The Interview Scam – Scammers Get Smarter

Fake Press Interviews

A SCARS Insight

Scammers Evolve Their Craft Constantly, Looking For New Ways To Capture Victims!

A New Technique Has Emerged That Is Proving All Too Easy! Fake Media/Press Interviews!

In recent months we have seen several new approaches used by experienced scammers:

  • Victims Support Infiltration Scams
  • Fake Anti-Scam Experts
  • And Now, Fake Press or Media Interviews of Victims

Fake Press/Media Interviews

Scam victims are not always cautious about commenting on public social media pages or in joining amateur anti-scam groups that are poorly managed. Many of these do not actively monitor activities looking for scammer activity, and because of this expose victims to scammers looking for second chances.

SCARS monitors all of our social media and websites actively looking for any form of comment deception. However, nothing that is exposed to the public can ever be perfectly secure from observation by criminals. It is so important that every current or past crime victim be cautious about what you expose of yourself when commenting or posting! You never know who is watching.

No, you are not paranoid if they are really out there waiting to get you!

How This Scam Works

  1. You are contacted through a comment or post on social media, or through a text or online message, or potentially even by email.
  2. The scammers say they are with the new media, and may even mention a real media or press outlet – the New York Times, Guardian, and others are popular choices – it tends not to be a small media company – but you can never know.
  3. They mention that they are doing an article/story about scams and saw your comment/post and want to interview you.
  4. They will set up a zoom call, VoIP, or phone call, and will want to explore what happened to you.
  5. In the process, they need your background – legal name, address, contact information, names of family members, where you bank, etc. – because it all relates to your scam.
  6. A variation of this is they may claim to be a student doing research for a paper or thesis for their university.
  7. They will also want to get from you all of the details of your scam, records, receipts, and other paperwork.

In the end, it is the story of your scam and extracting everything they need to either steal your identity, do account takeovers, or perform some other variation of an impersonation. This gives them enough information to impersonate you to other people you know and perform scams on them too.

But it also opens the door for new manipulation.

Unfortunately, most victims want to be heard so much, that any opportunity to tell their story is welcome. Few will properly vet/verify the reporter or even know how to since the scammers will provide fake references, phone numbers, or email addresses too. All will confirm that the reporter is real.

Also, remember that scammers are experts at impersonation. They may very well have used the name of a real reporter so that when you call the real company, they will confirm the name and affiliation.

What Can You Do – Who Can You Trust?

This is the hard part. You really should not trust anyone!

However, we can help – we are SCARS.

If you are contacted by any member of the press or media about a story or interview, contact us and let us verify they are real for you. Send us the information by email to (you can, of course, verify that we are real from our website

Forward any emails or copies of messages. Their profiles or contact information.

We will follow up with you directly to determine if it is safe for you to do this – both psychologically and otherwise. It is not always advisable for a victim to expose themselves to the press – they want the story, but the press really is not concerned with your trauma, just getting the story. The story may not paint you in a very favorable light either.

It is tempting to talk to the press, you want someone to do something, and you don’t know how to get the attention to the problem you want. But the press can often be the worst people to talk to about it. Often traumatized scam victims are only traumatized more in the end.

You do not need to tell us much, just how we can contact you, and we will do the investigation into the “reporter,” “student,” or whoever it is that wants your story. At NO COST to you.

A Warning About The Press

Even if the reporter is real, from your local TV station, newspaper, or national media, talking to them is rarely advisable.

Why? Because their goals are NOT your goals!!

Even working with the best, such as the hundred or so hours we spent supporting the National Geographic production team for the series “Trafficked” does not work out as represented or promised. SCARS spent countless hours coordinating the transfer of knowledge to their team, arranging for interviews with our team and stable victims that wanted to tell NG about the impact that scams had on them. In the end, NG fluffed the interviews, included almost nothing about the real pain victims face, and then made the scammers seem friendly and justified because of their poverty. We could not have been more disappointed and betrayed. They did not even tell scam victims that there is help available to them, which was a key condition of our support and participation.

However, our directors have appeared on many other shows where they were well treated and the subjects were seriously explored compassionately and professionally. It just depends on the people doing the stories or interviews.

Psychological Trauma

Many reporters may actually be well-intentioned, but they do not know anything about your trauma or what will increase it. Many victims feel desperate in the early days after a scam, but this is absolutely the wrong time to give an interview. The interview will accomplish nothing meaningful and can push up your trauma as a result. We can help a victim with an opportunity to make the decision if they are ready for this level of exposure and what the consequences may be for them.

If You Are Contacted By The Press

Ask them to contact SCARS directly at and let our press office review the request and its justification.

If you have already spoken with a member of the press/media but have not yet done an interview, contact us at once by email at and let us verify what is happening for you. We will also explore if this is the right thing for you to do.

If you have been contacted by someone that you suspect was a fake report them to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (from anywhere in the world) at and on – this will help get the word out!

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