People from time to time come to us asking for help, then proceed to argue with us over it or completely ignore it. Let me explain the background to why we know so much about these scams.
Between us, there’s over 30 years’ experience in dealing with scam emails. We have received thousands of 419 emails in that time. Tens of thousands even. We’ve seen them all. When a new email format comes around, it’s usually nothing more than a variation of an old one we’ve seen before. We can practically smell a 419 email or fake account from a mile away. We’ve also talked to those who have been victims of scams. We know their stories, we know what the scammers did, we can even tell them what the scammer will do next. Remember, scammers tend to be lazy and unimaginative. A leads to B, leads to C in over 99.99% of cases. That’s why, when people come to us for help, we can tell them what’s happened and what to look out for.
Regarding sextortion, we’ve received over 11,000 forms with scammer details and the steps the scammer did. We don’t just post them up on our forum without checking them. We read each and every one of them, removing information that would give away the identity of the victim, correcting mistakes in the form and often going that extra mile to uncover much more than we were given. An email address may lead to a second profile, a phone number may show a connection to another scam and so on. We also talk to people. Our live help room is open for 6 hours a day, every week day. In the years it’s been available, we’ve talked to thousands of people who were caught up in the scam. We’ve even on occasion talked to the scammers themselves.
Putting aside the years we spent on other sites before ScamSurvivors was created, we’ve had four years of talking to people, receiving and replying to scammer emails, reading, studying, investigating and even meeting with government agencies to share information. It’s a long, hard, often thankless task that we do for free, but it means that when we say someone’s a scammer, that the email is fake, you need to deactivate your Facebook account or that there is no trunk box winging its way to you, we know exactly what we’re talking about.