How 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. Work: Understanding The Long ConLong con A "long con" or "big con" (also: long game) is a scam type that unfolds over several days or weeks; it may involve a team of swindlers, and even props, sets, extras, costumes, or scripted lines. It aims to rob the victim of huge sums of money or valuables, often by getting them to empty out banking accounts and borrow from family members. A romance scam is a Long Con.
The Basic Mechanics Of A Relationship ScamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam?
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. Insight
What Is A Long Con?
Con is derived from “Confidence TrickConfidence trick 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.”
A “Long Con” Or “Big Con” (Or Long Game) Is 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. That Unfolds Over Several Days Or Weeks, Or Even Years.
It may involve one 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. or a team of fraudsters working together (a team), and even props ( such as fake documents), sets (online profiles), extras (extra fake actors), and carefully scripted lines.
It aims to rob the victim of huge sums of money or valuables, often by getting them to empty out banking accounts and borrow from family members.
This type of crime can be done using real identities, impersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. of real people, or fake identities. It varies by the type of crime and many times by the region where it is performed.
Examples of Long Cons
- Romance scams
- Lotto scams
- Product or property purchase scams
- Blackmail or sextortion scams
There are shorter cons or scams that also follow the model of a long con, such as:
- Jury duty or arrest scams
- IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more. phone scams
- Grandparent scams
- Arrest threat phone scams
Phishing and RansomwareRansomware Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim's personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan virus disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction. Attacks
Both of these can include elements of a con since both rely heavily on social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." lures, but these are typically quick reflexive and automated attacks against individuals or organizations.
A long con is almost by definition a relationship scam, in that it requires a developing relationship between the scammer and the victim. The relationship not only enables the scam but provides the means to control the victim over time. Additionally, the relationship not only allows the scammer more control and ability to manipulate, but this is also a significant part of 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. the comes to victims with the discovery of the scam.
Stages of the Long Con
In Confessions of a Confidence Man, Edward H. Smith lists the “six definite steps or stages of growth” of a confidence game. He notes that some steps may be omitted.
- FOUNDATION WORK – Preparations are made in advance of the scam, including using the team as required and studying the background knowledge needed for the role. This also includes collecting stolen photos. Purchasing the latest scripts and storylines. Looking at the analysis of successes and failures, to adapt for greater future success. It may also include online training courses. In select cases, such as with Sakawa and Yahoo Yahoo Boys – becoming involved in rituals to give them luck.
- APPROACH – the lures are laid out and the victim is approached or contacted. This can be a comment in an online game or a friend or connection request.
- BUILD-UP – The victim is given an opportunity to profit from participating in a scheme. The victim’s greed is encouraged, such that their rational judgment of the situation might be impaired. Or the scammer will focus on other desires, such as: attention, love & affection, to be valued, or the need to help someone else
- PAY-OFF OR CONVINCER – In romance scams, the scammer proves their attention and affection. In 419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. style scams the victims (thinks) they received something of value. In other cases, it might be the threat of losing something of value. Sometimes, the victim receives a small payout as a demonstration of the scheme’s purported effectiveness – this is common in relationship-based investment scamsInvestment Scams When a caller claims to have a promising investment opportunity that will help you get rich quick, it's likely a scam.. This may be a real amount of money or faked in some way. In a gambling con, the victim is allowed to win several small bets. In a stock market con, the victim is given fake dividends.
- THE “HURRAH” – A sudden manufactured crisis or change of events and forces the victim to act or make a decision immediately. This is the point at which the scam succeeds or fails. With a financial scam, the scammer may tell the victim that the “window of opportunity” to make a large investment in the scheme is about to suddenly close forever. Or, the scammer says they will have to go to jail or need immediate healthcare, or a thousand other scripted emergencies.
- THE IN-AND-IN – A conspirator (a scam team member who participates with the scammer but assumes the role of an interested bystander) puts an amount of money into the same scheme as the victim, to add an appearance of legitimacy. This can also be a fake government official, an attorney, etc. This can reassure the victim, and give the scammer greater control when the deal has been completed.
- CORROBORATION – In addition, some scams require a “corroboration” step, particularly those involving a fake, but purportedly “rare item” of “great value”. This usually includes the use of an accomplice (team) who plays the part of an uninvolved (initially skeptical) third party, who later confirms the claims made by the con man. This is not common in romance scams but frequently occurs with typical 419 Advance Fee FraudAdvance Fee Fraud An advance fee scam or fraud is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. schemes.
All of the above stages are critical moments where the scammer or fraudsterFraudster 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. or con artist can employ psychological manipulation to control the victim.
Confidence tricks and scams exploit typical human characteristics of needs & desires, such as: greed, dishonesty, vanity, opportunism, lust, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, desperation, and naïvety.
As such, there is no consistent profile of a relationship scam victim; the common factor is simply that the victim relies on the good faith of the scammer.
Victims of investment scams tend to show an incautious level of greed and gullibility, and many scammers target the elderly and other people thought to be vulnerable, using various forms of scams.
Victims of romance scams tend to show a greater need for attention, affection, demonstration of worth and value, and simply being listened to.
Scammers Succeed In Inducing Judgment Errors
Mainly errors arising from imperfect information and cognitive biases. In popular culture and among professional scammers, the human vulnerabilities that they exploit are depicted as ‘dishonesty’, ‘greed’, and ‘gullibility’ of the marks. Dishonesty, often represented by the expression ‘you can’t cheat an honest man’, refers to the willingness of marks to participate in unlawful acts, such as rigged gambling and embezzlement. Greed, the desire to ‘get something for nothing, is a shorthand expression of victim’ beliefs that too-good-to-be-true gains are realistic. Gullibility reflects beliefs that marks are ‘suckers’ and ‘fools’ for entering into costly voluntary exchanges. Judicial opinions occasionally echo these sentiments.
However, we know that victims are far more complex than the typical stereotypes and that their motivations for connecting with a scammer are more than the simplistic desires.
Accomplices, team members, fellow scammers, also known as shills, help manipulate the victim into accepting the perpetrator’s plan. In a traditional confidence trick, the mark (victim) is led to believe that he will be able to win money or receive some benefits by doing some task. In romance scams, there are family members or other actors that come into the scam to further convince the victim of the benefits of continuing. The accomplices may pretend to be strangers who have benefited from performing similar tasks in the past, or business associates, professionals (lawyers or doctors), or family members (such as parents or children).
Scammers, fraudsters, or con men (or women) all follow certain models for how they conduct their scams. They specialize in certain types (usually) because of the complexity of their schemes and the amount of knowledge required to successfully execute them.
They do display a significant weakness though when they engage multiple victims. It is very difficult to maintain continuity between multiple victims without letting anything slip. However, when they do, they will employ additional amygdala hijacks and gaslighting to sweep it away.
Essential Tools For Every Scam 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 From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
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SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified 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., or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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.
A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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