RSN™ COMMENTARY: Tragic Misunderstanding
One of the things we see over and over, for many years, is the unrealistic expectations of 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. victims.
In our RSN Guide to “What You Can Expect After A Scam” we talk about the specifics of what will and should happen, and what will not happen. Sadly few have read it.
Most victims do not understand how many scammers and victims there really are, here is a reality check:
- There are over 100,000 (100 thousand) scammers active
- There are over 13,000,000 (13 Million) romance scam victims (not including China)
Yet victims (in their desperation) expect us to investigate every reported scam. No one has the resources to investigate all 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., regardless of how much it hurt you personally. No one.
We do understand the pain and the desperate situation that most victims find themselves in, but it does not change what is possible – harsh though that sounds.
No one but law enforcement or their affiliates (such as SCARS) can even triggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. an investigation. All the Facebook amateur groups in the world are not going to get a 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. arrested. It just doesn’t happen that way.
Exposing scammers on Facebook does very little. There are approximately 400 Million (400,000,000) fake profiles on Facebook. When you post a scammers photo only a handful of people will see it. It needs to be reported somewhere (such as here or on www.Anyscam.com) where it will be indexed by Google to do any good.
Reporting them is vital so that governments know how large these crimes are. Without that, they cannot allocate resources or know how to help. But not the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. or EuropolEuropol The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organized crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states. The Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from authorities in the member states. Based in The Hague, it comprised 1,065 staff as of 2016. WEBSITE LINK, or any other agency will investigate most reports.
Regardless, collecting reports is critical, because the time is coming for large scam actions, such as we saw just this June around the world with the arrest of over 3,000 scammers.
The 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. Network was designed to fill a huge void and to distribute scam reports worldwide. This, plus the reports that they get through police channels, helps law enforcement and governments put scammers on watch lists.
When law enforcement has enough information, then they can act. Or if scammers are on a watch list, then they can grab them when they cross borders. Otherwise, they have to wait.
That means YOU are responsible for your safety, education, and recovery after a scam. It is unrealistic for you to expect someone to save you. Of course, we will be here to help you recover, but the money and the scammer have to be set aside for now.
You have to learn what is realistic and what can be done. You have to focus on your recovery, not on 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.. Report them and be done with them.
Remember to always report them three places:
- Your 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. (tell them you just want an “informational” report – you need it for your insurance or taxes)
- Your national police (such as the FBI at www.IC3.gov)
- The SCARS Network on this website or on www.Anyscam.com
Don’t tell us that “No one does anything”
It is simply not true. Everyone is working hard to stop this. Don’t be a defeatist. This takes time and the willing cooperation of all concerned. Just because you don’t know what is being done, just means you are not paying attention. Government is working on this, and so are we.
Regardless, you have to understand that your scammer is not likely to be arrested. Your money is not likely to be returned. All you can do – all that is under your control right now is reporting and recovery.
Get busy doing what you can, and let the professionals and law enforcement work on it.
Report – BlockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• – Recover!
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