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A Scam Victim in Extreme Distress – Stopping the Pain – 2024

A Scam Victim in Extreme Distress – Stopping the Pain

An Essay about the Extreme Distress that often follows the Discovery of a 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

When scam victims express extreme distress, it’s a cry for help and a manifestation of deep pain, tearing apart their sense of self. Understanding the neurological storm in their brain during distress is crucial.

Brain regions like the amygdala become hyperactive, while the prefrontal cortex, vital for rational thinking, is impaired. Dysregulated neurotransmitters contribute to mood disturbances. To cope, victims should prioritize safety and seek professional help. Even in extreme distress, small steps like deep breathing or expressing feelings can be empowering.

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Motivation & Scam Victims – 2024

Motivation & Scam Victims

Understanding What Motivates Scam Victims During and After the 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

The article delves into the intricate web of motivations that drive individuals, particularly scam victims, exploring both intrinsic and extrinsic drivers such as emotional connection, financial gain, and the quest for achievement and power.

It explaions how scammers exploit these motivations, weaving deceptive narratives to manipulate victims during and after the scam. By understanding the psychological underpinnings of victimization, individuals can recognize red flags, reclaim their power, and embark on a path to recovery.

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New York State Goes After Citibank For Failing To Protect & Refund To Scam Victims – January 2024

New York State Goes After Citibank for Failing to Protect & Refund to Scam Victims

New York State Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Citibank for Scam Victim

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

About This Article

The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, filed a lawsuit against Citibank for negligence in protecting customers from fraud, alleging that the bank failed to implement strong security measures and improperly denied reimbursement to victims.

Citi’s lax security protocols led to millions of dollars being stolen from customers, with some losing their life savings. Victims reported delayed responses to fraud claims, with Citi often leaving them on lengthy holds, allowing scammers to continue their activities. The lawsuit highlights the importance of robust security measures and swift responses to fraud reports by financial institutions.

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Actionable Steps For Scam Victims To Create Resilience & Recover After A Scam 2024

SCARS Actionable Steps for Scam Victims to Create Resilience After a Scam and Successfully Recover

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.
•  Based, in part, on the work of Raphael Rose, Psychologist

About this Article

The SCARS model emphasizes the importance of journaling as a foundational step for scam victims on their journey to recovery.

Before delving into actionable steps, victims are encouraged to express emotions, reflect on experiences, and process trauma through writing. The journal becomes a tool for tracking progress, setting realistic goals, and providing a cathartic release for overwhelming emotions. The empowerment derived from documenting one’s narrative fosters resilience, strength, and self-awareness.

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Understanding Grief & Complex Grief for Scam Victims 2024

Understanding Grief & Complex Grief for Scam Victims

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Helping Scam Victim Find and Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

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.
•  Portions from multiple sources for accuracy

Article Abstract

Scam victims endure various forms of grief, each impacting their recovery uniquely.

Each grief type adds complexity for scam victims, necessitating tailored recovery addressing betrayal, financial repercussions, legal aspects, online safety, shame, isolation, education, emotional resilience, relationship rebuilding, peer support, and ongoing vigilance.

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Importance of Scam Victims’ Learning in Recovery from Scams 2024

Importance of Learning in Scam Victims Recovering from Scams

Scam Victim Recovery

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

Article Abstract

In this age, scams, including phishing, fraudulent investments, and relationship scams, pose a significant threat and scam victims pay the price.

The article stresses the need for awareness and education to prevent, detect, and recover from such crimes. Understanding and learning about the various scam forms, from email phishing to relationship scams, is vital for the recovery of scam victims, and to help them avoid scams in the future.

Education helps victims overcome self-blame and recover. Unraveling manipulation techniques, particularly in relationship scams, empower individuals to recognize and resist emotional exploitation. Victims of relationship scams face psychological trauma, and recovery involves building a support system and seeking professional counseling.

Rebuilding trust and addressing trauma is critical, and SCARS Support & Recovery Groups play a key Read More …

Albert Cavallé – Love Scammer In A Spanish Prison 2024

Albert Cavallé – Love Scammer In A Spanish Prison

The End of a Famous Spanish Romance Scammer

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., Portions from News Media

Article Abstract

Albert Cavallé, notorious for defrauding over twenty women, has been apprehended after six months in hiding and is now incarcerated at Spanish Lledoners prison. The Barcelona Court issued his arrest for deceiving six women, prompting Cavallé, dubbed the ‘love scammer,’ to surrender. Victims, demanding justice for years, witness a significant victory as he begins serving a sentence of two years and three months for scamming six victims of €68,500.

Cavallé, adopting various false identities on dating apps, manipulated victims with fake professions and financial claims. The ‘love scammer’ faces additional trials while incarcerated for his fraudulent activities.

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Overconfidence And Scam Victims’ Susceptibility To Scams – 2024

Overconfidence And Scam Victims’ Susceptibility To Scams

Psychology of Scams

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.

Article Abstract

Overconfidence poses a hidden threat, enticing individuals into the dangerous realms of scams in financial and interpersonal spheres.

Manifesting in decision-making and risk assessment, overconfidence leads people to overestimate their abilities, influenced by cognitive biases and reliance on mental shortcuts.

The brain’s reward system reinforces this bias through positive feedback, hindering objective self-evaluation. This overconfidence, pervasive in romance and cryptocurrency scams, blinds individuals to red flags and manipulations.

Understanding the neuroscience behind overconfidence involves recognizing cognitive biases, anchoring bias, illusion of control, and prefrontal cortex involvement. Mitigating overconfidence requires diverse perspectives, expert advice, critical thinking, and mindfulness, empowering individuals to make rational and informed Read More …

Scam Victims Suppressing Trauma Or Avoiding Recovery And Healing 2024

Scam Victims Suppressing Trauma Or Avoiding Recovery and Healing

Scam Victim 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.

Article Abstract

Scam victims suppressing or avoiding trauma face profound consequences, emphasizing the crucial importance of recovery through direct confrontation.

This avoidance may prevent the prevention of long-term impact, perpetuating maladaptive coping cycles. Confronting trauma validates victims’ experiences, empowering them with understanding and agency over their narrative. It interrupts the cycle of avoidance, fostering healthier coping strategies and resilience. By acknowledging the dynamics of scams, victims rebuild trust in themselves, identify coping strategies, and prevent secondary trauma in relationships.

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Love Bombing & Amygdala Hijacked Scam Victims – Love Is Chemical After All 2024

Love Bombing & Amygdala Hijacked Scam Victims

Love Is Chemical After All

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.

Article Abstract

In the case of online deception, scam victims often find themselves deeply in love, only to realize it was a meticulously crafted illusion—a result of Amygdala Hijacks and Love Bombing caused by deceptive romance scams.

Love involves a complex interplay of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, creating a potent cocktail that scammers exploit. Amygdala Hijacks create urgency and fear, triggering the brain’s fight-or-flight response, while love bombing floods victims with excessive affection to foster attachment. The brain’s striatum and TPJ play pivotal roles in processing love, and scammers manipulate positive amygdala hijacks to create false trust Read More …

Scam Victim Psychological Alienation After A Scam 2024

Scam Victim Psychological Alienation After A Scam

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.

Article Abstract

Scam victims grappling with the aftermath of romance scams often experience profound and lasting psychological alienation, extending beyond financial loss. Psychological alienation involves feeling disconnected from oneself, others, and the world, leading to self-estrangement, social isolation, powerlessness, and normlessness.

Scammers employ sophisticated grooming, manipulation, and control tactics, causing victims to question their vulnerability and decision-making abilities, and rupturing trust in personal relationships. Coping with psychological alienation requires seeking professional support, engaging in therapy, and joining support groups.

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SCARS Emotional Scam Victims’ Support & Recovery Program – Turning Them Into Scam Survivors 2024

SCARS Emotional Scam Victims’ Support & Recovery Program

Turning Them Into Scam Survivors

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

Article Abstract

The SCARS 3 Step Emotional Support & Recovery Program for Relationship Scam Victims is a structured, comprehensive initiative aimed at transforming victims into survivors and ultimately thriving individuals.

In the first step, “New Arrivers,” victims receive crisis support, immediate assistance, and guidance on confronting the reality of their situation.

The second step, spanning the next 12 months, focuses on acceptance and empowerment, encouraging survivors to reinforce recovery gains, take corrective actions, and integrate the experience into their life stories.

The program provides ongoing support in the third step, promoting continued acceptance, socialization, and advocacy.

With components like individual therapy, support groups, and legal advice, the program operates on key principles such as trauma-informed care, compassion, and empowerment, offering victims Read More …

Scam Victim Catastrophizing Making Recovery Difficult 2024

Scam Victim Catastrophizing Making Recovery Difficult

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.

Article Abstract

Scam victims often fall prey to catastrophizing, a cognitive distortion magnifying worst-case scenarios, and intensifying anxiety post-scam.

Financial losses amplify worries, eroding trust and fostering identity crises. Anticipating legal and social consequences heightens distress, making recovery challenging. Counteracting catastrophizing involves challenging negative thoughts, gaining perspective, and focusing on solutions. Mindfulness, gratitude, and seeking support play vital roles.

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Scam Victims’ Vulnerability And Device Screen Time 2024

Scam Victims’ Vulnerability And Device Screen Time

The Psychology of Scams

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.

Article Abstract

Excessive screen time, particularly on social media, triggers a dopamine-driven addiction loop, impacting individuals psychologically and heightening vulnerability to becoming scam victims.

The constant pursuit of online rewards impairs judgment and decision-making, making users susceptible to scams promising immediate gratification.

Emotional dependencies created by dopamine release expose individuals to scams exploiting feelings of loneliness or fear. Scammers capitalize on the desire for quick rewards and blur the lines between genuine opportunities and deceptive schemes.

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UNODC Report on Casinos and Cryptocurrency Scams and Money Laundering 2024

UNODC Reports on Casinos and Cryptocurrency Scams and Money Laundering

Understanding Organized Crime

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  UNODC – United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

Article Abstract

A newly released United Nations UNODC report highlights the significant role played by casinos, junkets, and cryptocurrencies in facilitating underground banking, money laundering, and transnational organized crime in East and Southeast Asia.

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New Scam Victims – the Importance of Starting Off Right 2024

Importance of Starting Off Right for New Scam Victims

New Scam Victims Can Be Very Confused About What To Do Next!

Scam Victims Support & Recovery

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

Article Abstract

Guide for New Scam Victims: Navigating the Path to Healing

Discovering you’re a scam victim is bewildering, but understanding it’s not your fault is crucial. Professional criminals manipulate vulnerabilities, making anyone susceptible. You’re not alone; scams affect millions globally.

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CDA Section 230 – Groundbreaking Decision in California Civil Case – 2024

CDA Section 230 Groundbreaking Decision in California Civil Case

Has the Dam Finally Broken or is it just a Leak?

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

Article Abstract

NOTE: This article about the Communications Decency Act CDA Section 230 is not intended to be a legal opinion. SCARS is not a law firm nor are licensed attorneys. This is an analysis of this case based on the need to understand the implications for potential future cases and rulings. SCARS has long suggested that social media applications could be considered defective and dangerous products, and we are gratified to see this concept finally emerge in this case.

In the Case of Neville v. Snap – Applying the Communications Decency Act CDA Section 230 in Groundbreaking Decision in California Civil Case

Judge Rejects Snap’s Section 230 Defense in Neville v. Snap

Has Read More …

SEXTORTION SCAM WARNING – URGENT – 2024

SEXTORTION SCAM WARNING – URGENT – 2024

Very High Sextortion Scam Risk Targeting Teen Victims

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from Paul Raffile, Teleo, Intel Analyst | Investigator | Security Strategy | Digital Risk | OSINT

Article Abstract

This article details an urgent Sextortion Scam Warning that has the potential to affect millions more teens in the coming weeks. Please help – read, respond and share, and report.

♦♦♦ Sextortion Scam Warning! We Need Your Help! We Need You To Report The Wizz App On The Google App Store And In The Apple iTunes Store, Then Report It To The FTC!

This Is Catastrophic And It Is Happening Right Under Our Noses!

TALK TO YOUR TEENS ABOUT SCAMS AND SPECIFICALLY ABOUT SEXTORTION SCAMS!

♦ There will be a nationwide child exploitation emergency on Monday, January 15th, unless you can urgently Read More …

Chinese Money Laundering Organizations (CMLOs) – Use of Counterfeit Chinese Passports – 2024

Chinese Money Laundering Organizations (CMLOs) – Use of Counterfeit Chinese Passports

A Scam Warning to Merchants & Businesses

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Article Abstract

The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) warns U.S. financial institutions of Chinese Money Laundering Organizations (CMLOs) using counterfeit Chinese passports to facilitate criminal activities.

Chinese Money Laundering Organizations (CMLOs,) affiliated with Mexican cartels and transnational criminal groups, recruit Chinese nationals as “money mules” through social media, particularly WeChat.

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Ukrainian Scammer/Cryptojacker Arrested – 2024

Ukrainian Scammer/Cryptojacker Arrested

Law Enforcement Action Against Cybercriminals

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

Article Abstract

A 29-year-old mastermind of a complex cryptojacking scheme, believed to have mined over EUR 1.8 million, was arrested in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

The National Police of Ukraine, supported by Europol and a cloud provider, collaborated intensively to apprehend the suspect. Cryptojacking involves the unauthorized use of cloud infrastructure to mine cryptocurrencies, bypassing server and power costs.

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Scam Reimbursement Part 2 – Takeaways from UK Regulatory Actions to Combat APP Scams – 2024

Takeaways from UK Regulatory Actions to Combat APP Scams

Regulatory Actions that Reduce Scam Victim Losses

Author:
•  Ken Palla, Retired Director, MUFG Union Bank – Courtesy of BioCatch

Article Abstract

“Global Insights: Learning from UK Regulatory Measures to Combat APP Scams”

Non-UK financial institutions can glean valuable insights from the UK’s regulatory approach to combatting authorized push payment (APP) scams. Beyond the focus on reimbursement, key lessons include the importance of developing standardized scam reporting metrics, implementing controls to prevent scams, and active participation in industry associations for intelligence sharing.

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Scam Reimbursement Part 1 – UK Payment Systems Regulator Final Scam Reimbursement Model – 2024

UK Payment Systems Regulator Final Scam Reimbursement

Implementing Widespread Scam/Fraud Victim Reimbursement in the United Kingdom = A Model for the World!

Author:
•  Ken Palla, Retired Director, MUFG Union Bank – Courtesy of BioCatch

Article Abstract

“UK Payment Systems Regulator Sets Precedent with Final Scam Reimbursement Guidelines”

The UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) released comprehensive scam reimbursement requirements, effective October 2024, offering a global model.

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Trust: Romance Scams Betrayal And Scam Victims – 2024

Betrayal And The Destruction Of Trust In Scam Victims

Scam Victim Psychology & 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.

Article Abstract

Romance scams inflict profound emotional and psychological harm, far exceeding mere financial loss. This paper delves into the neurochemical basis of trust formation and the devastating repercussions when that trust is violently betrayed. We explore the brain regions, hormones, and neurotransmitters involved in building intimacy, and the cascade of negative effects triggered by its shattering.

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Dear Scam Victim Family & Friends – You Are Also Scam Victims – 2024

Dear Family & Friends – You Are Also Scam Victims

Helping Family & Friends To Better Understand The Impact Of Scams On Them

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.

Article Abstract

This article addresses the secondary victims of scams—family and friends. It recognizes their emotional turmoil, from confusion to guilt and blame.

It helps the secondary trauma experienced and the impact on relationships. Acknowledging the ripple effect of scams, it offers guidance on coping strategies, seeking support, and fostering understanding.

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Stockholm Syndrome – Getting Scam Victims To Break The Law – 2024

Stockholm Syndrome – Getting Scam Victims To Break The Law

Understanding The Coercive Power Of Scam Manipulation And Control

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.

Article Abstract

Romance scams, extend far beyond loss of trust and financial losses, often ensnaring victims in a web of emotional manipulation that can lead to criminal acts. Much like Stockholm syndrome, victims of romance scams experience intense psychological coercion, resulting in their coerced involvement in illegal activities for their fraudulent partners.

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