Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Reporting Romance 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.: Why SurvivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com Often Don’t

By the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, Inc. January 15, 2018 ©

Introduction

Why is it that not all romance scams survivors find it necessary to report scams?

After all, a romance 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. is truly an emotional assault, a form of rape!

Why don’t they report them to 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. justice system in order to move forward from their experience? In fact, some feel that the criminal justice system really re-victimizes them in its process. Some survivors find that the services provided by the police are openly hostile to scam victims in many cases, and online support are the only services they feel comfortable pursuing.

This really means that most of these crimes are unknown to governments and they feel little pressure to do very much about it.

While measuring rates of the emotional violence from scams can be difficult, there is no uncertainty in the national data (compiled by 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.) that the majority of romance scams are never reported to police and government.

It is believed that only 3 to 5% of romance scams are ever reported.

Contrast that with 15.8 to 35 percent of all sexual assaults are reported to the police (at least in the United States)(according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics).

A survivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com’s relationship with the scam offender has a strong effect on the likelihood of reporting. Since most romance scams are not perpetrated by a real identity, and because in most cases the scam relationship was kept secret, the scam victims tend to hide the crime once discovered.

Whereas with rape/sexual assault survivors it depends more on the relationship:

  • When a rape or sexual assault offender is an intimate partner or former intimate partner, only 25 percent of sexual assaults are reported to the police.
  • When an offender is a friend or acquaintance, only 18 to 40 percent of sexual assaults are reported.
  • When an offender is a stranger, between 46 and 66 percent of sexual assaults are reported.

With romance scam victims it tends to depend upon the emotional attachment to 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. (fake identity), then duration of the scam, and the financial losses.

Sexual Assault Survivors cite the following reasons for not reporting a sexual assault:

  • Fear of reprisal
  • Personal matter / Did not want family to know / Did not want others to know
  • Reported to a different official
  • Not important enough to respondent
  • Belief that the police would not do anything to help
  • Belief that the police could not do anything to help
  • Did not want to get offender in trouble with law
  • Not enough proof / Fear of lack of evidence
  • Fear of the justice system
  • Did not know how
  • Feel the crime was not “serious enough”
  • Unsure about perpetrator’s intent

We see very similar reasons for not reporting romance scams:

  • Fear of reprisal / threats made by the scammer
  • Personal matter / Did not want family to know / Did not want others to know / it is private and the victim is ashamed
  • Reported to a different official / posting information uselessly online
  • Not important enough to respondent / the victim did not lose money
  • Belief that the police would not do anything to help
  • Belief that the police could not do anything to help
  • Did not want to get offender in trouble with law
  • Not enough proof / Did not keep proof / Fear of lack of evidence
  • Fear of the justice system / May have past criminal history
  • Did not know how / or confused about the process
  • Feel the crime was not “serious enough” / especially true when no monetary loss
  • Unsure about perpetrator’s identity

In both cases – romance scams and sexual assault crimes, the crime is a significant traumatic experience that can initially place the victim in shock.

Due partially to low reporting rates, only 9 percent of all rapists get prosecuted. Only 5 percent of cases lead to a felony conviction for sexual assault. Only 3 percent of rapists will spend a day in prison. The other 97 percent of rapists will walk free.

Now contrast that with Romance Scams where less than 0.00001% result in arrests – due mainly to the transnational nature of romance scams, and the inability of governments to cross borders after online offenders. Yet with the right laws and motivation, governments could actually have vast arrest rates regardless of where the scammers are!

What do we do to change these numbers? To get more survivors to report the crimes that had such a negative impact on their lives?

It took generations to change the mindset of sexual assault survivors, so that they felt empowered to report their crimes, and to change the mentality of the criminal justice system to look at rape for what it truly was – an assault. Now we must do the same for the victims of romance scams / online emotional rape. We need to empower them to come forward and change the perception in law enforcement that this was a voluntary crime – it was not – it was an involuntary manipulation.

However, that change with sexual assaults was not overnight, and took the efforts of thousands of advocates working together in each of the localities and countries to change this. Most of the anti-scam advocates are amateurish, uninformed, and focused on their rageRage Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. or wasted gestures.

Posting scammers to expose and shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness. then is mostly a wasted effort at reducing the incidence of this insidious crime. Governments have to play the largest role in this, and that means we have to work in unison to coordinate with governments, both to support and educate THEM (that means reporting), and apply proper political pressure for the legal and enforcement changes that are needed.

Victims cannot hide anymore, their voices are too important to waste in silence, or on useless scammer exposing.

Scamming is a giant global business, right up there with drugs and human trafficking. It will take transnational non-governmental organizations (like SCARS) working hand in glove with governments around the world to slow it.

If you are reading this, the odds are high you are a victim. Why not become a survivor and do something about this?
We ask you to join our ranks and become a SCARS Member (www.AgainstScams.org) because in the next few months we will be transitioning to local chapters and aiding you in the ways to change governments around the world, but it starts with adding your voice and standing up against romance scams in a meaningful way!

Will you do it?

Every voice counts!

Also, please please report every scammer on our worldwide network here or at www.Anyscam.com

We all need to Act Against Scams!

Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Chairman, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, Inc. [SCARS]
Doral (Miami), Florida, USA
www.AgainstScams.org