According to research done by various groups and a multitude of victim forums, fraud is now the prevalent crime in the US.  Yet, white collar crooks almost always get away with it, which is why it will spread even more.  Steal a TV - go to jail.  Steal life savings - keep the loot and avoid justice.  There's a common disregard for the casualties of this crime: "it's only money” But if you read and hear the stories of  wrecked lives, suicides, foreclosures, broken families and other possible outcomes many victims of fraud must live with, you'd change your mind.

Worst of all, victims are ignored, dismissed, referred to civil courts with outlandish fees or are told it's all their fault.  With a knife in your back, multiple agencies, organizations, non-profits, groups of all kinds spend millions to teach you how to live with it, how to avoid getting hit again and refer you to yet another agency that will refer you to someone else.  NO ONE WILL PULL THE KNIFE OUT!  Even in a rare occasion when crooks get punished, it's usually a fine payment to the regulators, not restitution to those who suffered at their hands. 

There's some compensation for victims of violent crimes, but there's no such thing for fraud victims who rarely get justice in the system built to protect the purps.  Those brave enough to torture themselves further by going solo through the court grinder, get "punished" by judges who dismiss the overwhelming majority of pro se cases (plaintiffs representing themselves).  Moreover, even if you get a favorable judgment, it doesn't mean you'll get what is owed to you: no one enforces judgments.  There are appropriate laws on the books, but if they're not enforced, crooks are encouraged to continue.

Given the sorry status quo, victims who are frequently shamed and defeated into silence must stand up for themselves and make their voices heard.  Like with OWS, if media does not report it, the perception is - it does not exist.  How do you get attention?  Old tried and true tactics have their role, but take years to accomplish little.  OWS did raise awareness of issues and brought them into the limelight.  Successful PETA campaigns may be shocking to some, but that is exactly how they get their message across.  Russian group Pussy Riot made a splash all over the world with its unique protest.

So how about a Victims' Riot?  Most victims of fraud suffer in silence. Others are too stuck on self-defeating individualistic mentality and think no one will help.  How about helping each other?  Strength in numbers means everything: today I help you, tomorrow you help me.   Results can be achieved for everyone or no one.  Want YOUR money back?  Join ranks and fight for EVERYONE.  Here are some tried and true tactics as well as new ideas for actions:

  • Get in the face of fraudsters, prevent their “business as usual” by contacting their clients, lenders, shareholders, investors – everyone who is involved with their business one way or another and let them know what the scammers are up to
  • Make and publicize a list of fraudulent companies and individuals, list their names, contacts, locations and expose their fraud
  • Demonstrate in front of their offices
  • Demonstrate and distribute flyers at key events for the scammers’ business
  • Post all this info on financial forums to warn investors and strangle their money supply
  • Attend shareholder meetings if possible or demonstrate if not
  • Pool resources and advertise the list of fraudsters in media
  • Contact media for coverage of demonstrations and other actions
  • Use public access media to create shows exposing fraud and lack of prosecutions
  • Organize email campaigns to let politicians know that fraud ultimately results in taxpayer bailouts in the form of welfare and other government assistance to the victims not to mention health expenditures to treat fraud casualties
  • Your ideas here

The more adventurous demonstrators willing to don masks to represent faceless victims and symbolize that anyone can become one, will attract more attention, but it will also give privacy to those not happy with personal exposure.  In any case, the more victims come forward, the more chances for success.

No comments: