Thoughts from the War on Scams … Things Have to Change

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Thoughts from the War on 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. … July 17, 2021

Things Have to Change!

A 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. Commentary on Privacy

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A Commentary on The State of Scams & Privacy

By Dr. Tim McGuinness, Member of the Board of Directors, Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS 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. Inc.

I recently heard from a friend who was applying for a new position and was declined because of #data that was discovered – which presumably was obtained through a data breachData Breach Whenever private information is seen by someone who should not have access, this is known as data exposure. It may also sometimes be referred to as a data leak or data breach. It might happen by accident or be caused by hackers who do it to cause harm to the individual or organization involved. It can be especially damaging to companies that store the credit card details and personal information of their customers.. Not only was his privacy violated with the data breach, but increasingly employers are doing dark webDark Web This is a sub-level of the internet that normal search engines and everyday browsers cannot access. It’s an encrypted network that contains websites – both legal and illegal – that remain hidden from plain sight. searches for information about employees and prospective employees!

It is bad enough that they are now basing decisions on social media, but if there are thousands of data breaches a year then really nothing is safe!

Are we living in a new witch trial era? Where you are burned at the stake, not just because of what you say, but because of data that may be contained in different websites and services?

I challenge anyone to list all of the accounts they have created over the years? Hundreds, thousands? Most websites want your data before they will let you even see what they really do! Have you kept track of all of them and what they might mean to others looking into your activities?

Yet that is now the world we seem to live in!

The Supreme Court just said you cannot litigate against a data breach, you have to wait until you are actually harmed, but by them how do you connect it to a specific data breach? If your identity is stolen or you are impersonated, how do you KNOW where the information came from?

The situation is so far beyond being out of control it is ridiculous. It is almost like we are living in a civilization that demands human sacrifice and we are just blindly accepting it. What is worst still, our governments are not taking any responsibility for this situation. We even have laws (Section 230) that give these companies immunity if you entered your data yourself.

Something has to change.

This is only going to get worse, and there is no effective way to opt-out after the fact.

Data breaches and identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources., financial 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. and scams, and the traumaTrauma 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. these bring are a given now. Can we trust LifeLock to save us?

In my opinion, there are three parallel approaches that should be considered.

1. Penalties for any business that does not have your recurring permission to contain your data. They must disclose what they have and obtain your permission on a frequent basis to continue to hold it.

2. Employers must disclose what their background searches showed and give prospective employees an opportunity to counter or contest it.

3. We need a new identity verification system, probably based upon blockchain – that verifies the identity of every person on the planet. Which will be the lesser of the two evils? Big brother or everyone at risk of identity theft with everything that brings? For those of us that live in the real world, our identities and reputation are everything! We must find a way to defend them.

How much longer can we accept this current situation?

We have to stop being passive about things that really matter, and allowing politicians to distract us with their nonsense!

Just saying …

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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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