Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

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.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. Basics: 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. Acid Test

Most 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. Follow Similar Patterns Of 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. By The Scammer

HERE ARE A FEW COMMON TACTICS/BEHAVIORS/STRATEGIES SCAMMERS USE

Always be on the lookout for these warning signs that could identify a scammer.

The Basic Scam “Acid” Test:

PICTURE PROBLEMS
Is the person’s photo original? Use an image search tool like Google Images and/or Yandex to see if the same photo appears on many other websites, possibly under different names. If it does appear in many places, it suggests the photo might be stolen and the person may not be who they say they are. Want to make sure their still photos are legit? Ask your online sweetie to take a verification photo holding a sign with YOUR name. If they refuse that is a RED FLAG

NO VIDEO / LIMITED VIDEO / RECORDED VIDEO
Challenge your online partner to communicate via FaceTime or Skype so you can actually see who you are talking to in real-time. Then see what they say. Always include a specific test such as ask them to say “Hippopotamus” (because you can easily recognize the facial movements if the audio is out of sync. If they make excuses for weeks about why they cannot chat with you via video, that is a RED FLAG

WHAT DID YOU SAY?
If the person you’re seeing online claims to be native to a certain region or country but has a very different dialect or accent, that is a RED FLAG

BON VOYAGE
A common tactic used by scammers is claiming they quickly need to leave the country or want to come to you. Many online scammers are overseas to begin with, and this provides a convenient explanation of why they cannot meet you. If they are serious about meeting you they have to have several things:

  1. PASSPORT
    They must have a passport, ask to see it. Is it the same as your country? Ask to see the entry and exit stamps – for your country and where they are att – out of curiosity.
  2. ISSUED VISA
    If they have a passport from another country, especially a non-European country ask to see their U.S. Visa. You can look up online which countries require a VISA to get into your country.
  3. NEED A VISA
    If they need a VISA, such as for the U.S. there is a process and it is not fast. If they say that they can get a visa in a few days – always ask to see a copy of the VISA request documents, but a U.S. Visa can take months.
  4. YOU CAN CONTACT YOUR CONSUL
    In any country, your Country has a Consulate. You can contact them to check on their Visa status and application. You will find the email address of almost all Consuls online.

LOCAL PHOTOS
If they have a phone, they have a camera. Ask them for photos showing them doing normal things. Especially in front of their hotel – showing the name. Go online and find the hotel’s website for comparison. If they do not it’s a RED FLAG

EMERGENCY – NEED HELP NOW!
The person claims of legal trouble or other crises that require emergency funding should be met with skepticism ALWAYS. “Send money to get me out of jail” is a classic scam tactic for someone preying on your emotions. “Send money because I lost my wallet” and “Send money because I lost my passport and cannot get home” are other common warning signs of financial schemes to defraud you of money. In cases like this, ask them to contact their Country’s Consul to Contact you and offer to send the money THROUGH the Embassy – yes you can do that!

HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE ON DAY 5
Moving the relationship along very quickly should be a warning sign for online relationship.