Don’t Call Scammers Names – You Are Personalizing It And Making It Harder To Recover – Please Just Stop It! – 2024 [UPDATED]

Don’t Call Scammers Names
You Are Personalizing It And Making It Harder To Recover
Please Just Stop It!

You Are Not Hurting Them, You Are Hurting Yourself and Other Victims!

Recovery Psychology – A SCARS Insight

• Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Originally published in 2018 – updated in 2024

Article Abstract

When individuals resort to calling scammers derogatory names, they often do so as a coping mechanism to regain a sense of power and control in the face of feeling helpless and vulnerable after falling victim to scams. While it may provide temporary relief or catharsis, this practice ultimately harms both the individual engaging in name-calling and the victims they aim to protect.

Labeling scammers with derogatory terms may seem like a form of retaliation or justice-seeking behavior, but it typically does not deter these crimes or significantly impact the scammers themselves. Scammers, motivated solely by financial gain, are often operating anonymously or under false identities, making them immune to the effects of name-calling.

Additionally, engaging in derogatory language perpetuates incorrect stereotypes and stigma surrounding scam victims, implying that falling victim to a scam is a reflection of personal gullibility rather than recognizing the complex tactics used in fraudulent schemes.

Instead of focusing on disparaging scammers, efforts should be directed toward supporting victims, raising awareness about scam prevention, and advocating for stronger consumer protections. Empathy, understanding, and solidarity with scam victims can foster a more compassionate and supportive response to addressing the broader issue of scams, fraud, and exploitation.

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Calling Scammers/Fraudsters/Criminals Names Only Hurts You and Their Victims!

We all see it all the time in the news, in commentary, and on social media. People calling scammers names – putting them down.

But Why Do People Do It?

This is an age-old attempt at chasing away our own fears, holding back the shadows. Putting a criminal or other hated person down is a way to deny that you could have been a victim, or that you might still be for someone like that criminal. It is whistling in the dark to chase away the demons.

Calling scammers degrading names serves as a coping mechanism for scam victims, allowing them to regain a sense of power and control in a situation where they initially felt helpless and vulnerable. When individuals fall victim to scams, they often experience a range of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and embarrassment. By directing these emotions towards the scammer through name-calling, victims can experience a temporary sense of relief or catharsis, but it actually does them harm in the process.

Labeling scammers with derogatory terms can also serve as a form of retaliation or justice-seeking behavior. Victims may feel a strong desire to hold the scammer accountable for their actions, even if it’s just through verbal means. Additionally, by publicly shaming scammers with derogatory names, victims mistakenly hope to warn others and prevent them from falling victim to similar schemes, but it really does not work.

But It Does Not Work – In Fact, It Only Causes Harm

This practice of name-calling and denigrating others only compromises the person’s own ethics, but much worse it harms those that were victimized by that criminal or others like them (him/her).

When you call a criminal a name – first and foremost it is a form of bullying. But it is also calling their victims names too.

Consider what you are doing when you call a scammer “stupid” – you are calling every one of the scammer’s victims stupid as well. After all, if the scammer is so stupid then how much more stupid do his victims have to be to have been scammed by him, right? Every epithet that you use to name a criminal then automatically applies to their victims.

Scammers do stupid things to be sure. They are often sloppy careless, and contextually ignorant. But they are not stupid – they are businesspeople using perfected methods to screen out those they cannot scam allowing them to find and concentrate on those that they can. What looks like stupidity is really tactics. They know that cybercrime is a game of numbers, most attempts fail so they can screen out those not susceptible and leave the ones they can manipulate.

Calling scammers degrading names typically does not deter these crimes or significantly impact the scammers themselves. Scammers are often operating anonymously or under false identities, making them immune to the effects of name-calling or verbal abuse, but even if they were using their real names what do they care? Additionally, scammers are typically motivated solely by financial gain and are not deterred by insults or negative feedback from victims.

Furthermore, engaging in name-calling can actually have negative consequences for the victims themselves. While it may provide a temporary sense of satisfaction or empowerment, it can also increase feelings of anger, frustration, and trauma for the victim. Continuing to focus on the scammer and the negative experience may prolong the victim’s psychological distress and hinder their ability to move forward and recover from the incident.

Moreover, publicly shaming scammers through derogatory language backfires, leading to retaliation or further harassment from the scammer or their associates. This can escalate the situation and create additional stress and anxiety for the victim.

When You Resort To Name Calling

What You Imply About Yourself & Other Victims

After you are scammed you feel anger and rage and hate toward your scammer! It is natural to want to put the scammer down, but is it helpful?

People call other people names for a variety of reasons but mostly it only diminishes them.

Why Name Calling Is Despicable

Extracted from an article By Emil Caillaux on the ThoughtCatalog

It is said that mankind only came into its own when it was able to recognize itself and others as actual people. Since then, however, we’ve done a pretty crappy job. Calling people names seems to be a practice as old as humanity itself.

However, lately a particularly nasty undercurrent of name-calling seems to be pervading society as a whole.

Fact: Calling someone a “bitch” is unacceptable. Calling someone an “asshole” is unacceptable. Calling someone a “retard” is unacceptable. Calling someone a “slut” is unacceptable. (And don’t get me started on religious, sexual and/or ethnic slurs.) If people want to be a part of civilized society, under no circumstances should they use these words (or any other, or any variation thereof, really) to describe other people. Period.

If someone calls someone else any of the above words within earshot (or screenshot) of other people, whether they really mean it or if it’s in jest or in an endearing fashion, they open the floor to have it used on them. The girl who calls her friends “bitches” at a bar (or, “betches,” because one letter clearly makes a difference) will more than likely be called one if someone gets pissed off at her.

By calling someone a name, what some people attempt to do is encase their opponent under a label deemed by society to be negative, minimizing them and whatever they were standing for. In reality, by doing so, they are allowing themselves to being labeled, and also lose both the high ground and the argument: no one has ever called someone any of the words specified above and received a response along the lines of, “You’re SOOO right. I am EXACTLY what you just called me. Tell me ALLLLL the things I’m doing wrong.” Calling someone a name equals an immediate forfeit and the validation and lionization of the other side.

Worst of all, however, should be the following: calling someone names is a sign that they are neither smart nor witty enough to defend themselves with a logical argument. “But the other person isn’t being logical and I don’t have enough time to lay it out for them” is a common defense. Balderdash. If they are engaging in a discussion spirited enough to qualify someone as beneath them, then they have a stake in being right and should take enough time to achieve that goal. Using a curse word is like taking a cannon to a knife fight — it’s cheap, it’s cowardly, and most of the time, it’s completely unnecessary and will only make it worse.

If someone really feels strongly about it and has an overwhelming need to call someone disgusting names they should do so privately, far from the eyes of other people, where they can truly, purely express themselves in as honest a fashion as they perceive is correct. These people should not be surprised, however, if the object of their attack takes offense and rips their head off.

I’m not attempting to be Emily Post – quite the opposite. I’m not holier-than-thou. I’m not a Boy Scout. But, like my grandfather told me once, “it doesn’t matter how the other person behaves in a fight; in the long run, it matters how you behave.” Calling someone a name is a lazy person’s resource. It takes away all of their collected knowledge, their education and their manners, putting them in the same class as barbarian trolls who don’t know any better.

The best arguments are those in which people use their brains. Where people take full advantage of thousands of years of evolution and use their words not as a blunt instrument, but in a way that would put Socrates to shame. If you know anyone who fits the description above (and hopefully, you don’t) do us all a favor and teach them to be a better foil, and bask in the satisfaction of winning an argument via logic, charm and wit. It’s oh-so-much more satisfying, and in the end, we all win.


Let’s Repeat That And Make This Clear

Scammers are not idiots. They are not stupid. They are not brainless. They are not animals. They are not lazy! They are businesspeople doing a terrible thing. They are indifferent to victims’ name-calling and their suffering. For them, it is just business.

Scammers Are Criminals – Just That!

They are smart. They are hard-working. They are organized. Many are brilliant. And most importantly, Online Crime Is Real Crime!

Think about what it says about you if they were all the things you accuse them of being?

It is understandable if you are a victim and were outsmarted by a smart hard-working criminal, but if they were stupid and lazy? What does that really say about you?

If you are not a victim, calling them names does not make you look any smarter either! In fact, while some humor can be beneficial when used to empathize with victims, calling scammers names is also very condescending towards victims and those close to them.

Creating false myths about these criminals only helps them continue doing what they do because people will not take them seriously. If even the victims don’t treat them seriously in what they say about these criminals then why should the rest of society?

Every Time You Call A Scammer These Names You Are Also Insulting The Victims They Outsmarted And Stole From!

You may dislike them, you may even hate them. But let’s look at the world realistically and identify things for what they are!

Every time you call a scammer derogatory names, you’re inadvertently insulting, not just the scammer but also, the victims they’ve exploited. While it’s natural to feel anger and frustration towards scammers, it’s essential to remember that those who have fallen victim to scams are often in vulnerable positions themselves.

Scammers prey on individuals through manipulation, deception, and exploitation of trust. Victims of scams can come from all walks of life, and many find themselves in financially precarious situations or facing personal challenges that make them more susceptible to being targeted. They may have been misled by convincing narratives, sophisticated tactics, or persuasive appeals that played on their emotions or vulnerabilities.

By belittling scammers, you’re indirectly undermining the experiences and hardships of those who have been deceived and defrauded. Victims of scams often experience a range of negative emotions, including shame, embarrassment, and self-blame. Adding insult to injury by disparaging remarks about scammers can compound these feelings and contribute to further distress.

Additionally, derogatory language directed towards scammers may perpetuate stereotypes and stigma surrounding victims of scams. It suggests that falling victim to a scam is a reflection of personal gullibility or foolishness rather than recognizing the complex factors and tactics used in these fraudulent schemes.

Instead of focusing on disparaging scammers, it’s important to direct efforts toward supporting victims, raising awareness about scam prevention, and advocating for stronger government protections. Empathy, understanding, and solidarity with those who have been affected by scams can build a more compassionate and supportive response to addressing the broader issue of scams, fraud, and exploitation.


Instead of directing energy towards the scammer in a negative way, victims may benefit from focusing on their own healing and recovery process. Seeking support from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals can provide a more constructive outlet for processing emotions and navigating the aftermath of a scam. Additionally, reporting the scam to relevant authorities or consumer protection agencies can contribute to efforts to combat fraud and prevent others from falling victim to similar schemes.

What Do You Say?

Remember this is not about what it does to the Scammer!
It is about what it does to You and Other Victims!

Important Information for New Scam Victims

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Statement About Victim Blaming

Some of our articles discuss various aspects of victims. This is both about better understanding victims (the science of victimology) and their behaviors and psychology. This helps us to educate victims/survivors about why these crimes happened and to not blame themselves, better develop recovery programs, and to help victims avoid scams in the future. At times this may sound like blaming the victim, but it does not blame scam victims, we are simply explaining the hows and whys of the experience victims have.

These articles, about the Psychology of Scams or Victim Psychology – meaning that all humans have psychological or cognitive characteristics in common that can either be exploited or work against us – help us all to understand the unique challenges victims face before, during, and after scams, fraud, or cybercrimes. These sometimes talk about some of the vulnerabilities the scammers exploit. Victims rarely have control of them or are even aware of them, until something like a scam happens and then they can learn how their mind works and how to overcome these mechanisms.

Articles like these help victims and others understand these processes and how to help prevent them from being exploited again or to help them recover more easily by understanding their post-scam behaviors. Learn more about the Psychology of Scams at

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Psychology Disclaimer:

All articles about psychology and the human brain on this website are for information & education only

The information provided in this article is intended for educational and self-help purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional therapy or counseling.

While any self-help techniques outlined herein may be beneficial for scam victims seeking to recover from their experience and move towards recovery, it is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional before initiating any course of action. Each individual’s experience and needs are unique, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another.

Additionally, any approach may not be appropriate for individuals with certain pre-existing mental health conditions or trauma histories. It is advisable to seek guidance from a licensed therapist or counselor who can provide personalized support, guidance, and treatment tailored to your specific needs.

If you are experiencing significant distress or emotional difficulties related to a scam or other traumatic event, please consult your doctor or mental health provider for appropriate care and support.

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