A History Of Working Against Scams & Scammers

SCARS Beginning Its Fifth Year Of Service - With 28 Years Of Experience
SCARS Beginning Its Fifth Year Of Service - With 28 Years Of Experience
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Brief History of SCARS & RSN

SCARS was formed and incorporated in February 2015, however the SCARS Founder Dr. McGuinness had many years of prior experience and service against scams and scammers beginning much earlier.

  • 1981 – Dr. McGuinness first use of the Internet (then known as ARPANET) while a Research Scientist at Atari Inc.
  • 1982 – Dr. McGuinness invents online advertising and online product reviews, and co-invents internet software download and the ecommerce shopping cart while at ROMOX Inc. (he was a founding shareholder) – these were never patented but based upon the patent applied for ROMOX Video Game Distribution System/Network
  • 1982 – Experimented with a Crime Reporting BBS system run from the ROMOX offices in Cupertino California
  • 1983 – Collaborated with Japanese National Police on use of personal computers in law enforcement
  • 1984 – Dr. McGuinness presents the first white-paper/presentation on the subject of Online Ethics and Safety at COMDEX Chicago
  • 1984 – Collaborated with U.K. Scotland Yard on use of Teletext in law enforcement and crime reporting
  • 1986 – Presented paper about online safety at West Coast Computer Faire, San Francisco California
  • 1987 – Presented use of improved computer-based crime data collecting to police departments around the United States as an officer of BLOC Development Corporation (the founding name of TigerDirect) based upon the company’s FormTool software
  • 1988 – Presented papers on the use of computer data gathering techniques for law enforcement at the American Forms Management Association annual meeting
  • 1988 – Trained U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on customized computer-based data gathering techniques
  • 1990 – Co-authored one of the first Anti-Viral software products while at BLOC Development called “PopDrop”
  • 1991 – Began observing scams through an AOL Group/Forum/Chat Room about Scams on AOL – converted to Romance Scams about 1993 – founded by Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. (PC Industry Pioneer – Research Engineer at original Atari Inc. and co-founder of TigerDirect)
  • 1995 – Added anti-scam information under Webmasters page on TigerDirect.com (Dr. McGuinness was a co-founder, officer, and webmaster for TigerDirect)
  • 1995 – Dr. McGuinness created the first online dating website called Date.com – was owned by TigerDirect and discontinued
  • 1996 – TigerDirect (Dr. McGuinness) was a contributor to the language of the U.S. Communications Decency Act Section 230 – to allow for User Generated Content Online (with vast unforeseen consequences)
  • 1996 – Began reporting scammers to U.S. Federal Agencies
  • 1997 – Began tracking and reporting on “ICQ” scammers worldwide
  • 1997 – TigerDirect (Dr. McGuinness) was a contributor to the language of the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy & Protection Act (COPPA)
  • 1998 – Spun out to separate website under McGuinnessOnline.com [now defunct]
  • 1998 – Began reporting to European Police Agencies
  • 2000 – Created Separate Scams Related Website (first use of brand)
  • 2001 – Dr. McGuinness helped Netherlands authorities break up terrorist scam group in Holland – triggering a more urgent recognition of global scamming problem
  • 2003 – Launched First Generation of RomanceScamsNow.com
  • 2005 – Dr. McGuinness developed a process for scam & nudity screening for MySpace – services available for Dating sites screening also but rejected by Dating Industry
  • 2005 – Launched Content Compliance Council – standards body for Social Media & Dating Website Industry
  • 2006 – Began large scale harvesting of scammers on dating websites
  • 2006 – Dr. McGuinness’ company offers scammer detection and clean-out service commercially to dating websites – ultimately rejected by industry
  • 2007 – Launched Second Generation RomanceScamsNow.com
  • 2012 – Website massively attacked by African & Russian hackers and shut down during hacker war against our website because of exposure of scammers & frauds
  • 2013 – New RSN website launched RomanceScamsNow.com
  • 2013 – Expanded Social Media pages / accounts begun
  • 2014 – Romance Scams Now named Expert Witness in $1.5 Billion Dollar lawsuit against Match.com (case was ultimately dropped)
  • 2014 – RSN has social media pages, groups, or profiles on: FacebookTwitterTumblr, Reddit, MySpace, Instagram, Pintrest, Google+, LinkedIn, Skype, DeviantArt, VK
  • 2014 – Works with the parent company to create a Scam Data Clearinghouse “GOFCH” with the idea of distributing data to dating websites and social media services and government entities.
  • 2015 – RSN passes 4,000,000 visitors (in 3 years) and highest trafficked U.S. anti-scam website
  • 2015 – Develops link between Romance Scams and Addiction
  • 2015 – Launches marketing program “Campaign Against Online Fraud” to educate consumers of risks
  • 2015 – Works with other NGOs to help launch SCARS – the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams (named changed in late 2018)
  • 2016 – RSN releases the only Scam Victim Recovery Program – it is offered free to all here
  • 2016 – RSN offers 10 separate scam related support groups on Facebook supporting hundreds of scam victims
  • 2016 – Launches Boyati Miskun Foundation to help prevent scam victim suicides
  • 2016 – RSN added Minds.com to it’s social media coverage
  • 2016 – RSN is a founding member with 10 other Anti-scam Groups from 13 counties on the Ethics in Scam Reporting Project
  • 2016 – With other Scam Data Clearinghouses in Europe & Asia forms the Committee for Data Standards in Scam Reporting [CODS] to finalize the SCARS Anti-Scam Data Reporting Network and take live
  • 2016 – RSN becomes formal Member Organization of the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams along with dozens of other professional anti-scam groups, professionals, individuals, and members of the U.S. Government
  • 2016 – RSN transfers to SCARS the Boyati Miskun Foundation and the Campaign Against Online Fraud
  • 2017 – Acquired by the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS] to be their official Scam Avoidance Educational and Scam Victims’ Assistance & Support Division – becomes SCARS|RSN
  • 2017 – Closed Las Vegas Nevada office, shifting to Miami offices
  • 2018 – SCARS opens SCARS|China
  • 2018 – SCARS adds new Board Members Mr. L. Tshua from Singapore and Ms. S. Zhang from China expanding the global nature of SCARS
  • 2018 – SCARS filed for re-registration to become a full tax-exempt nonprofit corporation
  • 2019 – SCARS re-registration completed with incorporation now in the State of Delaware as a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
  • 2019 – SCARS is now a charitable nonprofit corporation registered in the state of Delaware U.S.A.
  • 2019 – SCARS goes to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to meet with tech industry titans for dialog about scams and scammers – met with great success
  • 2019 – SCARS awarded special recognition by the Consumer Electronics Show for outstanding work as a nonprofit in raising public awareness about online dangers
  • 2019 – U.S. Government shutdown delays SCARS’ final 501(C)(3) status
  • 2019 – Debby Mongomery, Elina Juusola Ph.D., Chris Fromal, Vianey Goes, and others, nominated to SCARS Board of Advisors to be finalized on February 15
  • 2019 – SCARS formally establishes new Advisory Board with Board Members to be finalized during the annual Board of Director’s Meeting on February 15
  • 2019 – SCARS Chairman travels to Saudi Arabia at invitation of the Crown Prince to meet with Minitry of Culture and Minitry of Security officials to discuss role of Romance Scams
  • 2019 – SCARS continues to expand activities and role of SCARS|LATINOAMERICA™ to better serve Spanish Speaking Scam Victims
  • 2019 – SCARS formalizes first local chapter in the United States with the SCARS Florida Chapter and holds innaugural lunch in West Palm Beach Florida
  • 2019 – SCARS adds new full-time employeers to its ranks
  • 2019 – SCARS signs Letter of Intent with group in Mexico to establish SCARS|MEXICO™ chapter
  • 2019 – SCARS formalizes its SCARS Volunteer Corps to expand support and assistance for scam victims
  • 2019 – SCARS enters into an agreement with the government of Singapore to extablish SCARS|SINGAPORE™