Most of us don’t think of ourselves as heroes. We don’t wear capes, jump over buildings in a single bound, or turn into an angry green monster to save victims. But in our highly connected world, anyone who cares about others and who will get involved, can be a hero. If you prevent someone from losing thousands of dollars, that makes you a hero. If you warn someone they’re falling for a scammer before their heart and their pocketbook get taken for a ride, that makes you a hero. If you listen empathetically to a scam victim’s story, and help them see that they’re not stupid, and that it’s the criminals who should be ashamed and not them, that makes you a hero. If you convince and/or help someone to report they’ve been the victim of a scam, that makes you a hero. And the good news is that no capes or green dye are required.
I built this site as my revenge against the 2 jackasses that nearly scammed me out of $3500, (my apologies to all actual male donkeys reading this). My purpose is to expose how these criminals act in the hopes that doing so will protect those who read these posts and pages from their heinous criminality and that of their like-minded ne’er-do-wells. I also hope that those who learn something from this site will share it with others and literally build a web of helpfulness and trust that keeps the bad people at bay.
Scams are on the rise. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States government reported receiving 2.8 million fraud reports, with losses totaling over $5.8 billion. That’s billion, with a b. It represents more than a 70% increase over 2020. * Ssadly, that’s likely considerably under-reported, as many are reluctant to report when they’ve been scammed for a variety of reasons.
Probably one of the major reasons that scams are so widely under-reported is that many scam victims followed well-crafted instructions by criminals that allowed the bad actors to take their money or personal information and now feel foolish for having done so. The truth, though, is that it’s very likely that anyone, given the right time and circumstances, can fall victim to a scam.
The fact that victims often unwittingly assist in their victimization is actually good news, though, because, clearly if we accidentally helped criminals take our money or personal information, then we can learn how to spot their ploys and prevent ourselves and those we care about from falling prey to them in the future.
So what can you do?
1) If you’ve been scammed, report it. In addition to reporting your experience to law enforcement, telling your story on Surviving the Scam can help others by learning what you’ve gone through and perhaps keep them from also becoming a victim.
2) You can become a “scam buddy” and tell someone what to be alert for when dealing with a possible scam.
3) You can share this site with those you care about.
While specific types of scams may target a particular group of people more than others, every demographic, including children, can be victimized by scams. Let’s all make a concerted effort to become more knowledgeable about what these criminals do so we won’t be easy pickins for them in the future.
Scammers do what they do because, quite frankly, it works. Scams are as old as humanity itself, and they likely won’t be going away any time soon. But learning a few simple methods to protect yourself and those you care for can at least save you and your loved ones some heartache.
FTC 2021 Consumer Data Report
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