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5 Winning Steps Against On-Line Dating Scams
Whether you are a serial on-line dater or you just recently took the plunge to try on-line dating - the possibility exists that you will come across a person whose motivations for being on a dating site are quite different than yours. And we are not referring to those who just want to get "some action" by saying anything to get you into the sack.
What we are referring to are persons who pretend to be someone they are not where they lure you in to their web of lies for no other reason but to bring your guard down so they can pounce when the moment is ideal to exploit you in ways that the average person could never have imagined.
Those individuals some call "catfish" where they assume someone else's identity to shield themselves under the rouse that they are this incredible person their victim has been longing to find all their life. Then they move in to the drama and enticing their victim to "rescue them" from some peril.
Don't believe you could be fooled? Hopefully you are correct and will recognize these on-line pariahs right off the bat. But unfortunately that type of belief is what gets the savviest and smartest persons in to trouble and before they know it they are in a deep emotional and financial fix by a masterful veteran catfish.
Before you get hooked line and sinker familiarize yourself with the common "Red Flags" and actively watch for the warning signs. But remember savvy cons have access to the same information as you do and they know how to "work" the cautionary signs to their advantage to throw you off their scent.
So how can one ever protect themselves against an emotional and financial predator?
The best advice we can suggests against these on-line predators is the following:
To learn more about how to protect yourself on-line contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your personal information can be stolen without your knowledge. Many people find out they’ve been the victim of identity theft when they’re denied a loan, job or rent unexpectedly because of a credit check.
This is why it’s very important to check your credit report once a year for errors or strange activities.
Others signs of identity theft include:
Financial Identity Theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft as it opens the doors for the criminal element to use or sell another person’s information on the black market. Using someone else's identity affords ready access to attain goods, services or other information for personal gain and other forms of benefits.
But there are other types of identity theft that present other forms of harm and undue hardships to the unsuspecting victim.
Four additional common types of identity theft include:
Social Identity Theft - someone sets up accounts on social media channels or websites using your name, image and/or other information. While this may not cause harm to your financial accounts, it can harm your reputation.
Medical Identity Theft - occurs when individuals identify themselves as another to procure free medical care. This can negatively impact your employment, insurance coverage as well as any future litigation cases you might become involved in where someone else's medical conditions or substance abuse are linked to your medical conditions.
Criminal Identity Theft - generally takes place when one identifies himself or herself as someone else during an arrest to avoid a summons, detection of a warrant in their real name or to evade an actual arrest or conviction.
Child Identity Theft - is common among those who know the child and understand that the child is unlikely to discover identity theft. The child's personal information can be used to gain employment, collect government benefits, secure a loan or mortgage, or a residence.
So what should you do if you find your personal information has been compromised?
A stolen identity can make things very difficult for you. If you think your identity has been stolen, you must take action right away. The sooner you find out your identity has been stolen or used, the less time the thief has to do damage.
5 Things You Will Need to Do Without Delay:
One of the best methods for preventing identity theft is to continually check your personal records. In addition, there are other actions to take to protect yourself.
For more information and safety tips to protect yourself against identity theft please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.
Romance scams often take place through online dating sites or other social media platforms.
The scammer will create an online profile using a fake or stolen identity and will pretend to be some type of professional, military personnel or an entrepreneur. This allows them the opportunity to always have an excuse to not meet in person as they claim to be travelling or working abroad.
Acting as an engaging romantic partner, the scammer will quickly express their affection prematurely. They will go to great lengths to gain the victim’s trust.
The scammer will be attentive and share personal information to build an intimate bond with the victim. Their intent is to make the victim feel they are part of an exclusive romantic relationship.
Once the scammer gains the trust of their victim, an urgent situation of some sort will occur, such as:
Stealing money from the victim can also unfold quite easily by the newly trusted scammer who proceeds to send the victim some items of value - such as electronics or cash, or they may ask the victim to purchase expensive goods for them.
Afterwards, the unsuspecting victim will be asked by the scammer to forward the items of value somewhere else.
For example: The scammer may wire or email money to the victim’s bank account and ask them to send it to another account. If they agree, romance scam victims may unwittingly take part in a form of money laundering, or funding a terrorist organization abroad, or may find out too late that the original wire transfer they received was fake. Leaving them to lose their own money plus if their money was used to finance a criminal organization on the federal watchlist they can be criminally charged and prosecuted. The end result will leave the victim not only with a broken heart but living a nightmare that they did not anticipate.
Overpayment scams can occur as part of another scam or by themselves.
One typical example involves a victim who is selling an item online. The scammer agrees to buy the item but will need to do so using a third party to do the pick-up as they are away on business or they are too sick or they have to take a loved one out of town for their cancer treatment. (The sappier the excuse for not being able to meet in person - the louder the alarm bells should be sounding for you!)
TRUE EXAMPLE OF MY PERSONAL ENCOUNTER ONCE WITH AN OVERPAY SCAMMER:
Few year's back I was looking to sell a gorgeous large antique mirror with an ornate gold frame I posted the mirror on a few common online selling sites. Then one day I was contacted by email by an interested buyer who turned out to be an overpay scammer.
After he expressed great sincerity to buy my mirror he tried to take the conversation off-line and he wanted my cell phone number to call me on to discuss finalizing the sale transaction. I declined and the communication remained via masked email server.
He then started to express real urgency of needing to get this mirror by end of the week and he was willing to pay full ask before someone else could scoop it up for less.
When we started to discuss meet-up times he revealed he was unable to meet to purchase and pick up the mirror in person due to his work obligations in the US. He would not be returning to Canada anytime soon and since the mirror was for the orphanage he was running in the Bronx he would be sending movers to pick-up the mirror from my residence.
He then offered me an additional couple of extra hundred of dollars above the asking price of the mirror to apparently cover the mover's fees and also for my time and inconvenience to meet the movers he was going to send to my residence to pick up the mirror. So in a nutshell he was going to pay in advance by wire transfer and I was to pay the movers when they would come to pick up the mirror before his funds would clear. So basically I would be paying thieves (posing as movers) to pick up my mirror for free as the scammer's payment would bounce.
Needless to say - the sale did not proceed to his utmost dismay What was interesting though was that he was truly baffled that I was not willing to sell my mirror to his orphanage. Just goes to show how these scammers try to pull on other people's heart strings expecting their ruse to go unnoticed.
BACK TO TYPICAL TACTICS SCAMMERS USE:
Online scammers offer the victim their full ask for the item they are selling plus offering extra money for postage and for the inconvenience of not being able to meet in person to pick up the item themselves. The victim is then told to ship the item to the scammer / or hand over the item to movers the scammer sends over. Shipping costs /mover fees are paid by the victim out of pocket with the assumption they will be able to recoup the amount paid from the scammer's over-paid wire transfer or e-payment or cheque.
A variation of the overpayment scam is that before coming by for the item - the scammer proceeds to send the victim a payment for more than the sale price of the item. Shortly after, the scammer notifies the victim that they made a mistake on the amount they issued to the victim where the victim is told they will need to wire the excess funds back to the scammer or forward the funds electronically to a third party.
There are other variations with overpayment scams some of which also involve the victim being pressured to purchase gift cards with the excess money the scammer claims they issued to the victim by mistake. The trusting victim will often readily comply as they don't want to appear they are keeping money that does not belong to them. The scammer will then request the gift card information and PIN number.
Time is of the essence for these types of scammers as they need to get the victim to send them the excess amount of funds before their payment bounces and is deemed as counterfeit by the victim's bank.
Hence why overpayment scammers tend to pressure their victim to comply and send them the "excess money" as soon as possible. Little does the victim know that as soon as they comply they will find out soon after that the scammer’s payment was illegitimate, the value of the item they shipped out or handed to the fake movers will be forfeited plus they will be out of the money they willingly paid to the movers, or money's they sent to the scammer's account or by gift cards to cover the overpayment.
Unfortunately for the victims who do fall for this scam - it is not possible for them or their bank to retrieve or to reverse the transaction or have the gift card cancelled or any moneys refunded to the victim.
HOW TO AVOID BECOMING AN ONLINE OVERPAY VICTIM:
Lastly, there is always the risk that you might be contacted by a shady buyer who intends to purchase your item in person but with counterfeit money - especially if it is a valuable high priced item. So let the buyer know before meeting up with them that you require them to pay you with different denomination amounts. That will help safeguard you against being paid with all fake $100 or $50 bills.
The following tips can help you to avoid becoming a victim of common online scams::
Unfortunately, once someone has been defrauded online there is often very little that can be done for the victim or get their money back. The client account agreements that consumers have with their banks usually say that the client is responsible for all transaction and losses originating from their own actions.
If you believe you may have been taken advantage of by sending money or sharing financial information, you should do the following immediately:
Reporting romance, employment and overpayment scams may not help you directly but it will help authorities find those responsible and warn other potential victims about their scams.
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In Febryary 2019 - we created this private & confidential group on Facebook for both men and women who are struggling with a particular difficult relationship with someone they know or are involved with (e.g., intimate partner, family member, neighbor, someone at work, etc..) who is causing them some form of undue hardship or being abusive.
This group is a closed group to offer all members the value of posting openly about their personal ordeal for the benefit of gaining added insights and support from feloow members who have gone through or are going through a similar abusive relationship. Insights and information shared in this group is intended to help members learn not just how to survive but how to thrive after gaining their freedom from their abuser that was physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually and/or financially abusive or who is refusing to leave them alone after the relationship ended.
The administrator of this group is is Remedy Max (founder of RemedyBlox) where in addition to moderating the group activities she offers emotional support as well as identifying critical patterns in destructive behaviors, how to recognize toxic relationships so members can identify and validate their experiences. She also shares practical tools to help group members mitigate against future risks and harms while instilling self-confidence and empowerment to alleviate real and perceived fears that can prevent some from making the necessary changes in their lives.
Group members also have access to many helpful risk-mitigation and recovery resources to help them protect themselves against different types of narcissistic abuse as well as how to reclaim their control back from a narcissistic individual.
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We are here to listen and to offer you with confidential support and strategic insights to help you stay safe and access resources to get you through your current situation when it comes to dealing with an individual who has harmed you.
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Our team of subject matter experts deliver various public presentations at community events and public forums for members of the general public as well as for special interest agency groups on the topic of Deviant Personality Disorders and Safeguarding Against Narcissistic Abuse and other types of toxic relationships.
The goal of these public educational platforms is to open the dialogue about this form of insidious form of abuse committed by individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorders and toxic individuals who may be an intimate partner, a spouse, family member(s), friend(s), or even someone that one lives next to or works with - whose narcissistic traits can devastate an individual on various fronts.
Audiences learn about how these abusers target others for their own self-serving pleasure and personal benefits and gains without feeling any concern, remorse, regret or empathy for others.
These public presentations also help offer survivors of narcissistic abuse with much needed validation to help them recognize that which they endured was not a figment of their imagination nor their doing. They gain the needed perspective into what makes Narcissistic Personalities tick, how to avoid falling into their masterful manipulative traps as well helping them to recognize Narcissistic behaviors and traits in others before becoming emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually and/or financially harmed or exploited.
Members of the general public also learn about the Yellow & Red Flags that Narcissistic Personality Types raise and how they can mitigate their risk exposures to better safeguard their personal safety and mental health against these skillful puppet masters.
We also speak to recovery strategies to help survivors of narcissistic abuse heal and move on from past narcissistic abuse so they can lead happy and fulfilled lives post a narcissistic relationship.
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