(Last Updated On: March 25, 2022)

Victims As Activists & Why Many 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. Victims Should Delay Or Not Become One

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 Victims Can Become Powerful Activists But Many Should Not Try To Help Others

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime Noted:

Long after the physical wounds have healed, many crime victims continue to feel overwhelmed by the psychic pain of loss, powerlessness, low self-esteem, isolation, fear, and rageRage 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. feelings that often are shared by their family and friends, as well as by the extended community.

From the ashes of the crime, victims and their families are often struggling to rebuild their own lives.

Victim As Activist

Through community activism, many individuals have transformed their pain into power, helping change society, and healing themselves in the process. SCARS’ own history is based upon this principle.

Moving from the personal to the activist role, many work to correct causes of crime that are systemic, such as internet crimes and other forms of 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.; to hold those who commit crimes accountable, and to enact victim-sensitive reforms and programs. As the crime victims’ movement enters its fifth decade, advocates should look for ways to nurture victims’ desires to help others by providing educational and organizational opportunities for community action. This is at the core of the SCARS Mission.

Without intervention, victims can become chronically dysfunctional and afraid to venture out in their life, unable to work productively, alienated from neighbors and friends, distrustful of police and courts, and overly dependent on social services. Their withdrawal from life hurts their families and weakens the fabric of the community.

Individual 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. and practical assistance help people deal with the psychological aftermath of crime and reconstruct a sense of equilibrium. When crime victims move from their personal experiences to a broader social analysis and to activism, they can also aid their own recovery from 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. of 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.. Recognizing or addressing the social conditions that lead to crime and victimization is important. Helping other victims, working to change laws, or mobilizing crime prevention initiatives can help some victims and survivorsSurvivor 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 regain a sense of control and channel their fear and rage into efforts for reform.

Grassroots Efforts

The history of grassroots efforts in other movements shows that community activism can be a powerful catalyst for social change.

Individual stakeholders, such as those whose lives were directly affected by a specific type of crime have brought about landmark reforms. The movements for civil rights, elder rights, welfare, environmental protection, and AIDS research and treatment have been spearheaded by those directly affected by the issues. Like crime victim activism, each of these movements arose from victimizing conditions of neglect, persecution, or marginalization; and the involvement of “victimized” individuals legitimized the cause.

Being A Victim

A crucial step toward activism may be the individual’s self-identification as a member of a group victimized by particular social conditions. Yet within the crime victims’ and battered women’s movements, the “victim” label remains controversial. Some believe it is a stigmatizing label that hinders recovery and reinforces society’s perception of victims as helpless, hopeless, and dependent. Others see it as an empowering identification that promotes connection with others and spurs community involvement.

SCARS prefers the term “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” for those that have moved past the initial stage of discovery and into the process of recovery. Unfortunately, the term Victim lingers and is used to help those victimized to find the information they need.

Concerns Regarding Victim Activism

Though beneficial for many, becoming a victim activist is not a required step in trauma recovery and may be very much a problem for many.

Because people recover in different ways and have different needs, activism and community action are not appropriate for all crime victims.

The individual’s personality and history of victimization may play a role in determining whether this involvement will be helpful to recovery, while the availability of emotional and financial supports may be a big factor in determining whether the victim has the time and energy to spend on activist issues. Some victims of crime, though able to lead normal lives, may never feel prepared to deal with the pain of others (be lacking empathy) or the frustrations of advocacy efforts.

Being a victim may not be enough by itself to lead to successful activism; there is real evidence that victims who become active in community efforts are likely to have been activists before the crime. More importantly, those that are emotionally stable enough to become activist are also best able to recover from the experience. Those that remain in 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., and rage, are least able to become successful activists, and may, in fact, be very harmful to other victims and their recovery.

In the absence of clear criteria for when activism is likely to benefit a traumatized individual, a victim’s own interest and desire to participate should be the determining factor. Rather than prescribing activism as a necessary part of the recovery process, professionals can provide people with opportunities for action, and support those who choose to get involved.

Criteria That Should Exclude Victims From Activism:

  • Obsessive need for justice – to make sure that 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. pay for their crimes
  • Focus only on specific elements of process that may serve no real purpose or not be effective
  • Belief in their own knowledge or expertise in crime and criminal methods with no real training or experience
  • A desperate need to save others
  • The belief that other professionals or advocates are doing nothing to help
  • Being unwilling to explore other approaches created by other professional advocates
  • Being unwilling to support existing activism organizations, believing they have to do it alone and by themselves
  • Be driven by rage or anger in their activist decisions
  • Wanting to take revenge or obtain vengeance
  • Very new victims feeling they must do something, anything, to change things before they have even fully recognized their own situation

These are all reasons why crime victims that feel these should not become involved in activism, but instead, address these issues through counseling or professional care before becoming involved.

Timing

Timing is also an important consideration in activism and community involvement. Advocating for legislative reform or helping others before coming to terms with their own trauma do impede many victims’ recovery, and can derail it or even prevent it. Lebowitz,

One study noted that what they call the third stage of trauma recovery-reconnecting with others-should not be attempted until the earlier steps of achieving a sense of safety and exploring and integrating the traumatic event have been achieved. Unless they have reached this stage, victims may be unable to cope with other people’s trauma on top of their own. Listening to others’ crime stories may exacerbate fears and bring back disturbing, even overwhelming, memories of their own experiences, thereby retraumatizing them.

Research on MADD’s Victim Impact Panels has shown that the act of speaking out was beneficial for the overwhelming majority (87 percent) of participants; the few participants (3 percent) who felt they were harmed by it had become involved too close (recover) to the incident-they were still using coping strategies, such as 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., that conflicted with telling their stories publicly. This suggests that victims who invest themselves in advocacy efforts too soon are taking on more than they are ready to handle. If individual change is difficult, societal change is even harder, especially in the face of their greater challenges. To avoid these pitfalls, activism generally should be encouraged later rather than earlier in the recovery process.

In the SCARS recovery process, we attempt to help victims recognize their capacity to help others while discouraging activism until they are ready for it. Once we see stability in victims and a sincere desire  (as opposed to a manic desire) to help others, we provide substantial moderated opportunities to help others.

Feelings Of Exploitation

Certain types of activism may cause victims to feel exploited, potentially revictimizing them and setting back their recovery.

For example, some victims who have spoken out that they feel that they have been taken advantage of that their messages were misrepresented or their words cut or edited to alter their meaning. In an attempt to make a story more compelling, some journalists recast victim identities, portraying them as powerless and pitiable rather than empowered and brave (Dr. Phil?).

As a result, this has made many victims feel embarrassed or betrayed and made them less likely to speak out in the future. To avoid revictimization and to appropriately access the power of the media, victim activists need to understand how the media works – for example, that their page-one story may fade completely from the news a day later. Victim services organizations (such as SCARS) can provide training for crime victim activists as to what they might expect from working with the media. And the news media need to become sensitive to the risk of revictimization as well as the value of victim activism.

A good example of this is the SCARS relationship with many media organizations, such as National Geographic. Recently, SCARS aided National Geographic in the development of episodes about 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., scammers, and scam victims. This included helping several victims prepare for interviews and monitoring the National Geographic TV crew in their interactions with these survivors. The scam survivors’ interviews reported to SCARS that this was a positive experience and that they felt better after it.

The Victim Label

Finally, some victims interested in activism may not feel comfortable getting involved through organizations that are labeled as “victim” activist or “victim” assistance, which is one reason why other community groups-religious institutions, community organizations, neighborhood and parent groups, and other formal and informal organizations should support crime prevention and activist efforts.

For this reason, the actual SCARS name is 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., and we define ourselves as a crime victims’ assistance AND crime prevention organization. However, the problem always remains that these terms are critical in finding us through Google and many other platforms, so we are sensitive to the issues while having to continue the use of these terms.

Some individuals who already had ties with other groups may feel more comfortable taking action in familiar settings (such as AARP) within their support networks than venturing into new organizations. Thus, institutions outside the victim field have also become supportive of victims, and recognize that victim involvement can benefit both their own individual members’ well-being and their efforts for community improvement. However, the one big difference is the level of professionalism and experience is embodied in organizations like SCARS and not in the other different-focused organizations.

Summary

Most victims should avoid activism for an extended period of time until they have healed sufficiently that they can make informed decisions about their 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"., recovery, and motivation. Victims that immediately (within their first year after the crime) are likely to be facing one of the issues defined above that can lead to long-term instability and the postponement of their recovery.

Far too often, victims rush out in their manic zeal to just do something and end up in the hands of individuals and groups that lead them into worse decisions. The best decision for a new victim is to focus on recovering from their experience working to obtain support from real professionals, and wait until the time is right for them to play a more activist role. It is important though to understand that striking off on their own undermines the cumulative benefits of working with real organizations – more voices only help when they are telling a single story, otherwise, the message is lost in the chaos. – 10,000 anti-scam groups help no one.

We hope this information will help all victims put their desire to help in context and allow them to better understand when and how activism can be appropriate for them personally.

SCARS Programs

SCARS is a professional nonprofit assistance and crime prevention organization with a 30-year track record.

SCARS provides programs to:

  • Educate the public to avoid scams, financial fraud, and cyber-enabled crimeCyber-enabled Crime A Cyber-enabled crime is one where technology facilitates a criminal to commit a crime against an individual or a business. These are where there is a one to one relationship between the criminal and the victim. Romance scams, email fraud, and many other types of scams are considered cyber-enabled crimes. The technology used can be the Internet, a computer, a phone, or other devices.
  • Help victims discover that they are in a scam or fraud and how to escape from it
  • Help new victims regain control and to move forward
  • Provide formal recovery programs and approaches to benefit traumatized victims
  • Refers victims to allied professionals from counselors and therapists, to attorneys, to financial professionals, to law enforcement
  • Provide forums where victims can develop communities and share their voices
  • Volunteer programs to help survivors help other victims compassionately and safely
  • Local activist programs to help law enforcement better understand how to interact with victims
  • Local activism to help people learn about scams, victims, and strategies to provide support
  • How to sanely begin new partner groups understand the established international standards to help other victims directly
  • How to effectively participate in programs and projects to counter and prevent crime

Anyone that is interested in the SCARS advocacy programs is welcome to contact us at contact@againstscams.org or sign up to become a volunteer instantly on www.AgainstScams.org

Essential Tools For Every Scam Victim From SCARS Publishing

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

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 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!

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

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

SCARS SLATE BOOK
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.

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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
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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

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams 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

The Issue Of Race In Scam Reporting
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