groups and spread substantial false information and urban legends. In fact, these anti-scam hate groups are a major reason that so few victims of financial fraud report these crimes or get the help they truly need.

Secondary victimization refers to the victimization which occurs, not as a direct result of the criminal act, but through the response of institutions and individuals to the victim.  The following are a few examples of secondary victimization:

  • The refusal to recognize their experience as crime victims.
  • Intrusive or inappropriate conduct by police or other criminal justice personnel.
  • The whole process of criminal investigation and trial (decisions about whether or not to investigate, arrest, prosecute, the trial itself, the sentencing of the offender, and his or her eventual release). This applies to the principal criminals or their accessories, such as money mules.
  • The victim perceives difficulties in obtaining their victim’s rights, or balancing their rights with those of the accused or the offender.
  • Criminal justice processes and procedures do not take the perspective of the victim into account.
  • The difficulty victims often have to obtain professional counseling or therapy.
  • Spiritual leaders may attempt to guide victims into paths of forgiveness or accommodation before they are ready or against their wishes.
  • Intrusive or inappropriate investigation and filming, photographing and reporting by the media of victims in exploitive ways. A good example of this is the abusive exposing of the fake photos of impersonation victims without clear-cut identification that they too are also victims of these criminals or consideration of their pain and suffering.

Even agencies set up to help the victims of crime, such as victim services, victim compensation systems, and mental health institutions may have some policies and procedures that lead to secondary victimization.


The attitude of individuals is also important.  Some people with whom the victim has contact (e.g. family, friends and colleagues) may wish to distance themselves from the distress of the crime by blaming the victim for what has occurred.  They may view the victim’s behavior as having contributed to, or even having caused, the victimization.  They may deny the impact of the crime on the victim by urging them to forget about the crime and “get on with their lives.”  Families can be a particularly powerful influence in this respect.

Victims of abuse of power have particular difficulty in gaining recognition of the fact that they have been victimized. The shock and loneliness of victimization can be much greater for these victims. This can lead also to victims who express their emotions in poor ways, hostility, and alienating those that are trying to help them.

After Victimization

What happens if there are no investigations or charges laid?

The criminal justice process begins when an offense is reported to the local police (usually, or the national police, such as the FBI), yet the suspect may not necessarily be charged with a criminal offense.

The police may or may not question a suspect, but that does not mean that formal charges will be brought against him or her.

If the police and the prosecutor do not believe that enough evidence exists to have the accused found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, they may not indict the accused criminal. In the case of transnational organized crime, it is often the case that the police lack sufficient information to even identify the real criminal(s), or do not have the jurisdiction to go an apprehend them (wherever they are.) Also notifying the police where the criminals are do not always result in an investigation or arrest,

If charges are not filed in your case, it does not mean that the police and prosecutors don’t believe the victim or that a crime did not take place.  It may mean that there is not enough evidence to prove the charge in court, resources to investigator, or jurisdiction.

Victims understandably become very frustrated with the criminal justice system when charges are not brought against the person who caused harm to them or their family.  A victim may interpret the response of the system as a letdown and become bitter, angry, and disillusioned with the entire criminal justice process.  This response is not unexpected, as people believe that social institutions exist to protect them and address their needs if and when they are called upon.  There is often a sense that someone “got away with it” and that “there was no justice.”

This often leads to spreading of information about how the police do nothing without bothering to understand why they may not have been able. This substantially contributes to the significantly small number of victims that report these crimes.

When A Scammer Is Arrested

Unsatisfactory sentencing!

There are many reasons why victims are dissatisfied with sentencing, assuming a trial was held.

These can be:

  • Plea-bargaining – negotiating for a reduced sentence
  • Reducing the charges – not charging for all potential offenses
  • Victims did not participate and provide victim’s impact statement
  • Prison over-crowding
  • Inadequate investigation and evidence gathering – either by the police or the victim
  • Court or judge bias

In some cases, plea-bargaining occurs when the prosecutor and the defense come to an agreement where the accused pleads guilty.  The guilty plea usually comes in exchange for a benefit such as reducing the charge against the accused or where the two sides agree upon a sentence.  Plea-bargaining is often used when either the prosecutor’s or the defense’s case is weak.  It is used to save both time and money, as the court system could not handle the volume of cases that come before it without the plea bargaining system.  Unfortunately, some victims think this process diminishes the crime and harm done to them.

What Do Victims Need After A Crime Is Committed?

Victims need a variety of services and understanding in the aftermath of crime.

  • Victims need to feel safe as crime often leaves them feeling helpless, vulnerable, and frightened.
  • In addition to fear, victims often have feelings of self-blame, anger, shame, sadness, or denial. Their most common response is: “I don’t believe this happened to me.”  Emotional distress may surface in seemingly peculiar ways, such as laughter (inappropriate humor.)  Sometimes victims feel rage at the sudden, unpredictable, and uncontrollable threat to their safety or lives (trauma responses when triggered.)  This rage can even be directed at the people who are trying to help them.
  • Victims should be able to express their emotions. Victims often need to air their emotions and tell their stories after the trauma of the crime.  They may also need to have their feelings accepted and have their story heard by a nonjudgmental listener. This is why SCARS invented its support and recovery process (sign up here)
  • Victims may need to know “what comes next”. Following victimization, victims often have concerns about their mental stability, their recovery, impact on their lives both relationship and emotional, financial impact and resources available, their role in the investigation of the crime and in the legal proceedings that may follow. They may also be concerned about issues such as media attention or payment for health care.  Victimization is stressful and knowing what to expect in the aftermath of crime can help relieve anxiety. SCARS provides this website to help answer those very questions.

What Are Crime Victim Services?

Crime victim services are programs that have been established to assist a victim through the process of acceptance and recovery, through the trauma experienced with the crime, and their interaction criminal justice system.  There are essentially six types of programs typically found worldwide to provide services to victims.

Police-Based Victim Services

Several communities have established police-based victim service units/programs available.  Trained personnel generally provide these services and the programs are affiliated with the local police department.  Services are usually confidential and provide immediate crisis intervention to victims and their families for a specified period following a crime.  Police-based services can also provide emotional support, practical assistance, general information about the criminal justice system, and referrals (such as to counselors and to SCARS.)  These services are often limited to a specific time period following the crime (for example, two weeks).

Prosecutor/Court-Based Services

Most communities with courthouses have prosecutor or court-based services such as Victim/Witness Assistance Programs.  Such programs are designed to help enhance the understanding and participation of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.  The program may provide victims with courtroom orientation, information regarding the criminal justice system, information specific to their case, such as bail, probation conditions, etc., court accompaniment and referrals to community agencies for counseling and other support services.

Prosecutors are often the keepers or gateways to what financial support services exist. In the United States the state Attorney’s General has victims’ advocates offices that help victims with a variety of services and benefits. Each country is different and victims will need to explore what services are available.

Community-Based Services

These can include women’s assistance centers, sexual assault centers, distress centers, victim advocacy groups, and safe homes.

The fourth type of service involves a system-based approach and provides a broad range of services from one location.

Most major cities and towns use either police-based, prosecutor/court-based or community-based approaches (or a combination thereof) for service delivery.  A few of the smaller locations use a hybrid of these approaches.

Faith-Based Services

In many places, local religious organizations provide services to crime victims. Catholic Archdiocese often has such services, but even local churches can help with counseling and other assistance. Victims are encouraged to contact their church, synagog, mosque, shrine, or temple to explore what help is available.

Crime Victims Assistance NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations (SCARS)

SCARS is a crime victims’ assistance nonprofit organization (NGO) that supports the victims of cyber-enabled crime worldwide. There are less than 5 of these organizations across the globe, but they provide very uneven services, except for SCARS.

Just because an organization is a nonprofit does not mean that they truly understand victims’ needs or how to aid them in their recovery. Most focus on avoidance education or helping the victim to discover if they are a victim. SCARS is the only provider with a complete recovery program based upon one-hundred-plus years of recovery science and research, with over 12,000 victims having passed through their support & recovery process. To provide such services the provider should have the training and certifications needed to perform these services: trauma-informed care, grief counseling, life coaching, recovery programs, suicide prevention, and crisis support – SCARS has all of these and more. Others do not.

Recovering from Victimization

Putting the pieces of one’s life together following a crime can be a complicated task.  It is often an emotional process filled with ups and downs.  For most victims, a new sense of equilibrium can eventually be reached, but this process can be time-consuming and difficult.  For most victims, support groups (such as SCARS offers for free) and counseling are necessary.

The healing process is slow and can be complicated by family, friends, and unprofessional support groups who may not show understanding.  Asking why the victim has not “gotten over it yet” or when he/she is going to “put it behind her and get on with the rest of her life,” are some examples of insensitive remarks that are often made to victims in the aftermath of crime.

It is often made worse by the victim’s own poor moderation of their emotions and turning against those trying to help them.

It is possible for the recovery process to involve the following long-term crisis reactions:

  • Health problems related to the stress of the victimization (i.e., headaches, high blood pressure);
  • Eating problems (not having an appetite, eating too much, feeling nauseated);
  • Sleeping problems (insomnia, nightmares); and
  • Relationship problems (being cranky and irritable, not being able to trust others).
  • Emotional and mental health disorders

These reactions can last for years following a crime.  They are all normal responses for people who have survived a traumatic event.

Memories of the crime can trigger long-term crisis reactions (triggering.)  When memories are reawakened, it can be as painful as the original crime, and at the same time, be confusing for the victims.

Reminder events will vary with different victims but may include:

  • Seeing the offender again.
  • Sensing (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting) something similar to what the victim sensed during the crime.
  • Media coverage of the crime or similar crimes.
  • Anniversaries of the crime.
  • Holidays or significant life events.
  • Going through the criminal justice process.
  • Going through civil proceedings.
  • Being reminded by family or friends.

The intensity and frequency of these crisis reactions (triggers) usually decrease over time.  Patience and time are important factors in the healing process.  A victim’s cognitive state and the familial and social supports available to them will also greatly influence their recovery.

Working for Positive Change

Many victims have chosen to speak out and help others who may become victims of crime by advocating for changes to laws, joining support groups as counselors or storytellers or working within the victim services sector.  Doing so has allowed many victims to feel as though they are contributing to society following their victimization.  For many victims, destructive, unwanted victimization has given rise to highly motivated efforts to make our communities safer and more secure.


Just because someone is a victim does not mean that they know anything about how to properly help other victims! In fact, the only thing they do know is how to be a victim. Any victim that wants to help others must first go through their own recovery, otherwise, it is just an attempt to avoid their own recovery and add control in their own lives.

It is important that any victim that wants to help other victims be fully recovered, monitored, or mentored by a real support and assistance provider, be well trained and certified, Otherwise, the damage they can do to other victims can be significant. SCARS provides training and certification programs for its volunteers and those that want to assist scam victims.


It is important to remember that victims do not choose to be victimized.  Victims do not choose to be violated. Crime is not the victim’s fault – they are not to blame. The criminal made the decision to victimize the victim.

Becoming a victim of crime is a horrific, unpleasant, and unwanted life experience at best.  The impact of criminal victimization is serious, throwing victims into a state of shock, fear, anxiety, and anger.  The emotional, physical, psychological, and financial ramifications of crime can be devastating to victims.  Coping with and recovering from victimization are complex processes.

Sadly, some victims may never be able to do so.

Many victims turn away from help, assistance, and support that could help them!

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Interpretation and Definitions


For the purposes of this Disclaimer:

  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Disclaimer) refers to Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (registered d.b.a. “SCARS”,) 9561 Fountainbleau Blvd., Suit 602, Miami FL 33172.
  • Service refers to the Website.
  • You means the individual accessing this website, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.
  • Website refers to, accessible from

Website Disclaimer

The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only.

The Company assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the Service.

In no event shall the Company be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tort, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Service or the contents of the Service. The Company reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on the Service at any time without prior notice.

The Company does not warrant this website in any way.

External Links Disclaimer

This website may contain links to external websites that are not provided or maintained by or in any way affiliated with the Company.

Please note that the Company does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information on these external websites.

Errors and Omissions Disclaimer

The information given by SCARS is for general guidance on matters of interest only. Even if the Company takes every precaution to ensure that the content of this website is both current and accurate, errors can occur. Plus, given the changing nature of laws, rules, and regulations, there may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information contained on this website.

SCARS is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Fair Use Disclaimer

SCARS may use copyrighted material that has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The Company is making such material available for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

The Company believes this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the United States Copyright law.

If You wish to use copyrighted material from this website for your own purposes that go beyond fair use, You must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views Expressed Disclaimer

The Service may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other author, agency, organization, employer, or company, including SCARS.

Comments published by users are their sole responsibility and the users will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The Company is not liable for any comment published by users and reserves the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever.

No Responsibility Disclaimer

The information on the Service is provided with the understanding that the Company is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, medical or mental health, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal, medical or mental health, or other competent advisers.

In no event shall the Company, its team, board of directors, volunteers, or its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with your access or use or inability to access or use the Service.

“Use at Your Own Risk” Disclaimer

All information on this website is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

SCARS will not be liable to You or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information given by the Service or for any consequential, special, or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Disclaimer, You can contact Us:

  • By email:

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.






This content and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial, or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’ Content. The information contained is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’ websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.

The disclaimers herein are provided on this page for ease of reference. These disclaimers supplement and are a part of SCARS’ website’s Terms of Use. 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2023 Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (Registered D.B.A SCARS) All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

U.S. State of Florida Registration Nonprofit (Not for Profit) #N20000011978 [SCARS DBA Registered #G20000137918] – Learn more at

View the claimed and or registered indicia, service marks, and trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at

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