(Last Updated On: April 11, 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 Mindsets

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. Research

SCARS Scam Analytics

Scam Victim Mindsets

What Do Victims Believe?

What Are Their Mindsets?

As the result of a year-long 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. study by the Society of Citizens Against Romance 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. Inc. [SCARS] – SCARS has been able to identify the primary Scam Victim Mindset Profiles and how they relate to the victim’s response after the scam.

A total of 16,000 victims were sampled in this analysis over 2017 and 2018 by the SCARS Analytics Department.

STUDY RESULTS:

VICTIM TAXONOMY / CATEGORIZATION – MINDSET TYPES:

  • African Apologists
  • Minimizers
  • Vigilantes
  • Denialists
  • Realists

AFRICAN APOLOGISTS

African Apologists tend to be those that politically believe that the Africans (the Scammers) are just yet another set of victims of “White Privilege” and “Colonialization.” These victims refuse 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. 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. 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. for 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.’s actions or that this was a choice made by individuals to scam. Instead, it is fundamentally Western Society’s fault for how we treated Africans in the historic past and present. You will find them being very liberal in their political orientation which colors their view that victims live in countries which are really at fault and the underlying cause of African criminality is not the political and social corruption of the African Nations. In other words, it is the victim’s country at fault, and no one should be surprised or shocked by Africa poor people finding a living in whatever way they can. While their numbers are few they are highly vocal in their blame against all governmental and support institutions as being a part of the problem.

MINIMIZERS

Minimizers are those that were minimally affected financially or not at all and tend to believe that scams and their impact on victims is overblown. These tend to be the ones that act and comment negatively against other victims, and have little ability to empathize with scam victims. These tend to be negative judgmentally, and while small as a group tend to project 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. onto victims – especially those in the Denialist category. However, there is a difference between their condemnation and the provocation used by supporters of victims. Supporters may ask “What Were You Thinking” as a means of getting the discussion started, but Minimizers ask that as a way of pointing out how “stupid” the victim is – questioning the victim’s self-worth vs. questioning the act.

VIGILANTES

Vigilantes are those victims that are profoundly and adversely affected by the aftermath of the scam. It affects them in a way that forces their fear and 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. to dominate. Their initial lack of control and sense of powerlessness triggersTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. the need for retaliation and vengeance, frequently directly towards other victims and victims’ assistance providers (such as police and victims assistance organizations), not just the criminals that harmed them. Their actions tend to be performed online without any real commitment, acting to be disruptive and counter-productive to real solutions. It is all “Their Way or No Way,” and everyone is with them or against them. Vigilantism is also a significant cause of delay in these victims recovering, as it perpetuates the anger or rageRage 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 frequently turning it into a destructive hate. It is nearly impossible to assist these victims as they are suspicious of anyone offering help, and tend to aggregate into like-minded groups online. There is no evidence that any vigilante has resulted in a single arrest or reduction in online crimes. In fact, there is substantial evidence that Vigilantes work against their best interest by alienating those entities that are best equipped to help them and society as a whole. Most Vigilantes refuse to report the crimes since (in their view) “no one does anything anyway” – only they can save the world. They tend to view themselves as the only true “Anti-scammers” and their approach is the only correct one.

DENIALISTS

Denialists are those victims that have great difficulty accepting that they were scammed. They lock away the experience and attempt to go forward without ever fully recognizing or recovering from it. In every event in life, it is important to recognize the reality of what occurred and what could or could not have been done to mitigate it – this is how we learn from our experiences. In the case of scams, victims are heavily manipulated but were not completely powerless. It is important to recognize their role in what occurred – not to blame them but in preventing future occurrence. It does not mean the victim was totally at fault, just that the victim failed to recognize critical red-flags and was manipulated against their own best interests. Denialists cannot accept that they were scammed (manipulated), and refuse to acknowledge it to themselves, their circle of connections, as well as refuse assistance. This prevents them from learning from the experience and frequently results in additional scams. To accept assistance would force them to recognize what occurred and deal with it. They also refuse to report these crimes as this forces the recognition of what occurred. The result is a very significant extension of the traumatic experience and far less likelihood of full recovery.

REALISTS

Realists tend to be far better balanced politically and intellectually. They have a better ability to analyze what occurred to them, understand their role and the role of the criminal, and place the proper blame for the criminal actions on the scammer. They understand that scams are performed by criminals, not idiots. They view the scammers as dedicated thieves with far less mythologizing and as a result recover far more easily. These are also the individuals that recognize opportunities for real actions that will result in change and positive advocacy, instead of simple vigilantism. They tend to seek out viable support and assistance for themselves and others. They are also the ones best equipped to help mentor and guide other victims to positive outcomes as volunteers. While not all of them report scams to proper authorities, they do report them in vastly higher numbers than any other group.

STUDY BREAKDOWN:

  • 4% – African Apologists
  • 6% – Minimizers
  • 42% – Vigilantes
  • 35% – Denialists
  • 23% – Realists

SUMMARY:

Just Like The General Population, Victims Fall Into Different Mindsets. Some Are Survival Oriented And Some Are Not.
It Shows That Anyone Can Be Scammed But Your Mindset Is Most Important After The Scam. It Determines What You Do And How You Will Recover.


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Essential Tools For Every Scam Victim From SCARS Publishing

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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!

Get it here

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.

Get it here

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

SCARS SLATE BOOK
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.

Get it here

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 www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com