(Last Updated On: May 15, 2021)

URBAN LEGENDS: Why Scammers Ask For Photos?

Why are Scammers so aggressive about asking for a victim’s photos?

It is not what amateur groups tell you!

This is all about the Psychology of Persuasion

Establishing a pattern of YES before pushing for the CLOSE!

Something that every good salesperson knows, is getting your “prospect” to say yes and act over and over before you go for the close!


They have to SELL the victim on the fantasy that is their storyline. To get them to BUY the main lie and agree that they will participate.

This may seem strange to think of 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. 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. in terms of a salesperson, but the psychological mechanics are almost exactly the same. In fact, the borderline between a good sales pitch and criminal behavior is many times a very gray area.

Every “PonziPonzi A Ponzi Scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from legitimate business activity (e.g., product sales or successful investments), and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own.” or other 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. schemer is relying heaving on proven sales and other manipulative techniques to lure in their victims and control them while the deeper manipulation is put in place.

What person has not, at some time in their life, been suckered into buying something they later regretted?

It always begins with a story, but the story is rolled out slowly or a victim’s incredulity will destroy the fragile storyline and the state of the victim during the early stages.

Scammers Scamming Scammers

Fake and instant amateur anti-scam experts would have you believe that they – the scammers – are looking to see if a victim is another 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.. That is patently ridiculous.

If scammers were worried about another scammer wasting their time then all they would have to do is look at the storyline – they always follow a pitch or formula. Besides a scammer will never follow through even if they were initially fooled.

This is nonsense and just another amateur urban legendUrban Legend Urban Legend An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend is a genre of modern folklore comprising stories circulated as true, especially on social media. These legends can be entertaining but often concern serious topics. They may also be confirmation of moral standards, or reflect prejudices, or be a way to make sense of societal anxieties. Urban legends are most often circulated orally but can be spread by any media, including newspapers, mobile news apps, e-mail, and social media. Some urban legends have passed through the years with only minor changes and seem impervious to exposure as untrue.!

This is all part of the prevailing urban legend that scammers are stupid. They are not.

They may not be “worldly” and knowledgeable, but scamming requires intelligence and strong entrepreneurship – they must be strongly self-motivated and committed to their craft. Scammers work hard and do not waste needless time, and trying to scam another scammer would be a complete waste of time.

Additionally, these are criminal organizations with ties (in many cases) to terrorist organizations – believing they would “attack” each other is a fairytale and truly shows the ignorance of amateur anti-scammers.

It’s About the Pitch & Control

All good salespeople get their “prospects” to commit to a story, or sales pitch, or con!

Once the prospect has begun to engage in “giving” actions – usually just answering a series of subtle probing questions, the prospect is much more likely to stay and continue to the close (meaning money being sent.)

Please Note: we are presenting this information – not to steal the thunder of the author, but to share the mechanisms – the manipulation that is the sales process to help scam victims avoid 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. and better understand the manipulative processes so they can recover. We thank the author for his scholarship.

Here is HOW this works

How to Prime Prospects to Say “Yes” (and Make the Sale) by John Greene

People follow predictable patterns, and if you understand these patterns, you can use them to your advantage in your sales process.

As Robert Cialdini notes in Influence: The Psychology for Persuasion, “automatic, stereotyped behavior is prevalent in much of human action, because in many cases it is the most efficient form of behaving, and in other cases it is simply necessary.”

For those who don’t know, Cialdini’s Influence is hailed as the “go-to book” on persuasion. Selling over three million copies and making Fortune’s “75 Smartest Business Books,” it’s been a game changer for the sales industry.

One of Cialdini’s six key principles of persuasion is “commitment and consistency.”

This principle states that we are driven to remain consistent in our attitudes, words, and actions. As we make multiple small commitments (sometimes referred to as micro-commitments), we’re more likely to make a larger commitment later on – one which we may not have originally made.

For example, in one of Cialdini’s case studies, people were asked to put a large sign reading, “Drive Safely,” on their lawn and, unsurprisingly, 83% of the people refused. However, when another group was asked to do the same thing, a full 76% complied. And there was only one small difference between the two groups.

Two weeks before the second group was asked to put the sign on their lawn, a volunteer worker came by their house and asked to put a three-inch sign that read, “Be a Safe Driver.” Because it was such a small request, nearly all of them said yes. The group was much more likely to say yes to the “big ask” after saying yes to the “small ask.”

It’s an incredibly effective method for sales reps to influence other people’s behaviors, and you can use it to prime prospects and increase your sales success.

The way to build this commitment and consistency is through the “Yes” ladder.

The “Yes” ladder is a persuasion method aimed at getting your prospect to say yes to a specific question or situation (making a sale, setting up a meeting, etc.). The process starts by getting them to say yes to a series of questions that start out trivial (where they are practically guaranteed to say yes) and become less so as you ask each question. Each subsequent “yes” they respond with makes them more likely to comply with the next, bigger ask.

It doesn’t even matter if the “yes” is relevant to the sale. A recent study published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing showed that “the frequency of people’s compliance with a request can be substantially increased if the requester first gets them to agree with a series of statements unrelated to the request but selected to induce agreement.

One of my long-time friends runs an outbound marketing office. As a salesman, he goes door-to-door, marketing free estimates on windows and roofing.

Here’s how he collects information to get prospects using the “Yes” ladder:

Salesman: “This is 116 Main Street, right?”

Customer: “Yes”

Salesman: “Cool. And we’re still in Dorchester?

Customer: “Yes.”

Salesman: “Awesome. And you’d probably say you’ve got about 15-20 windows on this house, is that right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

*It goes on for a few more easy “Yes” questions*

Salesman: “Okay. And your phone number, is that a 978?

Customer: “Yes, 978-555-6652.”

Salesman: “Okay great. Like I said, we’ll have guys in the area all day tomorrow giving free estimates. You’ll be here around the same time tomorrow, or sometime later in the day work better?”

Customer: “Yes, tomorrow around this time works.”

That’s a little snapshot of how the “Yes” ladder works. It’s a powerful strategy for making prospects more comfortable with you and used to saying yes to your questions, and it can be especially helpful for new customers who are more wary of making a big purchase or commitment.

Now let’s break down how you can put it to use for your own sales strategy.

Step 1: Identify the “Big YES”

Your “Big Yes” is the ultimate goal of your interaction with a prospect. This may be getting the prospect to purchase something, receive an estimate, or schedule an appointment in the near future. Whatever it is, make sure you identify your ultimate goal from the outset. That way you can…

Step 2: Build Your Ladder

Once you know your “Big Yes”, you can work backward and start building the rungs of the ladder. From the earlier example, the “Big Yes” for the door-to-door marketers was to get the prospect to schedule a free estimate.

They built their yes ladder by asking the prospect relevant questions about their address, the number of windows on their home, their phone number, etc. Each “yes” built compliance and helped earn a little more trust from their prospect.

Remember the study we mentioned before? It also found that mere agreement subtly causes respondents to view the presenter of the statements as similar to themselves, which in turn increases the frequency compliance with a request from that same person.”

Step 3: Get the First “Yes”

Start with something you know they’ll say “yes” to. The easiest way to find a good first yes is to identify something you already know the answer to. For example, “Your office is located over in Pittsburgh, right?” Then from there, continue through your pre-planned “Yes” ladder structure, slowly escalating up to your Big Yes.

Step 4: Make the Big Ask

This is the objective of the whole process. With each “Yes” question, push the envelope a little more and “climb” your way up the ladder to the big ask. If you structured your questions correctly and have gotten at least 4-5 yes responses in a row, you can go for the big ask.

Whether you’re selling smartphones for Apple or new products for a startup, the “Yes” ladder is a powerful way to build compliance and make the sale. By following the steps above, you can build your “Yes” ladder, earn more micro-commitments, and ultimately get more yeses.

Do You See the Similarity with the World of Professional Scams Online?

Getting a victim to comply in the early stages leads to the opportunity and certainty of compliance later in the scam when the first “big ask” is made.

In fact, this is also why scammers start out with small asks – small amounts of money or favors. This is “priming the pump” or setting the victim up.

One of Those Favors is the Victim’s Photos

The victim’s photos serve multiple purposes, but the initial and most important to the scammer at that time is the compliance of the victim, Getting them to respond and deliver – when if they were aware of the process, they would automatically refuse. But scammers are that good – most of them.

Scamming Your Friends & Family

However, the photos also serve another more sinister purpose as well: scamming your friends and family.

The victim’s photos can be used to create 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. profiles – then be used to “friend” their friends, and in effect begin an identity take-over.

The scammer will create a new profile, make up some story about you – such as you are avoiding trolls or haters and that is why you created the extra new profile – and then connect with the victim’s contacts.

As the manipulation of the victim increases over time, most victims will begin to withdraw from family and friends and become more secretive, this works in the scammer’s favor and allows them to use the fake profile to begin working on the circle of contacts.

Since the friends or family are not really under the scammer’s control, they cannot be stretched as far as the victim.

But most friends and family members are willing to send small amounts of money for minor emergencies (to pay a utility bill, or something similar) to help who they think is the victim. Since the victim is usually becoming more and more isolated because of the manipulation, the friends and family will have a harder time talking with them to verify.

Another potential use of the photos – assuming the victim matches a general usable template is to be impersonated to scam other strangers.

Photos are a commodity that can be reused over and over in many ways to scam others.

Ironically, most victims – after they discover they were scammed – do the completely wrong things – usually out of 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 embarrassment.

After a scam, a victim should take an inventory of what information they gave to their scammer. Few EVER do this.

They will likely have shared their whole lives with the scammer – more than enough information to do an 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. or legal impersonation.

Yet victims mostly ignore this risk in favor of 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., 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., or shame. This costs them valuable time to help prevent identity theft or other scams, especially going after other people they may know. Scammers will work through a circle of contacts and go as far as they can – your connections give them an easier path to new victims – either as you or as a potential new friend that “you” are introducing to them.

Or simply to be used as yet another fake identity using your stolen photos.

But the problem is that most victims do nothing to make it easy for others to confirm their photos have been stolen. You lock down your profile’s privacy settings do not even Google can index your photos – meaning they cannot be seen in image search. A victim’s desire to both hide and protect their privacy assures that the scammers have unhindered use of your photos.

Many impersonation victims learn this lesson the hard way and take steps to help future victims confirm frauds, but this is not even a millionth of one percent that understand this.


You can now see why scammers ask for photos and how it does not even relate to some of the misinformation being spread by amateur groups.

All scam victims need to find professional and accurate information and professional support after their scam. This is a great challenge for most victims when they discover their scams and are grasping for a lifeline. However, the importance of this will determine your future mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". and happiness.

We Urge You to Choose Wisely.

TAGS: Urban Legends, Misinformation About Scams, Amateur Anti-Scam Groups, Instant Experts, SCARS, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims, Online 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., Online Crime Is Real Crime, Scam Avoidance



SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the 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.™ 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
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org