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Forum rules and frequently asked questions.

The FAQs of life. Things your momma was too embarrassed to tell you about scammers.

Forum rules and frequently asked questions.

Unread postby Wayne » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:13 am

The rules here are very simple. Most of them are simply common sense and common courtesy.

We will NOT help you if you lie to us. We deal with enough lies from the scammers. We will not tolerate anyone coming here asking for help and then lying to the staff. You lie to us, you're gone. Simple as that.

Links and advice to go to http://www.blackmailscams.com are all over the site. If you ignore these and ask for help that can be found there, your post will be ignored or simply deleted. The same goes for "will they post my video?" posts.

Do NOT tell your scammer they're posted here. If we find out that you've pointed a scammer here, we WILL delete your account. No ifs, buts or second chances.

Your details have to match your information.
If you claim to be in one part of the world, but your information shows you to be elsewhere, then your account will be deleted. Pseudunyms are allowed, but falsifying any other information is not. Pretending to be another individual for the purposes of attempting to fool people will result in an instant ban.

Illegal activities are not allowed.
We will not tolerate any discussion of illegal activities by forum members. The scammers may be criminals, but we are not. Such actions will get you banned. This is especially so with matters referring to hacking.

Multiple accounts are not allowed without permission of the forum staff. If you forget your password, request a new one. Don't make a new account.

Regarding blackmail scams/sextortion: If the person told you they were underage before the blackmail incident occurred and you continued to talk to them, we CAN NOT and WILL NOT help you. If we discover that the person told you they were underage and you proceeded to talk to them in a sexual way, your account will be closed and we may seek advice from law enforcement.

Self-Promotion is Spam.
Everything here is checked by our administration and moderation team. If we catch questionable content, it will immediately be edited or removed for further investigation. Any post that is considered advertising or an attempt to lure a person to another site fits under this subject. Doing so will result in your account being suspended.

Vulgar language is not allowed.
This constitutes the use of any kind of offensive, discriminatory, or otherwise inappropriate material. Inappropriate language will potentially be removed and users will be warned. User names should be appropriate and not contain any unsuitable words.

Photos.
When posting up photos, none showing anything other than fully clothed people are acceptable. No underwear or bikini/swimwear shots, no excessive cleavage or other flesh. Our membership consists of both males and females, so photos that would offend either gender are not permitted. Any unsuitable photos we find will be deleted. Continued breaking of this rule or posting of excessively sexual images will result in your account being closed.

First amendment rights do not apply to web sites.
You keep using those words. I don't think it means what you think it means. First amendment rights/"freedom of speech" are only applicable when it comes to governments. No part of the First Amendment requires private companies and/or citizens to provide a forum for others. When you enter a website, you agree to abide by their rules and regulations. Membership is a privilege and not a right, and can be revoked at any time.

Do not post provocative, outrageous, or pointless messages only to get a response from others, i.e. "trolling." Repeat violators will be permanently banned.

Do NOT continue to chase or contact your scammer. Do NOT post on their profiles or try to get their accounts shut down or tell them you know they're a scammer.

Both of the above can put any potential law enforcement investigations in jeopardy.

Do NOT contact the real people in the photos the scammers use. When we do so, we use our official site accounts. The people in the photos are victims, and we do not condone people harassing them for any reason.

Do NOT create posts that simply state "XXXXXX is a scammer" with no proof to back up the claim. Posts MUST be presented with PROOF on why the person is a scammer. Any threads without adequate proof will be removed or deleted.

Do not create posts saying "XXXXXX dating site is a scam". We deal with scammers on dating sites, not the sites themselves.

We attempt to censor the posts made here by individuals as little as possible, and then usually only to ensure they conform with the forum rules regarding nudity in images posted. As such, the opinions expressed in these forums are not necessarily those of this site or its staff.

Word censors are there for a reason. Do not try to circumvent them in any way.

Do not post in long abandoned threads unless it is to add relevant information. This is called "necroing" and is frowned upon. Doing so will result in your post being deleted.

Do not quote the post above you. We can see it already. No need to see it again.

In order to maintain a positive atmosphere, no personal attacks or insults will be tolerated. While discussions may become heated, it is not an excuse to result to attacks or insults. There is a difference between a passionate, respectful discussion and one that delves into personal matters. Think of it as debating issues, not individuals. When the line is crossed, the discussion may be closed by the moderation team. Violators will be warned and potentially banned.

Our site relies on the exchange of information. If you are unwilling to do this, then you will be removed from this site. You found us because of what others shared - refusing to do the same goes against the spirit of the site and will not be tolerated.

We welcome people regardless of their political or religious beliefs, but they should be left out of threads unless absolutely relevent to the subject at hand. Forcefully trying to impose your views on these matters to others will end in your account being terminated.

Moderators and Administrators Have the Final Word. If you have a problem or a complaint, direct it to the administrators and/or moderators, not to the boards. The appropriate actions will be taken. If one staff member informs you of a decision that's not to your liking, writing to others in the hopes of a different outcome will get you banned. We reserve the right to ban flagrant offenders when deemed necessary, with or without prior warning. "Back seat modding" is also forbidden. Moderators were chosen for their knowledge and skills when it comes to dealing with scammers and those who have been scammed. Do not try to preempt their decisions and rulings.

Cross-Posting.
If you have something to post and you're not sure which board it belongs in, do not post it in more than one board. If the administrators or moderators think it would fit better in another location, it will be moved there. Duplicate threads only serve to create confusion.

Multiple Accounts Per Individual Are Not Permitted
If you forget your password, use the password recovery tool, in which case you will be able to reset your password, given that you have access to the e-mail associated with your account. If you are still unable to log in, contact the administrator.

Details on confirmed scammers will not be removed from the forum. Posts cannot be edited by anyone other than forum staff after 60 minutes to prevent hacked accounts from deleting information that can save others from being scammed. We will edit your name out of posts, but we will not remove anything related to the scammer. Requests to remove details in a post, claiming the person in the photographs is genuine will be met with a request of our own, asking for photographic proof. If none is forthcoming, the details will not be removed. This has to be done in order to prevent scammers from attempting to have details of their profiles removed so they can continue scamming unhindered.

All content posted become the intellectual property of scamsurvivors.com and can be used by us in order to promote awareness of scamming and/or our site.

Any party deliberately trying to deceive us, or abusing our time and/or resources in any way give up any rights to anonymity. Under these circumstance you agree we may publish any and all details provided or discovered after research publicly.

The forum rules can be added to/amended at any time and without prior warning by the forum staff.
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Frequently Asked Questions. The all important FAQ page.

Unread postby Wayne » Sun May 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Why are these scams referred to as "419 scams"?

"419" refers to article 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, which deals with obtaining property by false pretences. A large percentage of these scams originate from, or have links to Nigeria.

Where do they get my email address from?

At some point you left your email address on a site. Possibly when joining up for something or leaving a comment on a guestbook. Some sites actually sell the email addresses of their members, and there's software that "scrapes" the internet looking for email addresses. People try to fool the software by editing their email address so it can be worked out by a human, but not software and not picked up.

What kind of scams are involved?

The scams are many and varied. From pretending to fall in love to selling nonexistent animals to pretending to be a hitman. If there's a way to make money, then a scammer will use it.

Are there any common signs to look out for?

Briefly, any request for money, unexpected emails from places dealing with money - especially banks or government figures - or mention of large sums of money. Even the romance scams, which are the ones that tend to have the longest amount of time before the money request will still have that money request.

Why do they use Western Union?

It's an easy way to receive money anonymously. The money requests will usually have a question and answer the scammer will give you to use when you make the payment. The reason for this is that they can then pick the money up without the need for ID. The question and answer is a legitimate service Western Union offer to aid those who have had their ID lost or stolen that is abused by the scammers.

If I sent money, can I get it back?

The money is gone. The amount of times a scammer has sent a person's money back are so small as to be not worth mentioning.

But I had an email telling me the scammer is arrested and I can get my money back.

This is called a recovery scam and is simply the same scammer trying for one last payday off you. Don't fall for it. Their plan is to tell you that they can get your money back, but processing fees/bribes will need to be paid. Even worse, they may send you money by scamming someone else into sending it to you. This puts you at risk of being arrested as an accomplice to the scammer.

Should I contact the police?

Of course. However, due to the fact the scammers are in a different country, there's nothing they can do except make a report.

How do you know they're in another country? My scammer told me he was in the USA.

Hidden in every email is something called headers. These show the path the email sent before it arrived to you. By learning to read the email headers (which is actually very simple) you can often find out the true location of the scammer.

My scammer is from Sunnyvale/Mountain View in California.

This is a common misconception people make. Sunnyvale is Yahoo (sometimes shown as Inktomi) and Mountain View is Gmail. Gmail hides the real location of an email and only shows its own location. Yahoo sometimes does this too.

Should I get his email address shut down?

Is it Yahoo/Gmail or any of the free providers? Remember that accountant.com, lawyer.com and a lot of the other "occupation.com" addresses are also free addresses from mail.com. If so, then no. The scammer will have several other accounts ready for this. All you'd have done is inconvenienced him for a few minutes and made any information about his email address posted online redundant. If it's a paid for account, then kill it. Basic rule of thumb, free is to be left alone, paid for is to be shut down.

Are the scammers male or female?

Most 419 scam varieties are run by males, even the one when the person you're talking to claims to be female. If you do talk to a female, they're either an accomplice, friend or family member. In my years of experience, only one I ever dealt with was a female, and many were definitely not, no matter what they claimed. Most Russian scammers are males too, with females being paid to make calls and take photos. Scammers from the Philippines are much more likely to be females or ladyboys.

Should I confront my scammer with what I know?

No. Let me rephrase that. NO!!!
Once you realise you've been talking to a scammer, drop him like a hot potato. You run the risk of two things here. Being sucked back into the scam or having the scammer threaten you. Take it from the years of experience we have here. Dropping your scammer immediately without even a single word is the absolute best thing to do.

I know who the person in the pictures the scammer used is. What should I do?

Let us know. Being able to tell people that their scammer is abusing stolen pictures and being able to prove it is one of the best ways to convince them. That being said, do not contact the person in the pictures. The forum staff know how to deal with these situations and what the best course of action is. If we feel that the person needs to know, then we can do it through the site's email system.

I'm the real person in the photos. What should I do?

We understand that you're just as much a - and I hate to use this word - victim of the scammer as those who sent money to him and we completely sympathise with your situation. This is why we try and post who the photos are stolen of as often as we can. Having the photos here will both make them less valuable to the scammer and act as a place to show that you are not the person sending the emails. Your best course of action is to comment in the thread with your photos that the scammer is using your photos without your permission.

The scammer included a list of other people he's emailing / I've found his facebook page and there are innocent people he's in touch with. Should I tell them?

Again, this is something best left to the forum staff. Scammers often email or befriend other accounts they own. We can tell what accounts are genuine and what ones are the scammer's.

Should I post his details here?

Absolutely, 100% Doing so will help save others from being scammed by the same scam.

What should I post?

As much as possible, but the essentials are he scammer's stolen photos, emails, his email address and the email headers if you know how to get them. Just be sure to take out your own email address when you post them. The more you post, the more likely someone else is of finding it and not being scammed.

My friend/relative is being scammed, but doesn't realise it. What can I do?

We can help. Give us as much information as you can and we'll help you. Even the smallest detail could be the one that proves they're a scammer.

My scammer found out I reported him and is threatening me. I'm scared. What should I do?

Ignore him. His threats are nothing but words.

Thank you. How can I help your site?

Spread the word. That is the best thing you can do for us. Post any scammers you get here, and tell people about us. Doing that will help raise awareness and save others. If you want to help financially with the running of the site (and there is absolutely no obligation) then we have a donate link at the top and bottom of every page. However, getting the word out is the most important thing and won't cost you a penny. Tell your friends and relatives. Write to your local media offering to share your story. Anything that gets the word out.
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Re: Frequently Asked Questions. The all important FAQ page.

Unread postby SlapHappy » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:35 am

Please take note of a very important point about reporting scammers.

Never contact free dating websites or social sites to report scammers to close their free profiles.
This is counter-productive. Victims need to find posts made on antiscam websites. If you go and close their profiles, the information that is posted about them everywhere is now worthless. The scammer will open a new profile and email in less than 60 seconds, and be up and running again, taking his victims with him.

Please leave all free profiles alone. Do not ever report them to the social site hosts. Doing this does not hurt the scammer, but it hurts many victims. Thanks for complying. The longer that the scammer stays put with the same email address, and profiles, the more chance that victims have to find it.

Reference this topic: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66948
If anyone asks you for money on the Internet they are always a scammer, 100% of the time.
Blackmail Scammed? Go here: http://www.blackmailscams.com/
FAQ https://www.scamsurvivors.com/forum/vie ... p?f=3&t=19
Victim of a scam? Go here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26504
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Location: Post all your scammer's details to help save others.

THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS IN OUR LIVE HELP ROOM

Unread postby Wayne » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:38 pm

Taken from http://www.scamsurvivors.com/blog/the-m ... r-answers/

THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS IN OUR LIVE HELP ROOM, AND THEIR ANSWERS.

Do I really need to deactivate Facebook for 4 weeks or more? I’ve changed my security/username already. YES!!! Seriously, if it wasn’t essential then we wouldn’t be telling you to do it. In fact, it’s the #1 thing you need to do.

How about if I just deactivate it for a few days? That’ll be OK, right? Sure, a few days is fine – if you want your scammer to contact you again. Knock yourself out, but don’t say we didn’t warn you and don’t expect any further help from us when the scammer threatens you again. The 2 week mark is there for a good reason.

What about any of the other steps? Which ones can I skip? Umm, none of them maybe? You think we’d throw in any steps that aren’t necessary just for the hell of it?

I’ve done all the steps. Is there anything else I should do? Well, there is 1 more step, but we only give that to people who donate. I'm kidding of course. Do you think we keep any steps back? If there’s something you need to do, then it’ll be in the steps at http://www.blackmailscams.com

It’s been 3 days, am I safe now? 2 weeks is the minimum time we say to keep your accounts deactivated for. Ask us after that.

What are the odds they’ll post the video? Followed all the steps at http://www.blackmailscams.com? We estimate less than a 1 in 1000 chance.

But what if I’m that 1 out of 1000? But what if you’re 1 out of the 999?

Do the scammers keep the videos? Nope. Short reason why: just being found with the videos can land them in jail. Would you risk it?

But they may keep them just in case I become famous, right? No! No, no, no, no, no!!! Or in other words, no.

Maybe they’ll send the video anyway because I blocked them. They said they would. And what would be the point? It’s easier for them to simply move on to someone else. After all, they can have up to 40 or so victims a day.

But they showed me a list of my friends and family!! Yeah, that’s kind of how the scam works. Threatening to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things though. Blocking them is essential.

My video’s listed as private. That means I can’t get it removed, right? http://www.scamsurvivors.com/forum/view ... f=20&t=580 covers that, as well as many other questions.

How do you know all this? 10 years’ experience in dealing with scams, around 30 years’ experience between us, plus thousands of cases we’ve dealt with.

Can I trust you? You might be a scam yourself. Then we’ve done a pretty damn good job in convincing the media, site owners, the dating site industry, the Metropolitan police and the FBI that we’re genuine. We’re good, but we’re not THAT good.

So, my video….. IF it shows up, the Google alert that was one of the steps will tell you. Report it, and the site will remove it. Sometimes within 60 seconds of your report reaching them. That’s what the Google alert is for.

Why are you telling me not to report my scammer? If the scammer decided to quit after their profile was killed, then we’d be screaming for people to do it. What do you think they actually do? Move onto a new account (or one of several they already made fully expecting this to happen) and continue scamming. Plus, any reports out there about them are now out of date, potentially hampering any law enforcement investigations.

My story is different to the others here. I’ll bet it’s not. Every time someone’s said that to us, it really wasn’t.

Can I talk to a mod/admin in private? We’ve removed the PM option in the help room, so that everything is discussed openly. To enable PM, I have to log out, go into the control panel, reenable PM, save the change, log back in, do the PM, log back out, go back into the control panel, disable PM again, then log back in. In other words, no.

Why do you do this? It’s the right thing to do. Sometimes that’s all the reason a person needs.

So this like, your job, right? We’re all volunteers. We do this for free, and cover the fees to run the site by placing ads on the site and accepting donations. No one’s getting rich from this site. In fact, no one’s making any money from this site.

How can I help? Spread the word, that’d be a great help. Oh, and a donation would be nice too.

This entry will be periodically updated.
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Do NOT contact or report any scammers posted here.

Unread postby Wayne » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:47 pm

We've been informed that the numbers being posted here are receiving threatening messages. If we find that any member here is doing this, you will be banned instantly. Let me ask you this - what if the number was posted incorrectly, spoofed or abandoned and given to someone else. That would mean you're calling and threatening an innocent person. The information posted here is for information only, not to be used by people who want to act like "vigilantes". The same goes for any profiles posted. They are NOT to be shut down! You think it causes the scammers any problems? Hell no, they just switch to a new one, or a second one they'd already made. It does more harm than good and could damage any research by law enforcement, so knock it off!
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What we are and (more importantly) what we're not.

Unread postby Wayne » Thu May 19, 2016 10:48 pm

We can do a lot of things, but there are things we're not able to do, despite requests for help in those areas. Let's look at them:

We're not the police. Yes, we have contacts with various agencies, but we can't get your scammer arrested. We can pass their details on as part of investigations, but that's as far as it goes. You're not going to see us on TV kicking down the door to some scammer location.

We're not CSI. If you give us an IP address, we're not going to be able to go on our computers, enter it in and see exactly where the person is. We don't have control of government satellites to point a camera into their house and watch them typing their scam emails. We can tell you what ISP they're using and give you a rough (maybe within 50 miles - 10 if we're lucky) estimate of their location, but that's as far as it goes.

We're not psychiatrists. We can't tell you how to get over your scam in your head or deal with your worries. What we can do is tell you the facts and let you work from them.

We're not psychics, mind readers or miracle workers. If you don't give us information, we can't tell you if it's a scam or not. We can make an educated guess, but if you give us nothing then how can you expect us to give you anything back? Can a car mechanic tell you what's wrong with your car if all you tell him is "there's a rattle"? Can a doctor prescribe you medication based purely on "it hurts"? Of course not. Then why would you expect us to be able to do it?

We're not here to hold your hand and make sure you do all the steps. We can give you all the steps to do, but we can't make sure you do them. We're also not going to argue with you as to why the things we tell you to do are essential. Everything is based off our years of experiences and contact with tens of thousands of victims as well as thousands of scammers. If you don't do them, not our problem and we're not going to help you any further.

We're not your family councilor/marriage councilor. We can't tell you what to tell your spouse if you got caught up in a scam. That's for you to decide.

We're not your buddy. Our forum is to aid you in dealing with your scam, not hanging out shooting the breeze.

We're not hackers. No we can't and won't hack into your scammer's account and delete any messages you sent them. Hacking is illegal, end of discussion.

We're not vigilantes. Everything we do is completely within the law. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't be able to work with law enforcement and show them our methods when they come to us.

We're not "scamming the scammers". We hate that phrase, and would gladly watch it die out. We "research the scammers", "report on the scammers", "warn people about the scammers", and even occasionally "bait the scammers". We do not "scam the scammers".

We're not for sale. No, you can't employ us to work on your site. No, we're not going to take every single scammer that contacted your company and do research on them to tell you if they're a scammer or not.

We're not here 24/7. We all do this on a purely voluntary basis. We all have real lives to attend to. We work, have families, need to sleep, eat and shop. If we're not here, there's plenty of information to be found by looking around the site.

We're not here to put up with your abuse. If you got scammed, it's not our fault. Don't try to take it out on us. You WILL be kicked off the site.

What we are is a site that tries to gather as much information on scammers, how scammers work, how to avoid scammers and what to do if you have been scammed as we can. We then make that information freely accessible. That's what we do.
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