Scam Victims Support Articles

For Police Officers: Interacting With Scam Victims And How To Make A Difference

For Police Officers: Interacting With Scam Victims And How To Make A Difference Guidance for Local Law Enforcement to help better understand the ways to impact these crimes and better support scam/fraud/cybercrime victims Helping Police Officers better understand their options and how to help victims! Key Topics: How to Support Victims How to take Action against Money Mules Interacting with Victims in Denial Understanding Victim Trauma For Police Officers: Helping You Interact with Scam Victims and How to Make a Difference Basic Guidelines on Approaching & Interacting with Victims of Cyber-Enabled Crime (Online Scams) and Actions YOU Can Take! Background In the United States alone there are more than 50 million scam victims and that number is growing by 20 million a year or more, not to mention the rest of the world. Every country is being flooded with scams, fraud, and cybercrime cases. It may seem like there is nothing you can do to help victims or stop these crimes, but that is not true - there is much you can do to help. Scam/Fraud/Cybercrime Victims The way people cope as victims of crime depends largely on their experiences immediately following the crime. As a law enforcement officer, you are usually the first official to approach victims. For this reason, you are in a unique position to help victims cope with the immediate trauma of the crime and to help restore their sense of security and control over their lives. In the case of internet or phone-based scam victims, especially of “Romance Scam” victims – there is not a typical crime scene. Normally the victim is a walk-in or a phone-in. This is typically the first contact where officers are able to address victims and their needs. Optional for Scam Victims SCARS RED BOOK - Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Book available at shop.AgainstScams.org This publication recognizes that each crime is different and requires officers to prioritize their performance on tasks in each situation. We know that generally, officers must attend to many tasks, including Read More ...

Scam Victims Reporting Scams And Interacting With The Police

Scam Victims Reporting Scams and Interacting with the Police A Checklist of what to do Before Speaking with the Police and While You are Reporting Scams! Helping You Get What Is Possible from the Police and Helping You Consider Your Options! Key Topics: Create a Crime File Write a Crime Summary Know Your Rights Preparing to Go to the Police and Reporting Scams The SCARS Police Interaction Checklist For Reporting Scams It is Vital to Report EVERY Scam Reporting Scams is one of the problems that all scam victims face. They do not know what to say, how to report the information they have, or what is realistic when initially speaking with the police or government agencies. The process of reporting scams is not always easy but it is absolutely necessary. What can make it easier is making sure you are prepared when reporting scams and that your expectations are not unrealistic. The sooner you do this the better because there may be options for recovering your money too! The secret to reporting scams is to go in prepared, have no expectations, give them what they want, and listen carefully. We also recommend that you go in with a support person who can help you to better understand what the police are telling you – you may be very traumatized. In addition, reporting is your way to declaring your innocence if anyone ever questions it. Optional for Scam Victims SCARS RED BOOK - Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Book available at shop.AgainstScams.org Reporting Scams STEP 1: Create A Crime File After a scam you are shocked and confused, maybe even afraid, so you don’t know how to begin or what to do. The first step is to start collecting the evidence – because that is what it is. It is evidence of a crime, and online crimes are real crimes! This is the basis for reporting scams. DIGITAL FOLDER You will need to create a digital folder on your computer (if you have one.) If this Read More ...

Every New Scam Victim Needs To Understand What To Do Next!

Every New Scam Victim Needs to Understand What to Do Next! Your Action Plan After Becoming a Scam Victim to Stop the Damage! Understand this: everyone can be scammed, and everyone will be scammed Key Topics: Stop the Bleeding Protecting Your Accounts Mitigate the Scam Damage Protect Yourself for the Future Don’t Get Blindsided as a Scam Victim Your Action Plan After Becoming a Scam Victim to Stop the Damage! First, understand this: everyone can be scammed, and everyone will be scammed – you will become a scam victim at some point! How well you plan and prepare for it will determine how bad it becomes. There are more than 49 million scam victims in the United States alone (as of 2023), and an estimated 100 million worldwide. None of them planned on becoming a victim either, but it happened. Within the next couple of years, every American adult will be the victim of a scam at least once, and sometimes many times. Becoming A Scam Victim Becoming a scam victim can be an emotionally and financially devastating experience. Discovering you’ve fallen victim to a scam is a disheartening and stressful experience, but swift action can help mitigate its impact and prevent further damage. Understanding what steps to take immediately after discovering a scam is crucial in minimizing losses and protecting yourself from future threats. Scam Victim – Where to Begin? The shock, anger, and fear can feel overwhelming, but amidst the chaos, it’s crucial to take swift action to minimize the damage and prevent further harm. Here’s your comprehensive guide to navigating the aftermath of a scam. Stop the Bleeding: Change Your Passwords Immediately: Update your login credentials for every account potentially compromised, including email, bank accounts, social media, and online shopping platforms. Use strong, unique passwords for each account, and enable two/multi-factor authentication. Stop All Transactions: Immediately cease any further transactions, communication, or engagement with the scammer. Freeze or close any compromised accounts. Cut Off All Contact: Immediately cease all communication with the scammer, regardless of their pleas or threats. Block their numbers, emails, and Read More ...

How Scam Victims Can Maximize Support Groups Benefits

How Scam Victims Can Maximize Support Groups Benefits Staying Focused on Getting the Most from Support Groups makes the difference for New Scam Victims Avoid Support Groups that focus on hostility Key Topics: Choosing the Right Support Provider Factors to Consider Credentials to Look For Getting the Most from the Support Group You Choose Helping Traumatized Scam Victims Better Understand what they need to do to get the Maximum Benefit from Professionally Managed Support Groups  Recovering from a scam can be a daunting journey fraught with emotional turmoil and uncertainty, especially in the beginning for scam victims. Everywhere they look, scam victims see thousands of anti-scam groups on social media, all claiming to be experts. Sadly, they simply are not. A. Choosing the Right Support Provider Finding the right support provider is critical for scam victims on their journey to recovery. With countless options available, selecting a provider that meets individual needs and offers credible support is essential. This will help scam victims explore key factors scam victims should consider when choosing a support provider and highlight the credentials to look for. Factors to Consider Specialization Seek support providers who specialize in assisting scam victims. These professionals need to possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by individuals affected by scams and can offer tailored assistance. Experience Look for providers with a proven track record of helping scam victims. Experience equips support providers with insights, strategies, and resources to address various aspects of scam recovery effectively. For example, SCARS has had over 12,000 scam survivors successfully pass through its program. Optional For Scam Victims SCARS Recovery Program - Lessons Learned From Recovery Book - FREE PDF DOWNLOAD - available on shop.AgainstScams.org Credentials Confirm that the support provider has the certifications and credentials to ensure they possess the necessary qualifications and expertise. Credentials should include certifications in trauma-informed care and related areas and have psychologists on their team. Just saying you know about scams is not enough. Approach Consider the approach and methodology used by individual support Read More ...

SCARS 3 Steps For New Scam Victims 2024

SCARS 3 Steps For New Scam Victims 2024 A Guide for New Scam Victims - What to do to end the Scam Help to End the Scam and Begin Again Key Topics: STEP 1: Stop All Communications! STEP 2: Accept That You Were Scammed STEP 3: Focus Only On Yourself Are You A Scam Victim – Now What? This Is A Very Confusing Time For Scam Victims But We Have The Answers! Your scam has just ended and you will be in shock, confusion, fear, and anger. You will be unsure about what to do now. We have helped millions of scam victims, and we know that it comes down to THREE (3) BASIC STEPS. This is a guide to help new scam victims understand what to do first and how to proceed with recovery! First Thing You need to understand that this was not your fault, and you are not to blame. Do not feel ashamed of what happened. The scammers are professionals – yes scammers, there was more than one – they work in teams. They are expert manipulators, and you were not prepared. Time is important after you discover the scams – there is a limited window for the police to act to help recover your money, depending on how it was sent. Learn more here. Also, if it was a crypto-based scam, your local police can, in very many cases, trace the lost cryptocurrency and recover it. Act now! This is going to be hard, and most victims give up or give in to anger. But if you are willing to do what needs to be done, you can recover from this. Remember that the trauma from a relationship scam is very real and it will not simply go away – you will not just get over it – you will need help. Make sure you get it! When the time comes to talk with your family & friends, click here for how to do that correctly, so they will not blame you. Also, see our videos on our YouTube channel here. You will Read More ...

SCARS Support & Recovery Program For Scam Victims – 2024

SCARS Support & Recovery Program For Scam Victims Essential Professional Help for New Scam Victims Helping Scam Victims to overcome the Shame, Guilt, and Self-Blam that comes from Relationship Scams Key Topics: SCARS 3-Step Support & Recovery Program Begin Processing the Grief and Understanding Trauma Rebuilding Self-Esteem and Trust Acceptance and Empowerment SCARS 3-Step Emotional Support & Recovery Program for Relationship Scam Victims This is a support & recovery program invented by SCARS based on over 100 years of recovery & psychological science. Please note the time scales are typical estimates. Each individual’s experience will vary based upon their own trauma and their commitment to their recovery. Step duration is fixed and a part of the program. When we refer to therapy or counseling, this is independent of SCARS itself. SCARS recommends that all scam victims find professional trauma counseling or therapy. SCARS is partnered with BetterHelp.com to provide initial therapy through its SCARS STAR Membership program – but this is not mandatory for access to our Support & Recovery Program. To learn more about the SCARS STAR Membership visit membership.AgainstScams.org  To find trauma counselors or therapists worldwide visit counseling.AgainstScams.org SCARS Emotional Support & Recovery Program STEP 1 The first 9 months – New Arrivers Crisis Support We have a special Step ZERO support group for scam victims who are experiencing too much trauma to adapt to our regular groups just yet. The focus in the Step Zero group is stabilization. Discovery and Crisis (3-8 Weeks +/-) Immediate Support: Crisis Hotlines: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988), Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741) Mental Health Professionals: Seek individual therapy or join a support group specifically for scam victims. Legal and Financial Aid: Consult lawyers and financial advisors to secure your finances and explore legal options. Confronting the Reality: Gather evidence and document the scam: This helps solidify the truth and prevent further engagement. Educate yourself about the tactics used by the criminals: Understanding the whole process of victimization, including manipulation techniques employed can empower victims and prevent future scams. Validate your emotions: Allow yourself to feel anger, sadness, and betrayal. Bottling them up Read More ...

Importance of Scam Victims Avoiding the Vigilante Trap

Importance of Scam Victims Avoiding the Vigilante Trap Staying Focused on Recovery is Essential for New Scam Victims Avoid Becoming Involved in Scam Baiting & Endless Fake Profile Exposing Key Topics: Emotional Toll of Scams The Dangers of Vigilantism Focusing on Recovery Community Support and Awareness The Pitfalls of Becoming a Vigilante for New Scam Victims – including Scam Baiting & Endless Exposing of Scammers or Fake Profiles Introduction Discovering that you’ve fallen victim to a scam can be an emotionally devastating experience. The aftermath can leave victims grappling with a range of emotions, from anger to shame. While it’s natural to want justice, engaging in any of the various forms of vigilantism, including scam baiting and other activities that fixate on the perpetrators, is not be the most constructive path to healing. In fact, it can stop your recovery in it tracks! Emotional Toll of Scams Scams often involve manipulation and deceit, leaving victims feeling violated and vulnerable – it is natural to feel this way, these feelings are valid. The emotional toll can be immense, leading individuals to seek ways to regain control and seek justice. However, focusing on the criminals hinders the crucial emotional and psychological recovery process. The Temptation of Vigilantism Upon discovering they’ve been scammed, some individuals are drawn to the idea of turning the tables on the criminals. Vigilante actions, such as scam baiting (intentionally engaging scammers to waste their time), may offer a fleeting sense of revenge but can prolong the victim’s exposure to the traumatic incident. Optional For Scam Victims SCARS WORKBOOK - 8 Steps to Improvement - a Part of the SCARS Recovery Program available on shop.AgainstScams.org The Dangers of Vigilantism Engaging in vigilantism can have significant consequences. Scammers are often part of sophisticated networks that include other forms of cybercriminals and identity thieves, and attempts at retaliation can expose victims to further risks, including identity theft, other cybercrime, or more elaborate scams. Additionally, engaging with scammers perpetuates a cycle of negative emotions, hindering the recovery process. Focusing on Read More ...

Importance of Trauma Therapy for Scam Victims

Importance of Trauma Therapy for Scam Victims An Essential Part of Scam Victim Recovery What it does for Scam Victims and How to Find It! Key Topics: Emotional & Psychological Toll of Romance Scams Addressing Vulnerabilities and Resiliency Why Professional Trauma Therapy Matters Finding Trauma Therapy or Counseling The Critical Role of Professional Trauma Therapy for Victims of Romance Scams - Helping through One-on-One Support Introduction Romance scams, a heartbreaking and often overlooked form of cybercrime, can have devastating effects on victims, leaving emotional scars that linger long after the scam has been exposed. As survivors grapple with the aftermath, getting professional trauma therapy becomes a necessary step toward healing. Doing this as early as possible makes a big difference in recovery. Understanding the importance of obtaining specialized care and support for victims of romance or relationship scams can be the difference between coming through recovery well or developing more psychological issues. Emotional & Psychological Toll of Romance Scams Romance scams involve emotional manipulation, betrayal, and financial loss, leaving victims in a state of profound distress. The psychological impact can manifest in a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), guilt, shame, and a shattered sense of trust. Romance scams are perpetrated by skilled criminal manipulators who exploit emotions for financial gain while exacting a heavy emotional and psychological toll on victims. Understanding the depth of these wounds is essential to grasp why seeking professional trauma therapy is not just advisable but critical for the healing journey. Optional For Scam Victims SCARS WORKBOOK - Blaming Yourself & Feeling Guilty - a Part of the SCARS Recovery Program available on shop.AgainstScams.org Betrayal and Deception: Victims of romance scams experience a profound sense of betrayal and deception. The person they believed to be a romantic partner turns out to be a fraud, shattering not only their dreams of love but also their trust in their own judgment and intuition. Loss of Trust: Trust is a fundamental aspect of any relationship. Romance scams undermine this foundation, leaving victims questioning not Read More ...

Importance of Learning for Scam Victims Recovering from Scams

Importance of Learning for Scam Victims Recovering from Scams Understanding these Crimes is Essential to Scam Victims' Recovery SCARS is the Global Leader in Scam Victims Support & Education Key Topics: Understanding Scams Unraveling the Manipulation Techniques Psychology of Recovery for Relationship Scam Victims Empowering Through Education The Imperative of Learning and Understanding Scams and Empowering Scam Victims Introduction In the digital age, where connectivity thrives, scam victims pay the price for the prevalence of every imaginable type of scam. Whether in the form of phishing emails, fraudulent investments, or, more insidiously, relationship scams that demolish scam victim’s trust – in others and in themselves, the need for awareness and education is paramount to avoid these crimes, discover them in progress, and to fully recover from them. The importance of learning about scams, their intricate workings, the manipulation techniques employed by scammers, and the psychological recovery journey for victims, especially those ensnared in relationship scams is critical. Understanding Scams To combat scams effectively, one must first comprehend their diverse forms. From classic email phishing to elaborate relationship scams or even combinational types like cryptocurrency investment scams, scammers exploit human vulnerabilities. Awareness is the first line of defense. Recognizing common scam tactics, such as urgency, fear, or promises of extraordinary gains, empowers individuals to question and investigate before falling prey. Education is also an essential component in understanding so that victims can shed their self-blame, guilt, and shame and allow themselves to recover from their scams. Optional For Scam Victims SCARS COBALT BOOK - A Scam Victim's Guide to Mindfulness - NEW 2024 available at shop.AgainstScams.org Understand This! You are a survivor – you can make it through this process and recover! It was not your fault – these criminals exploited your vulnerabilities, manipulated and controlled you to get what they wanted! You are not alone – SCARS is here along with our communities for fellow scam victims-survivors to help you through your recovery from this terrible experience! Axios – no matter what you think, you are worthy of being helped and we are Read More ...

Importance for Scam Victims to Join a Professionally Managed Support & Recovery Group

Importance for Scam Victims to Join a Professionally Managed Support & Recovery Group Competent Support Groups Allow Scams Victim to Focus on their Recovery & Healing Selecting the Right Support Group is Vital in Beginning the Process of Recovery Key Topics: Understanding the emotional impact Guided healing process Focusing on personal growth The Healing Power of Support: Why Scam Victims Should Join Professionally Managed Recovery Groups Introduction Falling victim to a scam can be a profoundly distressing experience, leaving individuals grappling with a myriad of emotions and challenges. In the aftermath, the importance of seeking support from professionally managed recovery groups, such as those operated by SCARS (Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams), cannot be overstated. These professional and well-organized groups play a crucial role in guiding scam victims through the healing process, providing a structured environment that fosters recovery and prevents individuals from losing themselves in the aftermath of a scam. However, do not mistake social media groups focused on exposing scammers as support groups, they are not, their focus is on anger – something that can be harmful to new scam victims. Understanding the Emotional Impact Scams often involve sophisticated manipulation, leaving victims emotionally shattered. Shame, guilt, anger, and fear are just a few of the complex emotions that may arise. A professionally managed recovery group understands the unique emotional toll of scams, creating a safe space for victims to share their experiences without judgment. Preventing Isolation One of the common consequences of falling victim to a scam is the feeling of isolation. Scam victims may be hesitant to share their experience with friends and family, fearing judgment or blame. Professionally managed recovery groups provide a community of individuals who have faced similar ordeals, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding. Optional For Family & Friends Of Scam Victims SCARS SLATE BOOK - A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims available on shop.AgainstScams.org Guided Healing Process Recovery from a scam is a multifaceted journey, encompassing emotional, psychological, and sometimes financial aspects. Professionally managed support groups, like Read More ...