Scams are as rampant as ever and the number of individuals conducting fraudulent activities is growing by the day. Maybe you’ve met someone who is involved in a scam. Maybe a friend or family member has had an encounter with a scammer, or maybe you’ve been involved personally. Who are these people that are scamming others? And how should you view a fraudster? Should you date a person who scams other people? What about if they no longer scam people? Can you trust them?
We’re going to break down the world view of a scammer and address these questions here. We’ll also put some myths to rest regarding what one could expect or assume about a scammer.
What we cover here
Are scammers bad people?
Every individual should be judged on their own merits. A person who scams others, is acting as a bad person and should not be trusted. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily rotten to their core and that they can’t change their ways. However at the time that they are conducting scams they are choosing to be bad people and should be treated as bad people and avoided at all costs.
Should you date a scammer?
A person who is involved with defrauding people as a means to provide for themselves cannot be trusted to care about another persons wellbeing. By defrauding people the scammer shows a way of relating to another person which is often indicative of a lack of respect for people and the inability to value another persons needs.
An individual who earns a living by taking money from others without any regard for fairness, law, values, morals or the other persons care and wellbeing will not fair well in an intimate relationship with another person and should not be trusted.
Many scammers have narcissistic tendencies, this makes them badly equipped for interpersonal relationships. As we’ll talk about below, this doesn’t mean that there is no hope for a scammer.
Scammers don’t care about you. They care about themselves.
Let’s get this straight once and for all. The person on the other side of the email or phone, wherever they may be, has one thing in mind and one thing alone. To take your money.
The above statement that “Scammers don’t care about you. They care about themselves” could mean different things for different people, which is why it’s important that we clarify.
For everyone who believes that a scammer has limits, or is “also a human being”, you should know that you are correct. The scammer does have limits and scammers are people. They are people who have for one reason or another reached the limit of what their psychology will allow for them to handle in life without breaking all of the rules.
The difficulty of providing for themselves financially has reached a point where their value system (whatever that may have been) is no longer in place. They have sold their souls to the devil and no longer take into consideration what is correct in regards to them taking money from people. (Taking money is a the most accurate terminology because they are no longer subscribed to the idea of earning money). Putting it more simply, the fraudster is operating from a place of pure survival when they engage in a scam, they have brought the fight to flight part of them into their brain and it’s either you or them.
Why is this important to know?
A big reason that it’s important to know because it makes a big difference on how high your level of guard should be up with a scammer and when entering a transaction with a previously unknown individual or company.
If a person is a scammer, there are no limits to what they may say or do to manipulate and socially engineer their victim in order to get what they want.
For a person who is trying to scam you, the definition of “work to survive” has become quite literal to them. Their humanness and their “limits” no longer apply to others, they are living for themselves in a world of survival. They are literally willing to do anything and everything to provide for themselves and that means that they don’t mind taking all of your money, even if it kills you.
Does this mean that scammers are dangerous people?
Scammers certainly can be dangerous individuals especially in regards to your financial wellbeing. This is not to say that every scammer is a murderer. However the fact that a scammer lives in a mode of survival with no boundaries or rules does open the door to worse things.
At the same time, Just because a person has reached a point where they’re willing to take your money over the internet, doesn’t mean that they’re capable of killing a person. Much of the scammers’ willingness to steal from you is facilitated by the fact that they don’t have to witness the pain or repercussions of their actions once they’ve stolen your money. This is one of the reasons that scam victims often report having their email address blocked or their phone number blocked after the fraudster has stolen their money (a common practice in forex fraud and crypto scams).
Going through with an act like defrauding someone as egregious as it may seem, doesn’t mean that the person has lost all of their humanity. Case and point is that there are scammers that have left their nefarious lifestyle and sought to do business properly. A well known example of this is Jordan Belfort who went from ripping people off, to helping people become better salespeople.
It’s either them or you
The important point here is that in the mind of a scammer it’s either them or you. Business people may say that this is no different from a hard core corporate business mindset. This may have some truth. Except that in the case of the scammer, the scammer has no laws, no values, and no moral compass to guide them. It’s just the scammer and the victim, and often computers and phones in between them.
Real case studies show that scammers don’t mind taking money from a family that has only that money to pay for medical bills to keep one of them alive. The scammer doesn’t mind taking the savings of a church (an honest church) providing food and shelter to flood victims. (happened in Australia last year)
The scammer is in pure jungle survival, and your money is their food.
The world is full of difficulty and in many third world countries the challenge to do what’s right can be much more difficult for some people. What makes things worse is the lack of education and lack of value systems and justice systems to help improve.
Nigeria is a nice place and they’ve come a long way and they’re making improvements all the time. (Nothing personal against Nigeria, it just happens to be a hotbed and role model for many of the worlds scams) but the infrastructure and government have a ways to go in helping the public grow in their values and tools to make a living.
The above is true for many countries around the world. Scammers are by no means exclusive to third world countries. Criminals stealing money from people over the internet or over the phone exist world wide in every country and every region. Europe is full of them, the middle east, South America and believe it or not even in the US. Yes the government in the US has done an awful lot to put an end to a lot of financial crimes and to provide means for people to earn an honest living. But have no doubt there are scammers every where and every individual needs to be vigilant in looking out for fraud.
How do we cope with a world full of scammers?
Part of being a responsible, financially independent adult means being aware that the world is simply not a safe playground. This doesn’t mean a person should walk around paranoid, but the reality is that there are good people and bad people. Until someone is familiar enough to you, or until a company is accredited and verified and you know that they are who they say they are. There is no way to know if a company or an individual is trustworthy.
Don’t date a scammer unless they’ve demonstrated that they’ve left that lifestyle.
If something seems strange or smells funny, it’s highly likely that it’s a scam.
Trust your intuition and do your due diligence. If it seems too good to be true, it is.