Tuesday, June 29, 2010

History of scams - part 2

The other day I posted information about how far back there are documented cases of scams.  Scams are a part of our history, so why have we not learned from them to make a things better in our current times and for our future?  I see several reasons for this.

1) The punishment vs the crime - For many scams, the people running them do very little if any jail time.  If there is not a stiff punishment for these crimes, then the money that they gain from the crimes outweighs the punishment for getting caught, if they get caught, so the criminal choose to take that chance.

2) Education - Information about scams and fraud NEEDS to be taught in our school systems . . . it is a part of our history, and I have always been taught that if we do not learn from our history we will be doomed to repeat it.  The fact that scams have been around for as long as they have is evidence enough that we have not learned from our past.

3) Not me thinking - Many people hear the word "scam" or "fraud" and think "I am too smart to fall for something like that." so they just tune out and ignore the information.  Identity Theft is a type of fraud, and I think that everyone would agree that we know that ANYONE can become a victim of Identity Theft . . . it does not matter  where you come from, your income, or your level of education.

4) Assumptions about the victims - It is very hard for victims of these crimes to come forward because so often they are blamed for what happened.  This relates to the above "Not Me" thinking.  Many people assume that because you have become a victim of a scam you are greedy or stupid, or both.  To me this is the same as the thinking that a rape victim "got what she deserved" because she was wearing a short skirt and sexy clothing.  Why is it that we blame the VICTIMS!?!?!?

If we really want things to change in this world we need to take a step back and look at the big picture . . . scams and fraud have been around for for as long as man has been walking on this planet.  The invention of the internet has only made it easier for those criminals to connect with their victims.  If we do not look back to see the patterns and learn from the past, we will only continue to see scams and fraud continue to grow in the future.

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