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SCARS™ Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal

How Can A Scam Victim Be Transformed Into A Criminal?


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 is someone who receives money for 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 (which is what this is) is also a crime.

More and more the FBI is going after money mules 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 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 »

SCARS™ Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal 2


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 »


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 who’s face was used. They have many justifications for this: wanting to help the impersonation victim, 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 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.

SCARS™ Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal 3


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:

  1. Report the crime and any involvement the victim had
  2. Seek support or counseling as soon as possible to help them through the aftermath (we offer free romance scam victims support groups 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 of going to jail after they have been victimized by a romance scammer.



Save Yourself First! Stay Safe Out There!

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated


A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.



TAGS:  Victims, Scam Victim, Romance Scams, Criminal Behavior, Mole, Mule, Parcel Mule, Money Mule, Drug Mule, Stalker, Cyberstalking, Impersonation Victim, Real Face, Fatal Attraction, Cyberstalker, Crimes.



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Tell us about your experiences with Romance Scammers in our Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »

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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 FBI ( »)
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE » or on »

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: »


To learn more about SCARS visit

Please be sure to report all scammers HERE » or on »


SCARS™ Scam Basics: From Victim To Criminal 4


Legal Notices: 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2020 SCARS All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, 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 Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support Group, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.

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SCARS™™ is the official victims' education & support publication of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams™ Incorporated [SCARS]™ It is edited and published by the SCARS Team. SCARS is a government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization, based in Miami Florida U.S.A. Its founder has been involved in combating online fraud since 1991. SCARS™ - the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. is dedicated to supporting scam victims worldwide, educating the public to avoid scams, and advocating victim's causes and changing government and law enforcement attitudes toward online fraud for good! This SCARS website and all of our publications (including social media) are maintained by our own staff employees and volunteers to provide you the most up to date information about scams & scammers from around the world. We show you how to avoid them or recover from them. Visit us on social media or the website for more information about scams & scammers, and how to recover from your exoerience.