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Brigadier General
It looks like you've been scammed.
Are you going to help the scammers or fight back?


First and foremost, scam victims need to report scams to the police and regulators.

Let me explain something many people just don't seem to get.

These people still say things like "Waaaaah! My money's gone and the police and regulators won't do anything about it, so why should I bother to report it?"

If you've been scammed and you don't think it's worth your effort to report it, you might as well tell all your relatives, friends, coworkers, and neighbors "I got scammed and I'm not even going to try to inconveniences them. I want them to get away with it and I really hope the scam you as badly (or worse) than they scammed me."

I say the scammers may be hard to catch, but so are a lot of criminals. Criminals can only be caught with clues and evidence. If 10 houses all near each other got hit by burglars, robbing house 11 will be far simpler if no one from the first 10 houses bothers to files a police report. Then all the victims can be dumb enough to tell each other that the police never bother to do anything. I'm still mystified how people with this pathetic attitude expect the police to solve crimes without anyone ever telling the police that crimes have been committed.

Imagine on the other hand if the first 10 people robbed in that neighborhood had reported it. Police don't patrol randomly. If an area gets more crime, it get more scrutiny. Yes, it's never enough to prevent all crimes, but sometimes the burglars will shift to an area with less police activity and sometimes the police will spot the burglar in the act of breaking in. Lists of stolen items from those first 10 homes may lead to clues when the burglars try to unload their loot. Each police report makes it more likely that the burglars will be caught and at least some stolen items could be recovered. Each person too self-centered to file a report makes it more likely that someone else will be robbed.

Police and regulators can't patrol for scams, but they do track what sorts of scams are becoming more prominent. This lets them issue warnings about "hot" varieties of scams while also asking victims to bring forward evidence. For online scams, the most critical evidence is how the victim send the money to the scammers. It may take months or even years, but if enough victims provide enough evidence, it slowly becomes easier to figure out where the money is going. Even when the final destination of the money can't be determined, sometimes money from the most recent scam victims can be intercepted. The more often this happens, the harder it is for the scammers to make a profit.

If you still refuse to lift a finger and try to report scams, there's nothing I can do to help you. If you do want to report the crime against you and make life harder for scammers, read on and I'll try to give you enough information to make the scammers wish they had picked a different victim.
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