(Last Updated On: March 24, 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 www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Insight: Romance 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. As A Consort

Here Is A Head Scratcher Of A Dilemma

Over the years we have seen everything, every type of 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., and every type of victim. However, there is one type of victim that has left us not knowing how best to help them.

We know or know off women and men who are not exactly in denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality., but they refuse to end their 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 know or at least mostly know that it is a scam yet they choose to let it continue.

We have treated them as being in pure denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. but they may actually be involved in something else. A willing consensual relationship with their scammers.

The Boyfriend or Girlfriend Experience

These victims may be “renting” a relationship instead of really being scammed. Meaning they are not really victims but willing participants.

There is another phrase for this that is in vogue today: “the boyfriend experience” or “the girlfriend experience.”

A girlfriend experience (GFE) is a commercial experience that blurs the boundaries between a financial transaction and a romantic relationship. It typically ranges from a transactional sex relationship with a client paying a prostitute to pretend to be his or her girlfriend (or boyfriend) during the session. Within the sex industry, GFE is a common term for a sexual encounter in which both the sex worker and the client are willing to engage in reciprocal sexual pleasure and some degree of emotional intimacy. However, it does not have to involve sex, it can just be companionship on demand.

A “girlfriend experience” generally involves more personal interaction than a traditional call girl or escort offers. There is a focus on having more of a comprehensive emotional experience.

It is really just another variation on webcam girls or boys – but without the sex. They are paying for the time and attention of the person on the other end.

Basically, these are still just variations on prostitution.

On Hiring A Consort

A Scam Consort is a form of pay as you go plan. The “consumer” is hiring the scammer with their knowledge to continue the relationship.

Obviously, there are a great many things at work here. There are the issues of the victim willingly giving money to a scammer while deluding themselves that there is a relationship.

In some cases this may be an antidote to the pain of discovery, giving into the misplaced emotion that developed and allowing them to continue under the new modus operandi. In other cases, it appears to be a simple solution of loneliness.

The one thing that is clear is that there are differences between men and women, but in the end, it all comes down to the purchase of a fantasy while deluding themselves that there is something of value there.

We think we need to rethink this a bit and recognize that some of the victims who will not stop talking to scammers are not actually victims in the truest sense. Maybe they started that way, but have since accepted the reality of the relationship.

Approaching The Problem

As an organization, we try to provide assistance and support to all victims (up to the limits of our Code of Conduct and Standards). Sadly, there are victims that we cannot help and must turn away due to their 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. or need for more serious 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". care.

In this case, we see other problems. These are people willingly consorting with scammers, and we have found many voluntarily act as Moles for their scammer, if not actual Mules as well. We have had many ask to participate in 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. only to be found to be sharing with their scammer.

For these reasons we have a blanket ban on letting victims into our support groups if they are still in contact with their scammer. It would be a bit like letting continuing drug users into a drug addict 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. – they have to stop before they can even think about recovery. The same here.

What Other Victims Think:

“I will say that I know woman that cannot stop talking even they know it is a scammer because they do not want to be alone. They also except other scammers in the hope that one will be real. They  said that they still are in love with the photo and do not want to let go. Their heart is broken and that is the only way they know they will not feel the sadness so much. Yes you have to help them to see that this is wrong please. No they cannot join the group as they will place the group members in danger to be invited and worst to be scammed again. Not saying it will happen but we all are human. Please rather help them to get away from scammersI know for some it is not easy but the best.”

The Ethical Quandary

This is an extremely challenging question for us as a victims assistance and support organization, and especially one that follows the NOVA Standard for Victims’ Assistance.

However, the real question here is: Are they victims or suffering from a mental illnessMental Illness Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.?

We are not medical professionals so we cannot diagnose mental illness, we can only use our own methodologies and policies to guide our decisions.

Our fundamental policy across the board is simple – to receive support a victim must:

  1. Acknowledge that they are being scammed – we can help them with that realization one on one
  2. To join a peer supportPeer support Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or in a support group. Peer support is also used to refer to initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help organizations and others meet, in person or online, to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis. Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has "been there, done that" and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as SCARS Volunteers receive special training and may be required to obtain Continuing Education Units, similar to clinical staff. Some other trained peer support workers may also be law-enforcement personnel and firefighters as well as emergency medical responders. group they must have broken off contact with the scammer – period

If someone refuses to accept either of these then we really cannot help them. It is not about refusing to help them, but they will not be able to accept or use the help we can provide.

Please Share Your Thoughts On This Topic In Comments Below?

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 
SCARS™ Team

A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

TAGS: Scam Consort, Scammer, girlfriend experience, boyfriend experience, Ethical Quandary, victim, participant, victims’ assistance, support groups,


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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. (www.IC3.gov)
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on www.Anyscam.com

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information

 

To learn more about SCARS visit www.AgainstScams.org

Please be sure to report all scammers HERE or on www.Anyscam.com

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