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RSN™ Guide: Why Reporting Matters?
Most People Do Not Report Scammers
We know that 95% of you who will read this will not report your scammer to law enforcement or any credible entity
That is truly sad!
As citizens, each of us have a duty to report crimes. Yet when it comes to scammers most victims remain silent.
There are so many excuses:
- The police are mean
- The police do nothing about it anyway
- I am embarrassed – I am ashamed
- Why bother, scammers will just keep scamming
Yet, a huge number of people decide to expose their scammer on social media.
Why Is It Important To Report Scammers To Your Local And National Police?
Of course the first reason is that it is your duty! But in an age of instant gratification, who cares about their responsibilities to anyone else?
However, there are many real reasons why you should do it!
Reporting Scammers To Law Enforcement Is Critically Important
Beyond keeping the local peace and preventing crime, all law enforcement has a legal responsibility to report crimes up through government, so local, state (provincial) and national governments understand the reality of crime. This reporting determines resources such as money and manpower. It determines training requirements and victims support needs. It also helps government at the national level to understand what new laws and international cooperation may be needed to control this.
When you do not report, you deny this information up and down through your government, keeping them in the dark. Governments work off of hard statistical data in making their decisions. If it is not in the data, it did not happen. They have to be objective, and only hard data reported is objective.
Failing to report crimes also means the police do not know what local victims assistance resources they need to better train their officers and support victims in crisis. With more than a million victims in 2016 – governments around the world only saw about 5% of those victims (and since victims are typically scammed more than once, the number of reported crimes was about 2-3% of those that actually occurred).
Now you know why police do not respond more seriously to the small number of reports they do receive. Because they do not see it as that big of a problem – because victims are not reporting them.
At The National Level
Since most online fraud is transnational – meaning the victims and scammers are not in the same country – extradition treaties are required to arrest scammers. Very few countries will extradite fraudsters currently. These treaties envisioned traditional criminals, such as murderers and bank robbers. But scams are unique, since the victims willingly sends the money to the scammer under fraudulent pretexts, but this makes a huge difference when trying to extradite a criminal in most of the African countries especially.
This means that new treaties are needed that specifically address these types of crimes, and this means that national politicians need to fully understand the magnitude of these crimes. By not reporting them, you deny them the information they need to make decisions about the need for new extradition treaties.
Do You See How One Simple Failure Can Cascade Up The Line?
This is a simple argument, do the right thing, and the rest sorts itself out. Failing to do the right thing, and the whole system fails.
People do not believe romance and other online scams are a big deal because victims have failed to report them. A few moments of discomfort can make all the difference to your community and your country.
As parents tend to tell children, there are no short cuts to a reward. You have to do the work. Do the hard thing to get the benefit.
Without your report, police are left in the dark and it goes on from there.
But The Police Do Not Do Anything Anyway …
This is a statement we hear hundreds of times a day. Victims are fed a steady stream of nonsense and urban legends from other victims about what the police do or do not do. Plus the police themselves contribute to this when they tell victims there is nothing they can do to catch the scammer or get their money back.
That Is True, But Not The Whole Story
When the police take a report, of course, it serves to collect data needed as we have said, but it also does something else. It collects data that can be used to help police understand the use of Money Mules. Often Money Mules are within your country – that means that even though the scammer may be in Africa, the Mule is helping the scammer from within your country. These Mules contribute to as many as 20% of all scams, and shutting them down has a big impact.
By reporting the crime to the police, they may not say they will do anything because they do not want you to get your hope up, but the wheels will keep spinning behind the scenes. Whenever they can find a nexus in your country, responsible police will explore it. This can lead to the shutdown of a Mule, and in many cases the recovery of some funds. If nothing else, many Mules are victims living in denial, and this gets them help and forces them to recognize that they were being scammed too.
We Ask You To Be An Advocate
We ask you to be someone that makes a difference. Instead of useless exposing scammers on social media, talk to other victims and help them understand why real reporting is so important.
Tell them that there are three places where scammers need to be reported:
- National Police (such as the FBI)
- Local Police
- www.Anyscam.com (or here on this website – parts of the worldwide scam data distribution network operated and funded by SCARS)
If You Do Your Part They Will Do Their Part!
You have to make the effort. It will not be easy to report your scam to real people, especially right after you discover it. In fact, it will be very difficult, because it will require that you fully confront it – but in the end this will make it much easier to get over it. Plus local law enforcement usually have local crime victim support services that they can suggest for you.
Avoid Vigilante ScamHater Groups On Social Media & The Web
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to take up with a vigilante group on social media (so-called Scam Haters), who spend all of their time “Exposing” scammers to closed audiences – exactly how does that help anyone? Do the social media companies watch those scam hater groups? NO! Does law enforcement? NO!
All they do is to keep victims whipped up into a continuous stream of hatred for criminals that only prolongs their recovery, and offers no real support – certainly not legal support since only SCARS is a registered online crime victims’ assistance organization.
Every victim feel powerless after the scam, but the real first step in restoring your control over the scammer is to report them.