The Scam Victims Need To Feel Special And How Scammers Exploit This Vulnerability – 2024

The Scam Victims Need To Feel Special And How Scammers Exploit This Vulnerability

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In today’s online world, individuals seeking companionship often become susceptible to the deceptive tactics employed by relationship scammers. These scammers exploit their scam victims’ inherent desire to feel special and wanted by meticulously crafting personas designed to lure in and capture their targets.

Through careful grooming, scammers establish trust and dependency, creating an illusion of authenticity to conceal their true criminal intentions. The consequences for those ensnared in these schemes can be dire, leading to betrayal, heartbreak, and significant emotional trauma. Understanding this psychological vulnerability and others that make prospect scam victims susceptible to exploitation is paramount in combating these scams, enabling scam victims to both recover from these crimes but also to avoid future scams.

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EUROPOL Action Against European Money Laundering Operations – 2024

EUROPOL Action Against European Money Laundering Operations

Law Enforcement Actions Against Organized Crime in Europe

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  EUROPOL

About This Article

Judicial and law enforcement authorities from Italy, Latvia, and Lithuania have collaborated to dismantle a large-scale money laundering operation, orchestrated through a Lithuanian financial institution, with over EUR 2 billion laundered since 2017.

The operation involved two main suspects who offered money laundering services online to criminals worldwide, resulting in their detention along with 16 others. Facilitated by Eurojust and Europol, the operation saw the freezing of over EUR 11.5 million in assets and bank accounts.

The institution facilitated fictitious transactions for various criminal activities, including tax evasion and organized crime, while one suspect defrauded Italian authorities of EUR 15 million.

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Alfred Adler Approach To Psychology To Scam Victims And How They Were Affected – 2024

Alfred Adler Approach To Psychology To Scam Victims And How They Were Affected

A Psychology Approach that may be Beneficial for Scam Victim Recovery

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Alfred Adler’s approach to psychology is considered to be a holistic approach or a psychological theory. It encompasses a comprehensive framework for understanding human behavior, personality development, and mental health.

While it incorporates various techniques and methods for therapeutic intervention, such as individual psychology and Adlerian therapy, it is primarily regarded as a theoretical approach that emphasizes the individual’s subjective experiences, social context, and pursuit of personal significance and belonging.

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Scam Victims In The RAIN – A Mindfulness Approach For Recovery – 2024

Scam Victims In The RAIN – A Mindfulness Approach For Recovery

Mindfulness and Scam Victim Recovery

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The RAIN method, popularized by Tara Brach, offers a structured approach to navigating difficult emotions with compassion and awareness. This mindfulness technique, which stands for Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture, provides scam victims with practical tools to process their experiences and promote emotional healing.

By recognizing and acknowledging their thoughts and emotions without judgment, allowing themselves to fully experience their feelings, investigating the underlying causes and patterns, and nurturing themselves with compassion and kindness, victims can cultivate mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional resilience.

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Scam Victims Guide To Do-It-Yourself EFT Tapping – 2024

Scam Victims’ Guide To Do-It-Yourself EFT Tapping

Helping Scam Victims Along the Path to Reducing Stress and Trauma

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) tapping offers scam victims a self-help tool for managing stress and trauma. Combining elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine and psychology, tapping involves stimulating specific acupressure points while focusing on emotional issues related to the scam experience.

By addressing disruptions in the body’s energy system, tapping aims to alleviate emotional distress and negative thought patterns. While SCARS shares this technique as a potential aid, it advises consulting with a therapist before starting.

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Scam Victims Guide To Do-It-Yourself Exposure Therapy – 2024

Scam Victims Guide To Do-It-Yourself Exposure Therapy

Helping Scam Victims Along the Path to Forgiveness and Recovery

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

This article offers an approach to help scam victims navigate the complex emotions and challenges they face in the aftermath of a scam. By employing self-help acclimation or exposure therapy techniques, victims can begin on a path toward forgiveness and recovery.

Exposure therapy, a well-established psychological treatment, involves gradually confronting distressing stimuli or memories to reduce fear and anxiety responses. Adapted for scam victims, this approach aids in processing the trauma and rebuilding trust in oneself and others. Self-guided exposure techniques, such as learning, journaling, support, and visualization exercises, enable victims to confront their Read More …

Scam Victims Compliance With Scammer Authority Figures – 2024

Scam Victims Compliance With Scammer Authority Figures

Helping Scam Victims to Understand the Psychology of Scams

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The article provides an in-depth exploration of the psychological mechanisms that drive scam victims to comply with scammer impersonation of authority figures.

It examines how scammers exploit individuals’ innate tendency to respect and obey authority, leveraging this predisposition to manipulate victims into compliance. Factors such as fear of consequences, social conditioning, and deception contribute to victims’ susceptibility to fraudulent schemes.

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Scammers Arrested In India Using A New Return Money Scam Tactic – 2024

Scammers Arrested In India Using A New Return Money Scam Tactic

A New Phone Scam Variation – Demanding the Return of Money Wrongly Sent

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In a recent cyber fraud case in India, a scammer devised a cunning scheme involving a fake hotel website, duping an unsuspecting accountant of Rs 49,500 under the guise of room booking charges. The arrest of the scammer, Zafar Khan, unveiled a sophisticated new scam approach granting scammers easy access to their targets’ mobile numbers.

Leveraging the ‘Friend Search Tool’ app, Khan identified potential victims and initiated phone contact under the pretense of returning mistakenly credited money.

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Mona Faiz Montrage ‘Hajia4Reall’ – A Ghana Influencer Pleads Guilty In U.S. Court To Romance Scams – 2024

Ghana Influencer Mona Faiz Montrage ‘Hajia4Reall’ Pleads Guilty In U.S. Court To Romance Scams

Ghana Influencer Guilty of Involvement In Ghana Romance Scams

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Ghanaian influencer and musician Mona Faiz Montrage, also known as Hajia4Reall, has confessed to her involvement in a string of romance scams, leading to the illicit acquisition of over $2 million, as disclosed by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The 31-year-old, once revered as a leading Instagram influencer with a following exceeding 3 million, was linked to a West African criminal syndicate orchestrating fraudulent activities targeting individuals and enterprises in the United States.

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INTERPOL Warns Of ‘Metacrime’ On The Metaverse – 2024

INTERPOL Warns Of ‘Metacrime’ On The Metaverse

An Insight into Crime of the Future in the Metaverse

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  INTERPOL

About This Article

INTERPOL’s new white paper delves into the emerging challenges of the Metaverse, highlighting the rise of ‘Metacrime.’

From grooming and radicalization to cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure and virtual property theft, law enforcement faces multifaceted threats in virtual realms. The paper underscores the complexities of investigating crimes where physical evidence is absent, emphasizing the need for digital forensic expertise. Yet, it also recognizes the potential for law enforcement, including advanced simulation and immersive training.

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LockBit Ransomware Shut Down By Combined Global Law Enforcement – 2024

LockBit Ransomware Shut Down By Combined Global Law Enforcement

Global Operation Chronos Shuts Down LockBit Ransomware

Cybercrime News

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Europol
•  U.S. Department of Justice

About This Article

FBI and Europol reports LockBit as the most deployed ransomware globally, with operations disrupted by law enforcement across ten countries. LockBit, infamous for causing extensive financial damage, saw its criminal activities severely compromised.

The international effort, led by the UK’s National Crime Agency under ‘Operation Cronos’, coordinated by Europol, dismantled LockBit’s infrastructure, including 34 seized servers. Arrests were made in Poland and Ukraine, with warrants issued by French and US authorities. Over 200 cryptocurrency accounts linked to the group were frozen.

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North Korea Hackers are Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Scams – 2024

North Korea Hackers are Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Scams

Cybercrime is Evolving Fast!

Cybercrime News

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from Financial Times

About This Article

North Korean hackers are now utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to orchestrate more sophisticated cyber scams, leveraging platforms like LinkedIn and AI services such as ChatGPT to enhance their deceptive tactics.

This shift towards AI-driven cybercrime poses a significant challenge to cybersecurity efforts globally. By creating credible profiles and engaging targets over extended periods, hackers can execute more convincing phishing attempts and malware dissemination.

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Helping Scam Victims Understand Cognitive Dissonance – 2024

Helping Scam Victims Understand Cognitive Dissonance

Understanding Why Scams Can Have Such a Profound Impact on Scam Victims

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Cognitive dissonance in scam victims emerges when they confront evidence contradicting their beliefs about the scam.

The realization of being deceived triggers emotional distress, further impairing cognitive function. Chronic stress from coping with the scam’s aftermath also contributes to physiological changes in the brain, affecting areas responsible for higher-order thinking. This psychological conflict exacerbates brain impairment or “brain fog,” leading to confusion and difficulty in processing information.

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Coping with Scam Victim Trauma: Exploring Positive and Negative Coping Mechanisms – 2024

Coping with Scam Victim Trauma: Exploring Positive and Negative Coping Mechanisms

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of becoming a victim to a scam, individuals often grapple with a myriad of emotions and challenges, leading to the adoption of coping mechanisms, both positive and negative.

Positive coping strategies such as seeking social support, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in constructive activities can facilitate recovery, healing and resilience.

Conversely, negative coping mechanisms like avoidance, substance abuse, and self-blame can exacerbate emotional distress and hinder recovery.

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Rebuilding Trust: The Scam Victim’s Journey from Victimhood to Empowerment – 2024

Rebuilding Trust: The Scam Victim’s Journey from Victimhood to Empowerment

Understanding How to Rebuild Trust After a Relationship Scam

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Rebuilding trust after becoming a scam victim is a difficult journey that involves restoring confidence in oneself and others. The process often begins with acknowledging the betrayal and its impact on one’s sense of security and self-worth.

Adopting frameworks like the SCARS ‘R-E-A-L’ (Reflect, Evaluate, Accept, Learn) can provide structure and guidance in navigating this complex emotional terrain.

Trusting others again requires discernment, boundary-setting, and gradual engagement in healthy relationships. At the same time, rebuilding self-trust involves introspection, self-compassion, and reframing negative beliefs.

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A Fake Social Media Scam But A Real Murder For Hire Plot In Alaska – 2024

A Fake Social Media Scam But A Real Murder For Hire Plot In Alaska

How a Fake Social Media Profile Induced Teens Online to Commit a Murder for Hire!

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions Alaska Department of Law, KTUU, and other sources

About This Article

The chilling murder-for-hire plot in Alaska involving Denali Dakota Skye Brehmer, which resulted in the tragic death of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman, highlights the dangerous consequences of online deception and manipulation, particularly in the context of ‘catfishing’ schemes.

Brehmer, along with her accomplices, was induced by an Indiana man, Darin Schilmiller, who offered a false promise of $9 million in exchange for photos and videos of Hoffman’s murder.

Despite not being the one to pull the trigger, Brehmer’s pivotal role in orchestrating the murder led to her sentencing of 99 years in prison.

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Why It Is Important To Understand The Default Mode (DMN) And The Subconscious In Scam Victims – 2024

Why It Is Important To Understand The Default Mode (DMN) And The Subconscious In Scam Victims

Understanding the Psychological Processes During Scams

Helping Scam Victims to Recover

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Understanding the default mode network (DMN) and its role in psychological processes such as rumination is essential for scam victims navigating recovery.

By learning about the DMN and subconscious mental processes, victims can gain insight into their experiences, normalize their reactions, and identify triggers and patterns that contribute to distress. Armed with this knowledge, victims can develop coping strategies, cultivate self-awareness, and seek professional support to regulate their emotions and reduce rumination. Ultimately, understanding the DMN empowers victims to take an active role in their Read More …

‘Love Language’ Does Not Apply To Relationship Scams & Scam Victims – 2024

‘Love Languages’ Does Not Apply To Relationship Scams & Scam Victims

The Psychology of Scams & Victim Recovery is Complex and Demands Real Science!

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The concept of “love languages” has gained popularity in recent years, offering a framework for understanding romantic relationships and communication dynamics, except it does not apply to relationship scams or romance scam victims.

This framework lacks empirical validity and scientific rigor, presenting oversimplified categorizations of human emotions and behaviors. Particularly concerning are its implications for individuals who have fallen victim to romance scams. Scammers exploit emotional vulnerabilities rather than genuine expressions of affection, undermining the relevance of love languages in such contexts.

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45% of Men Use AI for Valentine’s Day Romance Messages – 2024

Unlocking the AI Love Wave: McAfee Study Unveils 45% of Men Harness AI for Valentine’s Day Messages

Understanding How AI is Changing Online Romance

Author:
• McAfee Research

About This Article

McAfee’s latest research delves into the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in men’s love lives, particularly around Valentine’s Day, shedding light on both its benefits and risks.

The study highlights a significant increase in the use of AI for crafting love messages, with 45% of men considering leveraging AI tools compared to 39% of all adults last year. However, while AI aids in enhancing online dating profiles and messages for 30% of men and 27% of women surveyed, there’s a growing concern about discerning genuine interactions from fake ones, especially as 31% of Americans have encountered romance scammers online.

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Transnational Organized Crime Using Luxury Goods For Money Laundering – 2024

Transnational Organized Crime Using Luxury Goods For Money Laundering

Understanding the Money Flows with Transnational Organized Crime

An Overview of Transnational Organized Crime Money Laundering

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Transnational organized crime (TOC) is increasingly turning to luxury goods like watches and handbags for money laundering. These items’ high value, portability, and established resale channels make them attractive for criminals to hide and convert illicit gains.

TOC methods involve bulk purchases, smuggling, fake documentation, and online marketplaces. The consequences impact businesses through reputational damage and market distortion, governments battling financing of illegal activities, and consumers facing trust issues about product authenticity.

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U.S. Bank President Lured Into Pig Butchering Scam – Embezzled Almost $50 Million – 2024

U.S. Bank President Lured Into Pig Butchering Scam

Victim Embezzled Almost $50 Million

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The CEO of a Kansas bank was arrested for allegedly embezzling $50 million to participate in a “Pig Butchering” crypto scam, where victims are manipulated into investing in fake schemes.

This incident, causing the bank to fail, highlights the rising threat of investment fraud, which the FBI reports increased 183% from 2021 to 2022. Kansas bank commissioner David Herndon urges caution, advising against clicking unknown links or replying to suspicious emails. This case underscores the importance of investor education and awareness regarding crypto scams and other forms of investment fraud.

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Scam Victims Editing Their Stories To Promote Recovery From Scams 2024

Scam Victims Editing Their Stories To Promote Recovery From Scams

Scam Victims Recovery

Helping Scam Victims through their Post-Scam Transformation

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Based on work by Lori Gottlieb

About This Article

Victims of scams often find themselves trapped in the narratives of their past experiences, bound by feelings of betrayal and vulnerability. However, through the process of editing their stories, they can embark on a journey of recovery and transformation.

By acknowledging external factors that contributed to their victimization and reframing their narratives to include themes of resilience and growth, scam victims reclaim agency over their lives. Radical honesty serves as a cornerstone of this process, enabling victims to confront their experiences without judgment and fostering Read More …

$3.1 Trillion – Recovering Transnational Organized Crime Profits – Reimagining the World – An Essay – 2024

$3.1 Trillion – Recovering Organized Crime Profits – Reimagining the World

An Essay

How We Can Make A Better World

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Reclaiming the $3.1 trillion lost yearly to transnational organized crime could fuel massive societal transformation.

Redirecting these funds towards education, healthcare, infrastructure, and environmental conservation could spark progress globally. Achieving this vision requires disrupting criminal networks, enhancing law enforcement cooperation, and implementing robust policy reforms. It starts with awareness, commitment, and collective action to reclaim the potential hidden within those lost trillions from transnational organized crime.

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NASDAQ Global Financial Crime Report: Criminals Took US$3.1 Trillion from Victims and the Economy in 2023

Global Financial Crime Report: Criminals took US$3.1 Trillion from Victims in 2023 Per NASDAQ

Tracking the Impact of Financial Crimes on Victims

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The 2024 Global Financial Crime Report by Nasdaq reveals that transnational illicit activities, like romance scams and human trafficking, amassed over US$3 trillion, devastating victims’ sense of security and, at times, their lives. Nasdaq Chair and CEO Adena Friedman emphasizes, “The world’s multi-trillion-dollar financial crime epidemic is more than a money problem.”

Victims, like former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer & SCARS Chair Debby Montgomery Johnson, echo the sentiment, emphasizing the profound human costs. The report exposes the staggering impact on individuals, including romance scam losses totaling $3.8 billion in 2023 alone.

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Scam Victims Will Never Be The Same – A Harsh Truth – 2024

Scam Victims Will Never Be The Same – A Harsh Truth

The First Step in Healing is Understanding How These Crimes Affect Their Victims – and Accepting It!

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of falling victim to scams, many individuals defiantly proclaim, “I won’t let the scam define me!” or “I refuse to let it affect me!”

Yet, these assertions, though spoken with conviction, often veil a deeper truth. Each scam victim is intimately connected to the events they’ve endured, and denying this connection hinders their journey toward healing. The impact of scams, whether financial or emotional, lingers long after the initial deception.

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