SCARS Journalism & Ethical Publishing Standards – Policy

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SCARS Journalism & Ethical Publishing Standards – Policy

(Last Updated On: November 27, 2022)

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. Journalism & Ethical Publishing Standards


A SCARS Policy

About SCARS Publishing on


  • Owner: 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 to learn more about SCARS. Inc., a Florida Nonprofit Corporation.
  • Publisher in Chief: Dr. Tim McGuinness, Managing Director, Board Member, and SCARS Officer
  • Press Contact: Debby Montgomery Johnson, Director, Board Member, and SCARS Officer
  • Editorial Advisory Board: Vianey Gonzalez, Chris Fromal, Lydia Zagarova, Sharron Armstrong, and others.


We will revise our website and articles as needed to maintain the correctness, competency, and accuracy of our contact. We cannot promise to notify our readers when this happens, though you will find updated articles in our listing of updated posts.


SCARS holds its journalists, reporters, writers, content curators, video producers, commentators, editors, and all other employees, volunteers, contributors or contractors (hereafter referred to as content creators) to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. These ethical and editorial standards have been created to guide content creators to create an extremely trustworthy publication for our audience. In addition, we are publishing these standards so that the public can know them in the spirit of transparency.

If our audience can’t trust the content we produce, they will not be able to use this information in their recovery and to avoid these crimes in the future. And if the content we produce is not truthful, useful, instructive, or wholesome, our existence as a nonprofit company cannot be justified. Therefore, SCARS expects its content creators to not only keep, but also build trust with our readers and viewers by producing content that conforms to the standards laid out in this document.

Telling the Truth

  • Our first value as an organization is truth – actually, radical truth. We should be honest, accurate, truthful, transparent, and fair. We should not distort or fabricate facts, imagery, sound, or data.
  • We should provide accurate context for all content.
  • We should ensure that sources are reliable. To the maximum extent possible, we should make clear to our audience who and what our sources are (as much as possible and practical,) what motivations our sources may have and any conditions people have set for giving us information.
  • We should correct errors quickly, completely, and visibly. This is why we typically show the last edited date on our posts and articles. We should make it easy for our audience to bring errors to our attention. Errors can be reported to us by email at
  • We should clearly distinguish fact from opinion or commentary or editorials.
  • SCARS focuses on topics designed to resonate with people across different educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. We should strive to write clearly, in a way that communicates truth to the most people.

Nature of Our Writing

  • As a values-based organization, we believe that it is vitally important that we are transparent about our beliefs and how they may affect our content priorities. We believe that we should be open about the values we hold, rather than hiding behind a veneer of “unbiased” writing. We are pro-victim, anti-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., and law & order focused. Our views are generally conservative but not always depending on the topic.
  • Founded in the context of a nonprofit crime victims’ assistance and crime prevention organization that in general reflects a victim blamingVictim Blaming Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. SCARS seeks to mitigate the prejudice against victims and the perception that victims are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders or scammers. There is historical and current prejudice against the victims of domestic violence and sex crimes, such as the greater tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery. Scam victims are often blamed by family & friends for the crime. Scam victims also engage in self-blame even though they are not to blame., 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. apologizing worldview, SCARS may make editorial choices to tell stories that fill a gap in coverage priorities at establishment media outlets, and overcome false information mostly published by amateur anti-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. groups.
  • Editorially, SCARS upholds traditional moral values but is not religious-based. Politically, SCARS advocates for broadly conservative positions on most issues relating to law & order.
  • We want our content to be fact-based, without expression of opinions, but content creators are encouraged to provide their thoughtful opinions in commentary or other types of articles clearly listed as opinions. Every person has opinions, and we believe that our content creators should be transparent about their opinions in the appropriate place.
  • Our content creators may express personal opinions in their own accounts on social networks, as governed by our policies on social media. For more information, see the section on Social Media use by Staff and Content Creators.
  • We encourage our content creators to express opinions about journalism matters, advocating for freedom of information and joining the conversation within the profession about important issues.
  • Our content creators, executives, and volunteers should work to ensure that advertisers, sponsors, and contributors have no influence over editorial content policies unless content is specifically disclosed as sponsored content.
  • We encourage content creators to be involved in the community, politics, and the issues we cover, but we should disclose these involvements in our coverage, when directly relevant.
  • Despite our organization’s involvement in the issues we cover, SCARS should provide factual content in an objective voice.


  • SCARS is a diverse organization. Our Board of Directors includes online crime victims from many cultures and continents. We are a military veteran-managed organization and is predominantly female-managed.
  • We believe that including different perspectives is an important part of getting to the heart of our telling the truth.
  • We seek diverse pools of candidates for all jobs and volunteering roles, but should always seek to hire the most qualified candidate.
  • We encourage our team to seek diverse sources, both in specific articles and in routine coverage.

Community Impact

  • We respect our audience and those we communicate about. We should always consider how our work and its permanence may affect the subjects of our reporting, our community, and ­­– since the internet knows no boundaries –­­ the larger world.


  • SCARS is committed to publishing only accurate information. We take many steps to ensure accuracy:
    • We should investigate claims with skepticism; question assumptions; challenge conventional wisdom; confirm information with subject-matter experts; and seek to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other informed people or consulting documents.
    • We should verify content, such as technical terms, statistics, etc., against source documents, or make clear who is providing the information.
    • We may share relevant components of an article with a primary source or an outside expert to verify them.
    • We should stand by the information as accurate, and if it’s not, we should correct it as quickly as possible and be transparent with our readers about the magnitude of the error.
  • Content Creators should ask the following questions when double-checking information in a quest for the truth.
    1. How do you know?
    2. How can you be sure?
    3. Where is the evidence?
    4. Who is the source, and how does the source know?
    5. What is the supporting documentation, if any?
  • Original Sources: Whenever possible, we should directly reference and rely on original sources: quotes from witnesses, documents, academic journals, databases, authorities, experts. However, this may not always be possible.
  • Social Media Sources: Social media posts may be used as an original source when directly quoting and referencing the fact that a statement was made by an account. Social media posts should not be relied on as a source of factual information without additional verification of authenticity. Images and videos posted on social media are more likely to be authentic, but they can be faked and also should be authenticated.
  • Other News Organizations: SCARS uses online tools and other signals to help assess the credibility of potential sources for information, news and commentary. However, in rare occasions, information from an otherwise questionable source seems credible and is not available elsewhere, and in those cases — and they are and should be rare — those sources may be used with approval from a senior editor, who may choose to explain in the story why the source was used.
  • Written, video, and audio excerpts from news reports, books, magazines, social media posts or other media should be attributed wherever possible to allow our readers to directly reference our sources if applicable. Not all sources are acceptable sources. This is why we never draw information from anti-scam communities or groups.
  • Ideally, if resources permit, other news organizations’ reports can be a signal that we should gather and confirm facts about a story ourselves, in which case we are now an original source and do not need to attribute facts that we have independently verified.
  • If we are unsure of the accuracy of the information and still believe it is in the public’s interest to tell a story, we should cite our sources, word stories carefully to avoid spreading false rumors, acknowledge what we don’t know, and, where appropriate, ask the community’s help in confirming or correcting our information.
  • When sources are providing statistics, content creators should ask for the original data (which might provide more information, as well as ensuring the accuracy of the statistics).
  • We should facilitate and welcome feedback from our readers and sources regarding the information that we publish.
    • We include a way for readers to submit a correction to the content creator via email or as comments for each news item that we publish.
    • We also allow the public to reach out to the SCARS Team.

Photo and Video Accuracy

  • We should not edit or manipulate images if the intent is to deceive or manipulate the meaning of the image for our audience.
  • We may obscure or pixelate images to protect the identity of someone in the image or to protect viewers from graphic material.
  • We should make a reasonable effort to verify photos or videos from social media before using them. We may use unverified photos or videos from social media if we believe it is in the interest of our audience to see them for themselves.

Plagiarism and Attribution

  • When we use someone’s exact words, we should use quotation marks and attribute.
  • We should always try to cite news releases if they are our sources and should quote them if using their exact words.
  • When we use substantial material from our archives or from an author’s previous work in a current story, we should note that the material has been published before if possible.
  • When using facts generated by an original source of reporting, we should attribute sources by name and, if possible the source is digital, by providing the reader a link to the original source.
  • Ideally, if resources permit, we should gather and confirm facts ourselves and in this case, would not need to attribute to another organization. Even in this situation, however, we should give credit, as a courtesy, to another information source if possible.
  • If this information is routine or unoriginal (e.g, dictionary definitions, historical summaries, etc.), we do not need to name the source, but may include a link as a resource for our readers. However, we strive to only include links to relevant information so as to not confuse our readers.
  • Our content creators should avoid plagiarism by adding attributions, links, or quotation marks before pasting a passage into their notes.
  • There are cases where third-party information may be used and it is believed that it is in the public interest.

Confidential Sources

  • We may use confidential sources to provide important information that cannot be obtained through on-the-record sources. Content creators must disclose the identity of unnamed sources to at least one senior editor.
  • We may publish information from confidential sources that we consider reliable.
  • We recognize that many sources cannot talk to us freely. We may grant confidentiality if we think the source has a good reason, such as to scam victims. We will only use information and quotes from unnamed sources that editorial leadership considers reliable.


  • We do not pay for interviews.
  • We may permit interviewees, in select cases, to revise their comments to clarify complicated or technical matters. However, it is our policy to provide interviews as recorded for transparency purposes. After an interview, written content creators may talk over the interview with interviewees and ask them to clarify unclear, complicated, or technical matters.

Sources: Reliability and Attribution

  • Content creators may use sources with a conflict of interest in stories, but known details that signal the conflict of interest should be identified.
  • When we reference the words or perspectives of individuals outside of the public eye, content creators should disclose the source of that information (e.g. through Twitter, Facebook, or personal communication) when possible.
  • We should use links, if available, for source attribution in articles and commentary when possible.
  • We should include source attribution in articles themselves as well as links, as applicable, to other sources not quoted for the story but that provide additional background information, e.g., government documents, court filings, general encyclopedia articles, and so forth when possible.
  • We should make all attribution as clear and detailed as possible, including names, titles, and affiliation when possible.
  • As needed, we should include details about sources that may signal bias or point of view.


  • Quotes should not be altered in any way, unless a change is for approved reasons.
  • Ideally, content creators should prefer “non-partial” and “unfixed” quotes. Therefore, content creators should resist changes unless necessary. If an appropriate change is thought necessary, content creators should seek to make a minimum of changes. If in doubt, content creators should speak with a supervisor.
  • We should provide context for quotes with explanatory sentences or paragraphs.
  • We should consider whether it makes sense to publish a full recording or transcript of the interview, to avoid any questions over the quotes we selected.

Corrections Policy

  • SCARS is committed to telling its readers when an error has been made, the magnitude of the error, and the correct information, as quickly as possible. This commitment and transparency is applicable to small errors as well as large, to short news summaries as well as large feature pieces.
  • We encourage the public to let our editorial team know if they believe an incorrect statement has been made in our reporting.
  • Reported errors should clearly state 1) The correct information 2) The erroneous information that has been updated 3) When the update was made. The language of the correction should be standardized, not include extraneous other language, and have a serious tone.
  • In general, corrections should replace the sections of the article found to contain errors, so that the entire work is correct.
  • We should note that updates have been made to articles and commentary if they involve corrections or rephrasing. This appears above each post as an updated date.
  • In the case of a story that has severe issues that cannot be fixed or resolved, it will be deleted since our purpose is to present correct information only.

Removing Archived Work

  • We should make a reasonable effort to update a story in our archives, if possible, that is outdated.
  • We should note when the post was updated – which we do on each post
  • We should correct any errors we learn of in our archived content.
  • In the case of acquisitions, we may delete old content without a retraction or a note about the correction.

General Ethical Considerations

  • We should generally avoid identifying children — by name or photo — who are connected with crimes as victims or witnesses but may do so if the child’s identity is already widely known. See more about this in our Reporting Ethical Standard.
  • We may identify children who are charged with crimes if the child has been publically identified in other media.
  • We should seek permission from a parent to interview or photograph a child who is a victim.

Withholding Names

  • We should not publish the names of victims unless they agree to speak on the record or are already widely reported.
  • In covering active police or military operations, we may withhold such details as location or tactics planned until after the operation to avoid endangering police, troops or civilians who could be affected.
  • We should consider potential harm to sources facing intolerance in their societies before naming them in stories.
  • We should identify criminals, as we believe their identities and information about them are important parts of the story or information. It can be equally important to understand what made the person commit the crime, as to tell the stories of the victims.

Naming Suspects

  • In general, we should name criminal suspects if they are arrested, arraigned, convicted, or imprisoned.
  • If a criminal suspect is at large and believed to be dangerous, we may identify the suspect, including a photo or sketch.
  • If we were the primary reporting source for the original story about a crime or an arrest, we should make a reasonable effort to subscribe to alerts from court computer systems or search engines, or make other periodic checks to be aware of updates on such cases.


  • We view everything publicly displayed on social media and the internet as fair and appropriate for news. We reserve the right to publish any content we find online or from public sources.
  • We do, however, consider the standard for publishing material about private individuals who are thrust into the public eye as much higher than that for public individuals or criminals.
  • We believe celebrities and public officials have no right to expect privacy, and all of their actions, whether in public or private or in social media, are fair and appropriate for publishing. We do, however, reserve the right to exercise our best judgment regarding how a subject matter’s newsworthiness relates to public decency and our values when deciding whether to publish information about celebrities and public officials, or criminals. We analyze cases on an individual basis, taking into account the news or information value of the public figure’s action.
  • We may voluntarily withhold information we have gathered if we deem it inappropriate, based on our news judgment and professional standards.
  • We reserve the right to publish material that we have voluntarily withheld if we determine that the material has a valid public interest.
  • We should use discretion when it comes to interviewing and publishing material from 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. victims or bystanders because we understand that to do so may cause additional harm to individuals.

False Information

  • SCARS should not knowingly allow the appearance of any false or deceptive information in its publications, either in articles, content, or comments.
  • If individuals attempt to publish false information on SCARS publications or other media, SCARS at its option may ban the authors of such information.

Hate Speech

  • We report on so-called hate speech and actions and include original offensive expressions in some cases, subject to our limitations on obscenities (see the section on Obscenities below). In some cases, we may decide against including the original offensive expression based on our best judgment.
  • We should not ever publish commentary, opinion, or analysis on SCARS that promotes racism or promotes the idea that any person or group of people is inhuman or unworthy of respect as human beings.
  • Within this context, however, we reserve the right to use strong language, that in normal circumstances would be seen as disrespectful, to describe brutal, vicious or inhumane 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..
  • We should not ever publish anything that encourages violence.
  • We do, however, strongly support free speech as an inherent human right and a cornerstone of a free society.

Victim Blaming


Some of our articles discuss various aspects of victims. This is both about better understanding victims (the science of victimologyVictimology Victimology is the study of victimization, including the psychological effects on victims, relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system—that is, the police and courts, and corrections officials—and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.) and their behaviors and psychology. This helps us to better develop educational information and recovery programs, and to help victims avoid 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. in the future. At times this may sound like blamingBlaming 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 victim, but it does not 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. scam victims. Far from it. Many of our articles discuss the 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. – meaning that all humans have psychological or cognitive characteristics in common that can either be exploited or works against us. These become some of the vulnerabilities the scammers exploit. Victims rarely have control or are even aware of them, until something like a scam happens and then they have the ability to 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 & Victim Trauma

Mental HealthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". and Suicide

  • We acknowledge the reality of mental health issues and personal agency.
  • We may cover suicide if it is newsworthy, and should seek to be thoughtful and respectful of the person’s family in a difficult time both through our tone and details.
  • We should cover mental health and suicide as broad public health issues as consistently as we cover other matters as relevant to our readers
  • We should not describe a suicide attempt as “successful” or “unsuccessful.”
  • We should include contact information for resources for people in mental health crises. (e.g. “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.”)
  • We may include the method used in a suicide when it is important for audience understanding.
  • We have a responsibility to weigh the balance between informing our audience and respecting the potential public health impact of our reporting.
  • We should make a reasonable effort to not use medical mental health terminology (i.e., “schizophrenic,” “bipolar,” etc.) to describe non-mental health issues, except when words are part of the commonly accepted lexicon.

Other Considerations

Use of Licensed and Unlicensed Intellectual Property

  • News organizations necessarily rely on copyrighted intellectual property to tell stories that impact government, culture and society. But that necessity doesn’t free writers from the constraints of intellectual property law. Content creators should only use outside media in accordance with fair use law or with specific permission such as is provided by SCARS Partners.
  • SCARS is committed to the protection of intellectual property.
  • In some cases, we may copy images or video that we believe may be shortly taken down if we believe that the content falls under the purview of fair use and is of public benefit, even if we currently link to or embed the source.

Online Commenting

  • We have a system that permits individuals to “flag” comments for potential problems, and we should make a reasonable effort to review those “flagged” comments in a systematic and timely fashion.
  • In the interest of encouraging public debate, we permit civil and constructive comments on almost all articles.
  • As a publisher, we reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason.
  • We do not currently allow anonymous commenting, though commenters may lie about their identity.
  • We may access and review the identity of a registered commenter when subpoenaed by law enforcement.
  • We reserve the right to access and review the identity of a registered commenter for any reason.
  • We should make a reasonable effort to edit or delete comments to remove any potentially libelous language, threats of violence or other illegal speech, but we should not normally change spelling or grammatical errors.
  • We reserve the right to remove content that contains spam or advertising.
  • We should continually update and upgrade our commenting technology to defend against spam and trolling.

User-Generated Content (“UGC”)

  • We should guard against using UGC imagery in situations that might be dangerous to the person who created it or to others in the images. We should stress to possible providers of UGC that they should not take risks to gather information or imagery.
  • We may partner with other organizations and the public in attempts to verify that UGC is accurate. This could mean we distribute UGC with caveats that it hasn’t been verified, when applicable.
  • We should not distribute UGC content except by embedding the original post from a third party unless we’re certain we have the right to do so. The only exception might be an urgent situation where a rights-holder cannot be found.
  • If we cannot find the rights-holder in an urgent situation and use the UGC, we should make continued efforts afterward to locate and reach an agreement with the rights-holder.
  • SCARS, like all online publishers, is protected by the U.S. Law Communications Decency Act of 1996 section 230.

Disclosure of Ownership / Funding Sources

  • We should publicly disclose all meaningful funding sources on our corporate website and continually update our ownership structure if changes are made.
  • SCARS is a nonprofit corporation and has no shareholders as does a normal corporation..

News and Advertising

  • We do not allow advertisements for certain types of products that exploit scam victims or are in conflict with our mission.
  • We should require news-like content produced by advertisers to be clearly identified as advertising.
  • We have specific, consistent definitions of terms like “Advertisement,” “Sponsored Content” and “Message from …” and disclose them to our readers.
  • If a piece of sponsored content is given to us directly, as opposed to being created in our in-house studio, we should require that items that look too much like news stories be accompanied by a clear statement that the article was prepared by the advertiser and did not involve our editorial staff.
  • We should comply with all Federal Trade Commission actions on sponsored content and paid promotion.

Values – Obscenities

  • SCARS Prohibits the use of all reasonably recognized English language obscenities.

Values – Graphic, Sexual, Sensitive, and Disturbing Material

  • We may run sensitive and graphic material that might be offensive to specific members of our audience after internal debate has demonstrated a clear public interest in and value from the publication of such material. However, we should provide a clear warning to users whenever possible such as a “TriggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. Warning.”


  • Any questions about this document may be sent to SCARS at
  • This ethics policy was created by SCARS Management
  • This document was last updated November 27, 2022


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

Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide


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 trauma 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


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

Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer


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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Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

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 or to report fraud visit at and SCARS at



SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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Updated SCARS Posts:

President Trump’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence

President Trump’s Executive OrderExecutive Order An executive order is a directive from the President that has much of the same power as a federal law. Several landmark moments in American history came about directly from the use of executive orders issued from the United States President’s desk, including one Supreme Court decision that limited a presidential executive order issued by Harry Truman. on Artificial IntelligenceArtificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. A Proactive [...]

Money Laundering Through Video Games

Money LaunderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. Through Video Games How Transnational Organized Crime [...]

Impact of Crime Victimization

The Impact of Crime 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. Understanding How Financial 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. [...]

Working With & Understanding Your Local Police

Working With & Understanding 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. What Law [...]

Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS)

MalwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.-as-a-Service (MaaS) How CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Is Becoming Outsourced How Scams [...]

Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID SpoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. A Leading Technique For Scam Phone [...]

The World Online Is Not Safe For Those That Don’t Know!

The Issue Of Race In Scam Reporting
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This content and other material contained on the website, appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing., newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial, or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’ Content. The information contained is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’ websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.

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SCARS, SCARS|INTERNATIONAL, SCARS, SCARS|SUPPORT, SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|INTERNATION, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS|LATINOAMERICA, SCARS|MEMBER, SCARS|VOLUNTEER, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support GroupSupport Group 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., SCARS ANGELS, SCARS RANGERS, SCARS MARSHALLS, SCARS PARTNERS, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., All Rights Reserved Worldwide

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