You could be risking your life when you threaten a scammer

Scammers aren’t nice people. They want what a target has, and they’ll pitch whatever lie they must to get it. If that lie is uncovered by the target of a scam, and the target voices that discovery or threatens action against the thief, the scoundrel might become angry. In some instances, that anger has prompted scammers to turn to violence as a means of dealing with a perceived threat.

A scammer knows some of his or her pitches won’t be successful. It’s part of the game of chance that every law abiding salesperson encounters when attempting to attract new clients. When a scammer identifies you as a potential new client, that person will work hard to close the sale. If the pitch is unsuccessful, the person will likely move on to the next target. The situation can turn problematic for the scammer, however, when the target identifies the true nature of the game.

When a target discovers the treachery of a scam and lashes out at the scammer, either by berating the crook or threatening to call the police, the scammer could become angry. If that happens, the thief could turn to violence for a solution to his problem.

Thieves generally don’t want to be caught by law enforcement, and if a scammer thinks you might cause him harm, he could remedy the situation by silencing you – permanently. Never risk your life by telling a scammer you’re going to call the police. Tell the person “no thank you” or “I’m not interested” and close the door. Once you close and secure your door, or safely distance yourself from the scammer if out in the open, only then is it safe to call the police.

Never place yourself in a situation where a criminal might be inclined to physically harm you. This usually isn’t difficult if dealing with a telephone or email scam, but in-person scams present a very real danger of violence. Declining the offer of a scammer might disappoint and even frustrate the thief, but it’s unlikely to degrade into a physical attack against you.

Your first priority when dealing with a scammer in-person is to get away unharmed.

Retribution or scolding the scammer isn’t worth your life. Distance yourself from the situation first, then report the scam to authorities afterward.