Top 3 Grooming Techniques In Case Of Fraud: What To Watch Out For


Grooming is a method of bonding with a person in order to commit a crime against them. Grooming is increasingly common in fraud, both online and in people-to-people interactions. Moreover, the crooks are more and more sophisticated in their techniques. There is a mistaken belief that crooks are powerful, arrogant and therefore easy to spot, but many play a long game, carefully and patiently preparing the victim before asking for money. In some cases, they don’t even ask for money. Instead, they carefully orchestrate events, sometimes using other actors to get the victim to offer help. It’s a common occurrence in romance scams, but there are others as well. Financial and clairvoyant scams can also include a grooming component, and that grooming serves a different purpose for different scams. Sometimes it is to prevent the victim from reporting the scam, and other times it can be to facilitate long term cooperation and financial abuse.

Romantic scams

In romance scams, scammers usually prepare the victim for months before a request for funds is made. In such romance scams, the victims usually lose very large sums of money and sometimes even their lifetime savings. However, there are also quick methods used in some romance scams. Some cases work by making a quick romantic connection and having the victim help them with a plane ticket so the two can meet. Usually, the scammer doesn’t show up, the victim realizes that they’ve been duped, and eventually they move on.

It is impossible to believe that a person gives someone a large sum of money to someone they have never met, but grooming techniques can be very powerful in preparing the victim. At the start of the scheme, the con artist establishes a deep bond with a victim by mimicking the victim’s circumstances. For example, the scammer can tell the victim that he is a single parent like him, recently divorced, widowed, etc. This instant similarity creates a bond between the two and encourages trust. This is a well-known scam technique, primarily used to hide warning signs.

As humans, we gravitate towards what is familiar or similar to what we know and are used to, and trust is more openly extended to people who are like us. Online relationships are also more intimate than face-to-face relationships, quickly turning into declarations of love and plans for the future. The victim and the scammer usually share intimate details about each other quickly, resulting in increased intimacy and heightened emotions, especially if the communication is frequent and delivered online and via SMS. The scammer will also have a compelling story to explain his inability to meet the victim in person. They may say they are working overseas for multi-month assignments in professions that inspire confidence, such as roles in the military or medical assistance. Using these pretexts, the con artist develops a strong bond with the victim, making future plans such as marriage or engagement at the end of the mission.

It is also not uncommon for the victim to receive small gifts from the scammer during this preparation stage, such as flowers or love tokens. This is also a known scam technique called the “rule of reciprocity”.

Reciprocity is very influential because as human beings we rely on reciprocity to survive in life. Most social norms consider being useful to be a valued trait. When someone is doing us a favor or being exceptionally generous or kind, we feel obligated to reciprocate or do something for them. People who have no concept of reciprocity and do not do favors are generally seen as selfish, uncivilized, or ungrateful, and most people would hate to be seen as such. This is precisely how crooks can get us to respond to their requests by evoking reciprocity. At this point, it is not uncommon for crooks to encourage the victim to cut ties with friends or family members who express suspicion or warn the victim to be careful, making the victim even more dependent on them. . Reciprocity is very influential. In fact, early research have found that some people reveal their passwords when small prompts are offered and especially when they are given prompts before the password request is made.

After this first stage of preparation, the victim is emotionally involved and invested in the relationship with the scammer. This is when a crisis arises. A scammer may claim that they are in dire need of funds to avoid the failure of their business deal, or that they need funds for medical bills because they have been involved in a serious accident. Sometimes, to corroborate the false story, a third person, also a con artist, is brought in to speak to the victim, possibly posing as a lawyer or doctor. The victim, thinking that his life partner is in difficulty, will then offer to help him.

Taking the time to prepare the victim and investing in small favors beforehand almost always pays off. If the victim becomes suspicious at this point, the con artist may change tactics, turn to threats, verbal abuse and evoke guilt, telling the victim that he will end the relationship because the victim fails to do so. ‘do not like. It evokes fear, which is another scam technique. Under such stress, the victim may act impulsively and pay the money in an attempt to prove love. Depending on the circumstances, this is where the scam may end, or the scammer will continue if there is more to be gained.

Financial scams

Some financial scams also use an element of grooming, usually to prevent the victim from reporting the fraud or to get the victim to comply once they become suspicious. For example, a victim can be called or contacted without notice and offered a good investment opportunity with a quick profit. The scammer can set up a scam website to make the scam more legitimate, and since it takes time and resources, it is in the best interest of the scammer to stay active in the scam business for as long as possible.

If the victim decides to invest, they will be given some seemingly legitimate papers to sign, and for a period of time, they will be convinced that the deal they just made is credible. But once the period of time originally cited when the victim is supposed to get feedback has passed, suspicion will quickly set in and the victim will start asking questions. This is a dangerous step for the scammer because it is in their best interests to make the scam last as long as possible. Often this is where another person will be called upon to “chill the brand”. It’s a very old scam technique. This new person will establish a friendship with a victim, perhaps by calling them daily and engaging in multiple conversations where personal details of everyday life are exchanged. Frequently, just like in romance scams, a con artist may imitate the victim’s circumstances, claiming to have the same religious affiliation or to have the same beliefs and attitudes as the victim. This similarity will increase confidence. The scammer will use this trust to reassure the victim by promising them that the deadline is short and that there are only minor complications, while assuming the position of a friend and confidant. This makes it difficult for the victim to report the crime once she begins to suspect that something is wrong because she feels guilty for reporting a friend.

The point of “chilling the brand” is to make a victim accept that they’ve been scammed, and the scammer may continue to scam more people in the meantime. Victims may also be asked to keep the transaction secret, on the pretext that only a limited number of people can benefit from the transaction or perhaps because the transaction is not completely ethical or legal. It also plays into the hands of fraudsters and avoids detection, as the victim may feel like they have been involved in something illegal.

Putting a victim in a certain role is a scam technique known in psychological parlance as altercast. For example, people wouldn’t hesitate to report a stranger, but when it comes to people they consider friends, it’s harder because a true friend wouldn’t hurt us, so there’s difficulty in accepting this awareness.

Psychic and clairvoyant scams

Some psychic and clairvoyant scams can also be associated with an element of grooming. These types of scams target recently bereaved people, but women and young people are also more vulnerable to these types of frauds. A victim may interact with the psychic multiple times, becoming emotionally dependent on these conversations to manage their grief. The psychic may appear friendly and caring, taking on a role of protector and friend, but while exploiting the victim for monetary gain. If a victim decides to cut ties, threats are sometimes used to keep the exploitation going. The seer or psychic can tell the victim that someone has cast a spell or bad luck on them and ask for money to remove it, keeping the victim in a never-ending nightmare. The longer this relationship lasts, the more difficult it is for the victim to separate from it because of a sense of loyalty or fear.

What to do if you suspect that a con artist is preparing you

Scammers rely on secrecy, so the first thing you can do to protect yourself is confide in a good friend or family member and ask them for advice. Since they’re not emotionally invested, they’re likely to offer rational advice or a sounding board, which may be all you need to break up. Remember, crooks thrive where secrecy reigns. The second thing you can do is report the scam to the authorities as soon as possible and provide them with as many details as possible. It is likely that other people will be abused by the same con artist, and your actions will prevent someone from having the same experience. You are also likely to get advice on what to do.

Additionally, fraud prevention resources such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Fifth take offer advice and reporting mechanisms. They also post information about recent and known scams, and they can provide additional information.

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