Editor’s note: The following proposal was submitted by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Francine.”
I wrote a letter to my congressperson about proposing a national database, where someone can find out if a person has scammed others. As you know and other scams victims to do also, or will find out, there is little you can do criminally. I hope by posting by posting this on your forum, other members/victims will write to THEIR legislator and perhaps ONE of them will propose legislation. I know my local congressperson will NOT.
I was scammed out of thousands of dollars, and while it may be more emotionally satisfying to beat the crap out of him, not only is it illegal and unbecoming, it will do nothing to prevent this from happening to others, which is my best revenge.
I have a suggestion for something that can be implemented that is very simple that would help deter that. There is no national database existing now that citizens or police can check that to see if a report can be made against a person who either deliberately defrauds or just stiffs a person. It can also show whether a person has or has not been arrested or convicted, or only just had a complaint file against them.
This site would be protected from liability as it only dispenses information posted by others. It is up to the person who paid for the report on the person to decide whether or not s/he would want to deal with the person.
There are minor issues which sometimes aren’t serious enough for a police report that people should know about, when said person doesn’t pay back money or skips on the rent, but a major issue, like mine a con, that this person has done before with other victims would also be on this site, that would imperative for people to know.
There can also be a link to a hidden email (much as CL does) to contact the victim of this person for further details. There can be software that will block or automatically delete posts that do not pertain to ECONOMIC loss which is what this website would specifically be for. Insults on people who you felt hurt you emotionally, etc., would NOT be allowed.
There can also be a disclaimer, that if the poster is untruthful, s/he might be subject to libel suits, which would deter false reports. One other way that would deter it AND make it self supporting, is that the person complaining would have to have some debit (even prepaid) or credit card (so they can not be some anonymous entity who wish to harm others) to post the report for $1. A person accessing the report would pay $1, maybe have an annual fee for $12 each for both in case someone would want frequent access. This would be waived for law enforcement personnel, who will find this tool very, very useful.
This can help multiple victims of the same criminal to get together to pursue the scammer either civilly or criminally. I have tried to post something about the person on the internet, other than a liar, cheater website for jilted lovers, there really is NO place, and if the person has a common name, it will not come up by Googling it (and you can pay companies to suppress negative things if one Googles you.)
Also, a NATIONAL database run by the government would give it more legitimacy and credence than just a regular private site.
The poster can include photograph, drivers license# and last four of ss, birthdate as much info as they can provide, to prevent this from happening to others. The person who is scamming, cheating others, WILL have an opportunity to post online a rejoinder, but if s/he IS guilty of something like this, will likely not.
Yes, there is a high possibly that a scammer on this site, gives completely false information to the victim or not have i.d. (see second suggestion below), but with a picture s/he could be identified
The second thing that I propose is a tool to help prevent the scammer from scamming. The person who scammed me, and others, will be able to do again and again, because he claims that he has been a victim of crime himself, a mugging, and thus has no i.d., and having no i.d can’t cash his paychecks.
Legislation should be proposed that a victim of a crime be photographed and fingerprinted and also be put in a database, (can be the same one) which would help prevent them from perpetuating a scam.
Even though the person who scammed me probably will never be criminally prosecuted for defrauding others, since stealing through a con is not a crime like being held up, one of his victims told me he was jailed for filing a false police report. She feels that he goes to town claiming he’s a victim of a mugging so he can show people why he has no i.d. and they believe him.
It also enables the person for getting away with it over and over. When I called the jail to ask about his arrest, they probably not knowing I should know DID tell me that he served JAIL time, but would NOT give me the details, so the national data base would be an EXCELLENT idea.
Although initially some legislators may be reluctant to proceed with this, worried about privacy issues, in this Internet age, privacy seems to be less important, with people posting their life on facebook and twitter, but with the internet the possibility of being scammed has also increased greatly.
As I said this site would only be a dispenser of information for other would-be victims. Police can only use this to see if there are other people were victimized for the same reason; they would have to abide by their local laws to arrest a person.
This would help people like me (I say stupid, idiotic, but a friend says I should say compassionate, caring) who will NEVER be able to recover their money like I (and the beating reference was also due to the hurt I feel, that knowing he knew that I was NOT a wealthy person and how hard it was for me to recover economically, he still did that).
As I said, my revenge, is to do EVERYTHING I can to prevent this from happening to other people. He claims to have been working for Halliburton, when I initially tried to check on him as he wasn’t responding to me, they do NOT reveal their employment information. They only responded when I left a recording with HR that he was using their name committing the fraud.
A data base like this WILL help others. There are people search engines, yes like Spokeo, but the closest things they would have are criminal arrest/conviction rates, con men usually can’t be convicted on something like this.