Supercharge our mission in combatting the crypto-romance cybercrime wave and in supporting the victims devastated by it.
Crypto-romance crimes by "pig-butchering" scammers are a particularly insidious hybrid of the two most devastating kinds of deceptions, romance and investment frauds that has cropped up in increasing numbers since mid-2020. Read more: globalantiscam.org - about the scam
Who are vulnerable to these scams? The targets have been roughly 70% women, and most are in their 30s, in contrast to traditional romance scams that defraud the elderly. The vast majority have a bachelor's degree or higher; in fact, 31% have post-graduate degrees, far above the population average. Those who come forward to us have included: medical professionals, scientists, directors, managers, bankers, business owners, graduate students, IT specialists, cybersecurity experts, experienced traders, professors, data analysts, attorneys, and many other professionals. Regardless of preconceived perceptions of what type of people fall for scams, the message is clear: Anyone can be a victim. Read more: globalantiscam.org - statistics
How bad is this problem? Within 2-3 months, the average loss per victim is nearly $100,000! About 75% of victims lost more than half their net worth, and about one-third fall into heavy debt. This loss has far too commonly and systematically destroyed the lives of people that had bright futures at the prime of their careers -- draining savings accounts, breaking up relationships, losing homes, derailing life goals, and eroding the victim’s sense of self-worth, trust, and will to live. What’s worse, 22% of victims were manipulated into sending compromising photos, often for their first time, some of which were used for further extortion and sold to porn sites.
Isn't it their own fault? The scale, training, corporate-like operation and execution behind each successful scam is astonishingly intricate. Once ensnared, a target doesn't only talk to one fraudster, but rather an entire team of professional criminals, which includes: their pick-up artist coach, their script writers who churn out instruction manuals, their "customer service" conspirators, the list goes on -- a whole functioning organization and its supporting cottage industry. In other words: A target is simply outmatched and outwitted. They don't just entice victims; they kidnap the victims’ emotions. Human connection is a basic need, and the fraudsters were excellent exploiters of that need during the pandemic. They induce victims into a blind panic once victims are invested both emotionally and financially. Victims lose so much at the end phase of the "investment" not because they were gullible, but because they were skillfully manipulated.
Who are we? Global Anti Scam Organization (GASO) is composed of people who have experienced the scam. Our website's founder was one such person. Following an overdose of sleeping pills in the aftermath that left her financially destitute, near homeless, spurned by friends and emotionally battered, she woke up in the hospital with a singular resolve: to prevent others from experiencing the same trauma and to help victims find guidance, healing, and the means to recover. She set up a bilingual English and Chinese website in July 2021, through which ~40 other like-minded individuals around the world have banded together to help and connect almost a thousand victims. What makes the GASO website unique is its live chat, manned 24/7 by a passionate team of 12 volunteers worldwide, most of whom were victims themselves. These individuals selflessly and freely provide recent victims with information and resources on these scams, guide them on how to report the scam to their banks and the police, and connect them to other victims for peer support and organized action.
Why is GASO necessary? Online investment scams are an evolving industry that is highly adaptable to regulatory changes, increasing in sophistication, and quick to exploit the latest technologies. It is impossible for law enforcement to handle the daily case load. Worst of all, well-meaning victims looking for friendship or love are dismissed as being naive or “too greedy”. The perpetrators would not have been so successful without the technology and services of the digital ecosystem, and yet, victims bear the entire costs of the crime. Victims find themselves in the wide gap between transnational cybercriminals and law enforcement, between regulations and corporate practices. Justice for victims may never come. It is always the perverse case that those most victimized are least able to afford help or justice. This is where we believe GASO is needed.
What can we do for the prevention of future victims? The most successful of these scams are run by large companies of scam dens in Southeast Asia on a massive scale. Read more: globalantiscam.org - scam operations GASO also aims to be a resource for law enforcement and those who want to learn about the latest schemes operated by Chinese criminal syndicates. Through our efforts, countless people have been saved from falling into the scam by our vigorous information campaigns on social media. Our website traffic has increased to 300-400 daily views. There have been more than 8,000 queries in the four months since GASO website’s inception. In more than a dozen instances already, the direct intervention of our live chat system has saved would-be victims from remitting hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraudulent investment platforms.
What will funds be used for?
- Website upgrade and maintenance - The website runs on the cheapest monthly plan, which limits the features we can implement and performs poorly on search engines and mobile phones; also to defend against the frequent cyber attacks
- Professional translation software and video/audio transcription - There are many more materials needed to be translated from Chinese to English
- Subscription to work-team applications for organizational efficiency
- Mental health professionals for advice and consultation
- Cryptocurrency investigators and detectives for the most promising and impactful cases
- Legal consultation for the most promising and impactful cases
- Emergency relief for the most affected - (Groceries, travel tickets) There were instances of victims left totally destitute upon finding us, having quit their jobs due to manipulation or being shamed by their scammer, or have no way to return home following their desperate quest to confront their scammer
- Operational costs to sustain critical volunteers with invaluable experience and passion but whose time spent on GASO can be costly for them
- Administrative costs for non-profit (registering, accounting, auditing)
Lastly, we have recently incorporated as a non-profit in Singapore (UEN pending, to be obtained by November 12th) and are currently applying for charity status in Singapore and the United States.