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 to learn more about SCARS.™ Insight: Can You Correctly Identify A Victim?

What Is A Victim?


The word is a noun, meaning:
a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
or a person who is tricked or duped.

Who Is A Victim Of Crime – The Legal Definition From The U.S. Department of Justice

Definition of a victim:

A victim is defined as a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage, or economic loss as a result of a crime. 

The Simplicity Of The Term

This is a surprisingly simple term and definition, yet it has historically been incredibly hard to agree upon who are victims. To this day, people want to claim victimhood status when they victimized themselves or believe that something that happened to ancestors caused their victimizationVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology.. And the public, corporations, and the government many times wants to deny victim status to real victims. Social media is full of instances of victim deniers who are trolls and haters.

A victim is someone who has been affected personally in the present time directly to them.

Even someone that attempts suicide is a victim!

Why Does This Matter?

This matters because far to often Victims are blamed for their own Victimization.

Look back at the historical context and you will see countless modern examples of inappropriate denial of victim status:

  • Victims of rape were frequently blamed for being participants and not victims
  • Victims of domestic abuse are often said to want the relationship with their abuser
  • 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. victims are said to have voluntarily sent the money
  • Scam victims in a corporate context are said to be negligent & responsible
  • Assault victims are told they were at fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • Even Pedophiles try to blameBlame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action. the children for encouraging them, and many times a parent agrees

Yet we know – finally – that these (and many others) are not true. This is ignorance, 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., and fear speaking. We know this don’t we?

Simply Put

A person is a victim if harm was done to them or through them to another without their consent or their knowledge.

There May Be Things We Can Be Critical About In Victims

We may be able to be critical of victims’ behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. before or after the victimization. After all, victims are human and make mistakes, or act on their emotions. Some of this is understandable, some less so. But it does not – in any way – change the fact that they are a victim and deserving of our compassion and understanding.

Some victims can be extraordinarily hard to help due to 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 cou