(Last Updated On: June 6, 2022)

Victim Vulnerability After The 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. – Physical Risks

The Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.

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

Scam Victim Warning: Something We Have Never Talked About!


You have probably never considered this, but you are potentially in physical danger after your scam ends.

Yes, just what we said. Let us explain …

After your crime ends you are vulnerable for many reasons, but the most obvious one is your emotional fragility. Most victims suffer from 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. that can be anything from mild to severe – this is why we recommend 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.

However, it has been our experience that victims can also be vulnerable to other kinds of crime too.

Consider that your decision-making and risk avoidance are going to be poor after the scam, and you will be prone to emotional distress. THIS IS NOT A THEORY, THIS IS AN ESTABLISHED FACT FOR TRAUMA SUFFERS! You will be often triggered and many times these will result in fight or flight – mostly because the triggersTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. will be emotional too.


However, we live in a world of real monsters. You should have learned that clearly, yet our experience is that most victims have not really learned any lessons about their own safety and personal risk until many months have gone by, sometimes even a couple of years.

We all accept that there are predators around us, right? You should also accept that you are probably not very good at spotting them while trauma controls you.


Did you know that as a victim, you broadcast your vulnerability?

Did you know that a psychopath can spot victims by the way they walk?

One specific type of body language that reliably distinguishes victims from non-victims is gait.

A previous study found prison inmates who had been convicted of sexual assault identified targets as vulnerable because of certain motions within their walk.

For example: U.S. Serial killer and rapist, Ted Bundy, who shortly before his execution confessed to 30 homicides committed in the 1970s, claimed that

“he could tell a victim by the way she walked down the street, the tilt of her head, the manner in which she carried herself, etc.”

This partly inspired a recent psychology study testing whether psychopaths used the way people walk (their body language) to decide who to target.

It appears that predators such as rapists and muggers select their victims by first observing a person’s body language, which they use to decide about traits such as submissiveness, and therefore ultimately vulnerability to assault.

A new study by academic psychologists based at Brock University, Ontario, Canada, and Westfield State University, Massachusetts, USA, has investigated whether psychopaths are skilled in decoding such body language, giving them an advantage in selecting ‘easy’ victims. This skill appears to be part of their adeptness at deceiving, manipulating, and exploiting others.

The study entitled ‘Psychopathy and Victim Selection: The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability,’ used a sample of violent prison inmates and found that these offenders were indeed more practiced in paying attention to body language clues relating to attack susceptibility.

Study link: http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/02/18/0886260512475315.abstract – but we have posted the study here on this page below.

Psychopathic offenders were found to be more likely to mention gait as a reason for their assessment of target vulnerability.

Psychologists Dr. Angela Book, Dr. Kimberly Costello, and Dr. Joseph Camilleri, who published their study in the ‘Journal of Interpersonal Violence’, found that these ‘victims’ display characteristic body language, specifically in their walking style.

Psychopaths are more accurate than the general population at judging victim vulnerability simply from viewing targets walking.

This suggests that if you change the way you walk or hold yourself, and possibly other body language features, you could better protect yourself from attack, perhaps particularly if you are a woman.

Psychopaths were selected to be studied in this research because they make up 15% to 25% of a typical prison population, and are responsible for 50% of violent crimes. These “social predators” are characterized by manipulativeness, superficial charm, deception, lack of empathy and remorse, glibness, manipulation, impulsiveness, and callousness, which all combine to produce the most dangerous people on the planet.

Psychopaths are particularly skilled in exploiting the weaknesses of others, and this requires that they become adept at recognizing clues of vulnerability in potential victims. Successful predation, therefore, is thought to hinge on signals of victim vulnerability or weakness. Victims are not picked at random but are chosen for specific reasons – for example, they may be less likely to fight back?

Previous research has found that men were more likely to select “submissive” women as potential victims after viewing short videos of the woman in a conversation. The female targets in that study who were perceived to be submissive tended to use “smaller” or more subtle gestures involving their hands and feet. Women who were seen to be dominant used more assertive or expansive gesturing involving their arms and legs.

Non-verbal behaviors, such as eye contact, body posture, and body gestures, appear related to actual and perceived ratings of targets’ dominance.

One specific type of body language that reliably distinguishes victims from non-victims is gait. A previous study found prison inmates who had been convicted of sexual assault identified targets as vulnerable because of certain motions within their walk.

These included long or short strides, weight shifts, and feet lifting. Overall, targets who were judged to be vulnerable to mugging or assault exhibited less synchronous movement in their walk. Another previous study found that women who had less-synchronous walks were perceived to be less confident and more vulnerable to sexual assault.

In another study, women exhibiting slower walking speed as well as shorter strides were judged by men to be more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

In the current research prison inmates with higher psychopathy scores demonstrated greater accuracy in distinguishing people who had a prior (but undisclosed) history of being victims from non-victims.

Inmates scoring higher on particular psychopathic features were much more likely to consciously attend to a target’s gait when making their vulnerability judgments.

The authors conclude that although responsibility for victimizationVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology. always lies with the perpetrator, their findings have implications for the prevention of future and repeated attacks.

Targets who displayed vulnerable body language were more likely to report past histories of ill-treatment, and psychopaths identified these individuals as being more vulnerable to future victimization.

Such findings may account for why some individuals become repeat victims; social predators are attracted to external displays of vulnerability.

The authors of the study argue that those at risk can be instructed on how to avoid displaying vulnerable body language, in turn therefore possibly reducing their likelihood of being chosen as a victim.

However, the effects of such training appear to be temporary, and the natural gait reasserts itself over time.

According to another theory, if our display of vulnerable body language is produced by a helpless self-identity, our bearing, posture and movements betray our inner insecurities more than we may realize.

To change the way your walk more permanently, making your pathway through life safer, you may need to not just change the outside manner, but how you feel about yourself on the inside as well.


It means that after you are the victim of ONE CRIME you are more vulnerable to becoming the victim of another crime.

We have also observed that scam victims especially are far less aware of online risks after their scam, regardless of much they protest that it will never happen again. This is, in part, the reason why the average number of times that victims are involved in online crimes is 3.4 times.

We have also observed that scam victims are more likely to FREEZEFreeze Trauma Freeze Response: While fight-or-flight is the better-known way humans respond to certain stressful stimuli, the additional less known third response "FREEZE", was not as widely studied until this last decade. Freezing as a response to a threat might seem effective, a sort of “playing dead” in the face of danger; however, in humans freezing manifests as an inability to communicate, react, make decisions, or take any action of self-preservation or defense. if confronted by a crisis of personal safety increasing vulnerability.


In your normal life, be aware of this vulnerability. When you are in places where you can be victimized be exceptionally aware of your surroundings.

We recommend that you carry some form of personal protection, if only because it will help you feel more confident. A gun is not a good choice because if you freeze then a predator has your gun and the situation is far worse.

We also recommend that all victims report these crimes to their 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., and you might even consider taking out a protection order against 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., telling the police that you fear for your safety – because then if you are ever in a situation the police will respond differently.

Time and support are needed to help you overcome this victim vulnerability. We recommend our 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. (of course) but also trauma counselors and therapists – and make sure you discuss your vulnerabilities with your therapist both for your own awareness and also to get help overcoming them.


Please increase your awareness of the risks around you. The scam may be occupying your every thought, but that is exactly how other criminals can take advantage!

Be safe out there!

Psychopathy and Victim Selection – The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability

Psychopathy and Victim Selection – The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability

Essential Tools For Every Scam Victim From SCARS Publishing

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Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 31 plus years of experience.

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SCARS GREN BOOK - The SCARS STEPS Guide to Scam Victim Recovery

Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide


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 counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, 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!

Get it here

SCARS SLATE BOOK - A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!

A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims


This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these 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 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.

Get it here

SCARS RED BOOK - Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer


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.

Get it here

SCARS BLUE BOOK - Survivor's Recovery Journal
SCARS LIME BOOK - Wisdom & Motivation for Scam Victims
SCARS CHERRY BOOK - A Guide To Understanding Your Fear
SCARS WORKBOOK - 8 Steps To Improvement
SCARS WORKBOOK - Understanding Self-Blame, Guilt, and Shame
100% of all profit goes to support FREE Scam Victims' Services

See all our books and motivational gifts for scam victims at Shop.AgainstScams.org

100% of all profit goes to help SCARS help more scam victims worldwide.

Your generous purchase allows us to maintain our scam avoidance, support, and recovery services. Please help SCARS and stand proud.

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com