Scam Victim Surrender – Psychology of Scams [UPDATED]

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Scam Victim Surrender – Psychology of Scams [UPDATED]

(Last Updated On: August 7, 2022)

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. Victim Surrender

Updated August 2022

Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.
Manipulation & Control

A 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. Insight

There Comes A Point In The Scam When the Victim Just Surrenders And Sends The Money

This is something that the scammers plan on as a means of exercising control over the victim.

It is not so much a conscious decision as it is a giving in.

Renowned authors Sanford Strong (“Strong on Defense” ») and J.J. Bittenbinder (“Tough Target” ») point out that:

“when someone is told a lie they desperately want to believe, they’re going to believe it”

That speaks to both cognitive biases but also to a desperation or a need to believe. All of which, when combined with the other manipulative techniques used by these criminals results in their control over the victim.

It’s About Emotion, Not Logic

Think about the first time you fell in love or a time when someone cut you off on the freeway and you were seething for hours. Were you thinking clearly? Probably not. You let your emotions rule!

SUR·REN·DER
/səˈrendər/
verb
cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
capitulate, give in, give (oneself) up, yield, concede, submit, climb down, give way, defer, acquiesce, back down, cave in, relent, succumb, quit, crumble

Those who believe they’d never fall for a scam don’t realize it’s not about how smart you are; it’s about how well you control your emotions.

Thus everyone can be scammed, and eventually, everyone will be scammed!

FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. victims are people with emotional needs, just like the rest of us. But they can’t separate out those needs when they make emotion-based decisions. That’s a part of what makes them vulnerable.

As any professional telemarketer can tell you: the first objective is to get the victim “under the ether.”

Ether is that fuzzy state when your emotions are stirred up and you’re so agitated that you won’t know which way is up and which is down. It is not angerAnger 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., but it can be any strong emotion – greed, love, despair, or maybe desire. Once 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. has gotten the victim into this condition, it doesn’t matter how smart or dumb they are, the scammer rules. Ether (emotion) trumps intelligence every time. Amygdala hijacks contribute to this.

The Two Most Powerful Ways To Do This Are Through Need And Greed – Scammers Use Both

Scammers find victims based on their emotional needs.  Elderly widowers are typically in need of love, communication, and understanding. So romance scammers target these victims. Especially, victims who have lost a spouse through death or divorce.

Teenage girls are driven by their need to be accepted, understood, and lust

Men are frequently driven by their need to save someone – a damsel in distress.

These are not the only factors that contribute to vulnerability but they are primary ones.

Then the drilling down through the victim’s needs to find the right emotional buttons or pain points that will get the Victim to Surrender to the Scammer’s Will

They start with pronouncements and a continuous stream of banter, but all the while they are interrogating the victim by asking personal questions. Once they have enough knowledge of the victim – and this process can happen fast, then they will throttle up the pressure by focusing on that need. “I love you and I want to come to visit you but I do not have the money” Or “I have an emergency,” etc.

Now the person isn’t thinking about whether it is a scam but instead the emotionally feel : “Here’s a fix for my problems.” – I will send him/her money! I have money and all will be well.

The “crush,” or the “kill” — that’s what telemarketers and scammers call closing the deal — is emotionally driven. It’s not logical. If you apply logic, the answer is always “No, I am not going to send you my hard-earned money. I don’t even know who you are.” If victims had applied logic to 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., they would have walked away every time.

The Surrender Is Also The Victim’s Proof That They Trust The Scammer

Scammers are also experts in manipulating victims through the trust stages in the false relationship. They deliberately create moments of doubt to test the victim. There will be a series of small tests leading to larger and larger ones, eventually leading to sending the first small amount, and then each one is larger and larger.

These moments of surrender are when the victim abandons distrust

At first, everything is great, then comes the first moment of doubt or a trust test that the scammer engineers. It starts with a small one that the scammer uses to get you over the hump. If the scammer can get you through the small tests they know that your emotional investment will help get you through the larger ones. It is like momentum – it is emotionally easier to go forward than to stop and back out.

This is especially true once you have started to send money. That moment always comes up “If I stop now I will lose everything I have sent.” If you just send a little more everything will be alright. That is called Chasing The Money » and is a technique that scammers use to maintain the Victim’s Surrender.

Once A Victim Has Surrendered

Most of the time, once a victim has surrendered to the scammer, the scammer will bleed them until the bank runs dry. Once the scammer knows there is nothing more they will simply drop the victim and move on to the next. However, frequently they will also give or sell the information – sometimes the full transactional transcripts to other scammers for different kinds of scams, such as: investigative scams, money recovery scamsRecovery Scams If you've already fallen for a scam, another scammer may call you and offer to get you your money back for a fee. Their goal is to double-dip and steal more of your money. Unfortunately, in most cases, only real law enforcement or your government can get your money back. There are exceptions, but you are safer to avoid all recovery options., etc. That is because they know that the victim remains vulnerable.

Other Than Romance Scams

The other pathway to the ether is simple greed: The scammer just promises victims they can make a ton of money. This is the core of the 419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. Advance fee fraudAdvance Fee Fraud An advance fee scam or fraud is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. scams.

By the time things begin to look dicey, victims tend to be so invested, emotionally and often physically, that they do most of the persuasion themselves.

Victims may even choose to increase their involvement themselves, even as things turn south (meaning there are constantly new problems that require more money – this is called Chasing The Money) so that by the time the victim is completely bankrupt they don’t quite know what hit them.

Silence

The scammer may not even need to convince the victim to stay quiet after the scam as they are more likely than not to do it themselves because of 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.. People are, after all, the best deceivers of their own minds.

At each step of the scam, scammers draw from a seemingly endless toolbox of ways to manipulate their victim’s beliefs.  As the victim becomes more committed (surrenders), with every step the victim gives the scammer more psychological material to work with to hold onto to control.

Summary

Needless to say, all scam victims have experienced this moment of surrender. The best defense is to never engage – do not accept friend requests, do not engage in conversation, and trust no one until you are sure they are real, and even then remain skeptical.

Avoiding scams is mostly behavioral because your emotions will give you away and betray you. Learn to change how you approach people. Learn to pause before you engage. Even waiting an hour can dampen the emotions to allow you to think more clearly,

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SCARS GREN BOOK - The SCARS STEPS Guide to Scam Victim Recovery

SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide

LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN

This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!

The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.

After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.

The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!

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SCARS SLATE BOOK - A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!

A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS

This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.

The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.

Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.

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SCARS RED BOOK - Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!

Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you

Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!

As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.

The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.

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SCARS BLUE BOOK - Survivor's Recovery Journal
SCARS LIME BOOK - Wisdom & Motivation for Scam Victims
SCARS CHERRY BOOK - A Guide To Understanding Your Fear
SCARS WORKBOOK - 8 Steps To Improvement
SCARS WORKBOOK - Understanding Self-Blame, Guilt, and Shame
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U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

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By the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS 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. Inc.

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Updated SCARS RomanceScamsNow.com Posts:

Scammer Threats – Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself! [UPDATED]

Scammer ThreatsScammer threats Very often when a scammer is not getting cooperation from a victim or the victim refuses to send money, the scammer will then resort to threats. These treats can be of physical violence or retaliation in one of several forms, such as doing or sextortion. African and Indian scammers routinely make treats at the end of a scam. They will threaten to expose intimate photos or chats. They may even threaten to kill or harm family members. It is important to remember that African and Indians scammers are professional liars - they tell stories to achieve a result - and do not waste time if it does not get them more money. Almost all such threats are just more lies meant to intimidate victims. Most victims are safe to ignore them. However, any victim that actually feels fear should contact their local police for advice. Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself! A [...]

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