The Hardest Subject – The Truth
Originally published in 2017 – Updated December 2020
When it comes to 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. there is no ONE TRUTH
There are actually FOUR TRUTHS
- The Victim’s Truth
- 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 Truth
- Law Enforcement’s Truth
- Society’s Truth
What are these and why are they different?
You, who are visiting this page are probably a 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. That means you feel wronged, You feel like you were taken advantage of, and nobody cares or understands. Right?
That is a part of your truth.
Let’s explore each of these truths and see what perspective they provide. In order for you to recover fully, you have to be able to understand and accept all four truths, regardless of how hard it may be.
Warning: This is not going to be a sugar coating for wounded sensibilities. This is going to be bold brutal hard and in your face truth. This is going to share why others feel the way they do and why they look at you the way they do. Hopefully you can see the truth in this and accept it as a part of the reality that you find yourself within now that you have been scammed.
Let’s Start with the VICTIM’S Truth
- You were scammed
- You may or may not have lost money – if you did it was probably money you could not afford, and hate yourself for throwing it away
- You were lied to and you believed it – how could someone do that to you?
- All you wanted was love and yet you only found lies
- You trusted the other person and they betrayed you
- You did nothing wrong, you are the victim
You found a kindred soul online and you trusted them, and they took advantage of you.
Now you are depressed, angry, want revenge, and hate yourself for being the fool. You need someone to do something to: get your money back, and to see the scammer punished. Someone, anyone to save you!
No one cares. No one will do anything. As much as you ask for help, people just will not do what you need done.
No one understands. You can’t talk to people you know – your family or your friends just refuse to accept what happened – that you did nothing wrong. They think it is your fault.
Is that about right? Is that your perspective?
Now let’s look at the SCAMMER’S TRUTH
- The victim has money and can afford to give it up
- The scammer did not steal the money, the victim gave it to them willingly
- There was no violence, the victim paid them for a fantasy, just like a movie
- All the scammer provided was theater, helping the victim live a little, feel a little emotion, climb out of the decadent shell
- The scammer made the victim feel good for a while and was paid for it
- The scammer has a family to feed and the victim can afford it – they are rich
- The victim willingly participated and lied to others about it, they are just as guilty
- The victim is 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. – if they didn’t let the scammer in nothing would have happened
- The victims live in countries that stole from Africa and deserve it
- The scammer is not committing a crime – they are performing a service
The scammers have no moral problems with committing scams.
They feel fully justified in taking money that the victims willingly send to them. If the victim did not want to, no one forced them to do anything. The victims lied about their relationship to friends and family, and even to Western Union.
Now let’s look at the LAW ENFORCEMENT’S TRUTH
- Victims willingly disregarded their own safety
- Victims willfully engaged in unsafe 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. and became addicted to the fantasy they were believing
- Victims behaved like addicts and hid their relationship and lied to family and friends
- Victims engaged in international bank and money transfer fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.
- Most victims do not even bother to report the crimes
- Most victims do not even maintain the information needed to investigate the crime
- Many victims act as willing accomplices in money launderingMoney 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. or other 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. activities as a muleMule 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.
- Victims bring this on themselves and then stand back and let the scammers get away with it
- Victims hide behind their embarrassment instead of doing the right thing
Of course, not all of these are true for every victim, but in almost every case more than half are.
The fact is that more than 95% of victims make little effort to report these crimes. There are always excuses: no one cares, no one will listen, nothing will ever happen, they are too embarrassed. But if no one ever reports it, how does the government know how big this really is? Why should the government give precious resources to something that even the victims will not pursue?
Now let’s look at SOCIETY’S TRUTH
- Victims are lonely people that just don’t use common sense
- Victims always invite the scammers into their lives
- Victims never listen to the warnings that are everywhere and believe it will never happen to them
- Victims are responsible for the growth in online cybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks.
- Victims whine and complain but don’t even report the crimes most of the time
- Victims live in total 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. even after they have been shown the truth
- Many victims actually help scammers defraud others
- Victims lie to their banks and money transfer services engaging in criminal money laundering
- No victim was ever forced to send money or believe any scam
- Victims are addicts that refuse to deal with their real problems
This is not a pretty picture. People who have never been scammed just do not understand, but the fact is that their perceptions are based in fact. It is not that simple, but few victims do anything to help society understand.
Society sees an endless stream of warnings and fake faces and cannot understand how someone could be that stupid to believe the incredibly false fantasies that scammers create.
SO WHAT ARE WE ALL TO DO?
These are the simple realities, and until these change the scammers will continue to get away with it; society and law enforcement will not fully take the side of the victims and do whatever it takes to end this. And victims will continue to struggle to recover and be heard.
It all starts and ends with the Victims
YOU ARE THE ONE THAT MUST CHANGE TO MAKE THIS STOP
- Victims must get over their 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. and be vocal about what happened to them – cancer victims used to hide as well, but today we celebrate cancer survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com – so get over it and get active (at the very least join 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.).
- Get rid of the 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. – this single attitude is the reason most support turns away from you. You need help, but stop biting the hand that supports you. Stop feeling entitled to have the world save you. Accept that you are responsible for your own situation, and work with the real tools that are available to you.
- Stop believing in fantasies – that includes ridiculous anti-scam gurus that promise impossible things. The money is gone, and not one anti-scam group (including SCARS) can guarantee an arrest. If you continue to look for fantastic easy answers you will just go from one scam to another.
- Get up and make the effort to report scammers properly. Yes you might have to report them in three places: Local policeLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first., National police, and on Anyscam.com – stop complaining and do it. If you sent money through a money transfer service, admit you we scammed and report to them properly too. You don’t get to stop just because it is hard.
- Stop pretending you are an expert in scams because you were scammed. Learn the reality of this, and help others avoid scams by SHARING information. Talk to your friends and family about what happened to you, help them understand that you made mistakes by accepting responsibility for what you did, they will both recognize your truth and support you because of it – no one respects someone that continues to live 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..
- Recognize that you need help to recover. Scams ARE an addiction for most victims, and just like addictions it takes a formalized process to fully recover. Yes it may be embarrassing but it is necessary for your health.
- Stop looking for love online. Stop connecting with strangers and letting them into your life. This one single thing will stop almost all scams dead in their tracks. At least stop until you have the skills you need to stay safe.
Support can come in many different forms and different ways. We provide formal 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., but coming out to your family can also help provide support and a path to recovery. If gays and lesbians can do it, so can you!
None Of This Is Easy!
But remember one simple truth – you started yourself on this path. Now you have to take yourself off of it and follow a new path. If you do not do this, it will just happen over and over.
This is a brutal place you find yourself in.
You are not the first, and you will not be the last, but how long it takes YOU to recover is entirely up to you. You also have the power to save others who do not read the warnings and believe it will never happen to them, just as you didn’t believe it either. Make them believe, it is your responsibility.
You were a victim, now accept it and become a survivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com.
Survivors can be proud of their accomplishment and their recovery.
Which are you?
Victim or Survivor?
Complainer or Action Hero?
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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:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
- 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 »
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network 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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To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »
Please be sure to report all scammers
on « www.Anyscam.com »
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