SCARS™ Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal
How Can A Scam Victim Be Transformed Into A Criminal?
IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!
There are millions of romance scam victims around the world.
More than a million in Europe, perhaps as many as 6 million in the United States alone. This is happening and it is very real. Victims know this and live it.
But there are ways that this can go from bad to worse and even turn the victim into a criminal facing jail or even the death penalty.
Some victims understand what a Scammer Money Mule is because we have been educating on this topic for many years now. Go here to learn more about what a mule is
A Money Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes. is someone who receives money from a scammer from other victims – most of the time they do not know they are part of a criminal enterprise, they are so completely under the spell of the scammer that they believe the stories the scammer sells. But engaging in the participation of a crime and money 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. (which is what this is) is also a crime.
More and more the FBI 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. is going after money mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit. that do not come forward. In some cases, when mules carry money across national borders making it an even greater crime. Money laundering can put a victim in prison for a decade. This is serious and needs to be reported immediately or the victim becomes guilty of hiding the truth which crosses the line also.
In addition, there is also something called a Parcel Mule who is someone that receives packages for reshipping to the scammer or just keeps them for themselves. This can be merchandise and is almost always purchased with stolen credit cards – making it stolen property. This can also bring numerous criminal charges against the victim if not immediately reported.
Worse still, is how many romance scam victims are tricked into becoming Drug Mules and there are many that are in prisons around the world. Some have even be sentenced to death in Southeast Asia. Becoming a mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes. of any kind is a serious offense and the best strategy is to come forward before the police find you by information provided by another victim. Secrets do not remain secret, and if the police find you it will be much worse. An example here »
A Mole is someone that spies – knowingly or unknowingly – for a scammer on others. This can also be a crime called “Accessory” or possibly even being part of a criminal conspiracy. Either way, once the scam is discovered the best thing is to report to your police and lay out everything you did – making it clear you did it without knowing you were doing any harm. Learn more about a Mole here
CYBERSTALKING & FATAL ATTRACTION
Another way a romance scam victim can get in trouble is by hunting down the Face in the photo they fell in love with.
Almost all scammers (about 85%) use stolen photos and fake identities. Yet when victims discover this they frequently believe that have to hunt down the person whose face was used. They have many justifications for this: wanting to help the impersonation victim An impersonation victim is someone who has had their identity or images used by someone who imitates or copies their identity to scam or defraud another. This is a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of this victim, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or gaining property from someone else., making sure they know how their face is being used, but it is almost always a delusion – they just somehow know the real person will want them. This is brutal, but this is a delusion and criminal in nature because it falls under cyberstalking, unless they show up in real life, and then it can be real Stalking.
The person in the photo is a real victim also and they do not want to hear from thousands of people (men or women) that want to reach them (for whatever) reason.
Yet some scam victims carry this to an extreme. Some have been rejected by the Impersonation Victim and gone on a rampage – defaming the real person, interfering with their jobs, their businesses, their families, making threats, or even worse. Children have been harassed online and in real life. This has caused real hardship for the Impersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. Victims, and in some cases led to the breakup of families.
Tracking down a real person you do not know can be a crime. No scam victim has the right to stalk an impersonation victim and by doing it spread their own misery. In fact, right now there is a case of a German romance scam victim who started her own any-scam group that is facing criminal investigation and possible prosecution for doing exactly that. And her friends around the globe will also face potential charges for assisting her. But this happens frequently all around the world – the only reason it does not happen more often is that victims are left with little or no money.
After a romance scam is discovered the victim will be left in shock and traumatized, with a manic need to take some action – yet this can be the worst time to make snap decisions. There are only two things that every victim should do after a scam:
- Report the crime and any involvement the victim had
- Seek support or counseling 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. as soon as possible to help them through the aftermath (we offer free romance scam victims support 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. for victims or for their families & friends)
Never, EVER chase down another victim – whether it is a mule, a mole, or an impersonation victim. Let the real authorities do it if THEY feel it is needed. If you do it it could be a crime.
No victim needs that added trauma 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. of going to jail after they have been victimized by a romance scammer.
SAY NO TO MULES
SAY NO TO STALKING
Save Yourself First! Stay Safe Out There!