Coping Strategies for Scam Victim Trauma Survivors

Coping Strategies for Scam Victim Trauma Survivors

(Last Updated On: December 27, 2020)

Coping Strategies for ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Victim TraumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. SurvivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com

PTSD is a psychological disorder that is brought on by the experience of a traumatic event.

Most commonly, war veterans experience this, but it can also come on as a result of any traumatic event. Some other instances that may cause this are natural disasters or the death of a loved one. Romance scam victims commonly experience significant trauma.

What is Trauma?

When an adverse event causes harmful effects in our day-to-day lives, this is called trauma.

In some instances, trauma is not very severe. An example of this would be getting into a heated argument with a loved one or being involved in a car accident that does hardly any damage if any at all.

Trauma can also be very severe. For people who go through extreme instances of trauma, PTSD, and depression can result. The symptoms of these disorders that may arise are irritability, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, and flashbacksFLASHBACKS A flashback is reexperiencing a previous traumatic experience as if it were actually happening in that moment. It includes reactions that often resemble the client’s reactions during the trauma. Flashback experiences are very brief and typically last only a few seconds, but the emotional aftereffects linger for hours or longer. Flashbacks are commonly initiated by a trigger, but not necessarily.. But it can also be mental illnessMental Illness Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors..

If you are experiencing issues with your mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". as a result of trauma, no matter how severe, there are many things you can do to combat your symptoms and make your life easier!

We Always Recommend

While SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Offers self-help programs, we encourage you to seek the help of professional local counselors or therapists If you are looking for local trauma counselors please visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd

 

Practice Calming Techniques

For those who struggle with trauma, anxiety is one of the top complaints. The good news is, you can implement calming techniques into your life so that you can control the hold your anxiety has on you.

If you can carve some time out in the evenings, consider drawing yourself a warm bath. Adding Epsom salts or a bath bomb with a calming aroma can heighten the sense of peacefulness, as well. Settle in with a good book and breathe deeply, making a conscious effort to relax all your muscles. Hopefully, with some time, you will be able to clear your mind and enjoy the moment.

If you aren’t a bath person or you just don’t have the time to set aside for a bath in the evenings, listening to music might work better for you. This is an excellent option for those with a busy schedule because it can be completed almost anywhere and doesn’t disturb those around you.

Make sure the music you put on has calming vibes. A nice classical tune with a slow tempo is a good recommendation.

Whatever you choose, remember to stay consistent! Calming techniques show the best results when they are added as part of your routine.

Happy Body, Happy Mind

Trauma has its own way of robbing its victims of all energy and will to be active. Even though it may sound like the last thing you want to do, exercise can be instrumental as you learn to cope.

Many shy away from exercise because it sounds like a chore, or they think it takes too much energy that they already have minimal amounts of. The good news is, neither of these assumptions is true!

If you find exercising to be boring, consider trying out a routine that is more on the fun side. For example, take a dancing class or go roller skating. These activities count as exercise, but you will hardly recognize it while you’re in the moment!

Although getting active does take energy to begin, in the long term it works to increase energy levels. The worst thing you can do is let your mental ailments keep you from having a more energetic and peaceful life!

Allow Yourself To Feel

After experiencing a traumatic event, you will notice a myriad of reactions that you may not have been expecting.

These can include feelings of being alone or like no one understands how or what you’re feeling. You could also experience bouts of confusion or angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.. It is likely you will not understand why you’re feeling this way, and you may be tempted to ignore or distract yourself from these feelings.

In these moments of weakness, remind yourself that you must go through it to get through it. Pretending your problems don’t exist will do nothing to resolve them. Instead, you are only delaying the inevitable.

Trauma that causes PTSD and depression are progressive diseases, meaning that they almost never go away on their own. It is imperative to your mental health that you deal with your problems sooner rather than later. If you wait, your problems will only pile up and will be much more challenging to deal with after some time has passed.

Lean On Someone

You will need a strong support system – like the SCARS Support GroupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. – to get you through this chapter in your life. There is no shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness. in talking about what has happened to you or what you witnessed.

When you are feeling overwhelmed or alone, reach out to our groups or to someone close to you and tell them how you are feeling. You can use this time to vent or to ask for advice from your trusted person. Alternately, if you would rather talk about something else to get your mind off things, that will do as well!

Let the people close to you know what you are struggling with and how they can help. Too often, those who are going through issues suffer in silence until it is too late. Resist the possibility of becoming just another statistic and take full advantage of all the resources you have available to you.

 

Take Time For Yourself

The biggest mistake you can make after experiencing trauma is to try to take on too much too quickly.

It is essential to be gentle with yourself as you are going through this process. Speak positively to yourself and take a few extra days away from work. You won’t be regretful for giving yourself a few extra days even if you are ready to resume life but going back too soon can cause you further mental turmoil.

Even once you do return to life, as usual, effects of trauma usually come back in waves. You may go a few days or weeks without feeling much of anything, only to have those feelings rush back when exposed to a triggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience.. These repercussions can be just as crippling as the initial event.

Don’t push yourself too hard when you experience these problems. You don’t have to force yourself to get out of bed, much less get to work in the morning. Your mental health is worth its weight in gold. Furthermore, you won’t be of much use at work when you are struggling with symptoms like depression. PTSD is nothing to mess with!

It Will Take Time to Feel Better & Recover

The road to recovery is long and winding. It is not something that happens overnight or all at once.

Recovery is not a linear process. It happens little by little and can take months to years to feel normal again, depending on the severity of the trauma and your mental state.

It is normal to have an ongoing response to the trauma you have endured. Additionally, you may think you are done feeling certain emotions, just to have them pop back up randomly.

Be patient with yourself and remember good things take time. One day, you will be an expert at coping with your PTSD and depression. If that day is not today, keep persevering until it is!

 

Find a Distraction & Something Safe To Do

Our emotions normally begin very heightened but subside on their own with time. If this sounds like you, a distraction may be just the ticket to coping with your problems.

What you want to accomplish with this method is distracting yourself from the negative emotion you are feeling. If you are successful, you should be focused on a relaxing activity until your emotions have a chance to settle on their own.

Some examples of distractions you can implement are endless! Try reading a book, doing a 1,000-piece puzzle from start to finish, learning a new language, or writing in a journal.

Art therapy has also proven to be extremely helpful to those struggling with PTSD. This is because you can express non-verbal struggles through art that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The goal with this is not to make a masterpiece, but just to draw or doodle something that makes sense to you. Any medium of your choice will do just fine; there is no need to get fancy!

Volunteering & helping others is NOT the distraction you need. These are not suitable for someone in the early stages of trauma even if you want to do this. You can’t help others until you are far down the recovery path, plus this is a deep-seated desperation drive at work that needs other types of distraction.

Don’t Try to Go At It Alone

If nothing you are trying seems to be working, or if despite your best efforts you continue to be negatively affected by the reactions to your trauma, it may be time to consult a licensed professional.

Find professional trauma counselors or therapists here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd

Therapy is the best option for many of those who struggle with PTSD and depression because methods used here have medical studies to back them up. Additionally, a counselor or therapist can get to know you and help you to tailor a treatment plan that is entirely custom to you and your experiences.

There are only good things that can come from therapy with a professional. You can use these coping strategies in combination with the suggestions from your counselor or therapist. If you give it your all, you are sure to succeed!

Remember, our groups can help many, but there is no shame in finding more professional help! Just keep away from amateurs and anti-scam hate groups – trauma & recovery are not a game – they are your life!

 

TAGS: SCARS, Trauma, Coping, Recovery, PTSD, Depression, Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them., Coping Mechanisms, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims,

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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
  3. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. « www.IC3.gov »
  4. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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