Sometimes real life gets in the way.

It’s worth pointing out that what we do here, we do purely on a voluntary basis.  We don’t get paid, but do this because we feel it’s the right thing to do.  We all have lives away from the site.  We work, have families, need to do our laundry, drive the kids to hospital appointments etc.  These past few weeks for example have been particularly hectic for me.  As the only member of the family that drives, when our eldest moved into his first flat, it was up to me to transport all his belongings to the new place.  Add to that my car deciding to refuse to work (still not fixed, but I have the new part ready and it’ll be done as soon as the weather stays dry long enough to fit it), redecorating and moving my “office” into his old bedroom (still in disarray as I’m waiting on a new carpet to go down before permanently getting things fixed in position), me being hit by a stomach bug (thankfully over now) and still having to do all the normal things that need doing on a daily basis, the site has had to take a bit of a back seat lately.  Next week I’m away at a conference as a representative of the site, and that’s sandwiched between seeing three different live shows around the country.  But I promise after all that, things’ll be back to normal.

What happens to the information we receive?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, so let’s explain.  Firstly, we get our information from three sources.  The first is ourselves and the accounts we set up specifically to be contacted by scammers.  The second is by people who fill in the forms we created.  Thirdly, people contact us with information after seeing details on our forum.  That last sentence is the key.  The information we get is posted on our forum and made publicly available for everyone.  Not everyone does that.  Some bodies only ever use the information they receive for their own databases, or to be shared with companies.  The general public never get the benefit of being able to search for someone’s email address, phone number etc. and be given proof they’re a scammer.  So this is the main thing the information we receive is used for, getting the word out to the public.  There are however other uses for that information.  Everything we receive gets researched, and sometimes is the key we need to burst open the floodgates with other information.  A single email may for example lead to the discovery of dozens (or even hundreds) of fake websites used by scammers.  With this information we can do some serious damage to the scammers as we have connection we can contact to get these sites closed.  Likewise with bank accounts.  An email with enough proof can lead to a scammer’s assets being frozen.  There’s also the times law enforcement has contacted us about the details we’ve posted asking for more information or how we were able to connect the dots between an email address and a scammer’s real life details.  Every piece of information we’re given is used to track down or financially hurt the scammers.  That’s why we constantly ask for more information.  Information is power.  Information is also the best weapon in the fight against scammers, especially when it’s shared.