Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Being Scammed Is A Form Of Addition

One of the things that surprised us early on, was how similar the response of victims was to SUBSTANCE ADDICTION

For some, online dating and the connection it brings is a form of addiction, just as strong as substance addiction. Why is that? Because online dating is more about “projection” than actual reality. It is about what we WANT to happen, more than what actually is in many cases.

The unprepared approach online dating from this perspective, and as a result are much more easily snared in the web of a scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.. This is because scammers KNOW how to feed your belief and keep you addicted inside your own head, just like a drug or alcohol addict.
This “Scammer Addiction” is every bit as difficult to deal with as other forms of addiction. You bought into the scammers set of lies, and as it progresses, your own denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. or willingness of believe against all the facts in front of you is what defeats you. According to: A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.:

Recovery from addiction is not an easy task. In fact, change of any sort is usually somewhat stressful and uncomfortable. Whether or not someone attempts natural recovery or gets help, “something” must change. In other words, “something” must cause them to move away from addiction and toward recovery. That “something” is the motivation to change.

In the case of romance 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., this is the overwhelming proof that they are being scammed, even though it usually comes after significant financial loss.

Recovery is fundamentally about the motivation to change. At some point in every addicted person’s life, there comes a moment when they realize they need to change. The difference between those who successfully make the needed changes, and those who do not, comes down to motivation. Since motivation is so critical to recovery, it is important for therapists and therapy participants alike to understand the motivation for change. This includes understanding the degree of motivation; the type of motivation; as well as understanding various ways to increase motivation. Once sufficiently motivated, people can and do change.

The first step is the emotional AND intellectual recognition that you have been scammed. Before you can change you must address the recognition of what has happened to you. You have to first intellectually recognize that the red flags are there, then that they were probably there all along – this means to have to accept that something was wrong and it was not just the scammer, but that it was also in you. Once this sets in, you can begin to approach change.

Most of us recognize that change is not an event that suddenly occurs. Rather, it is a process that gradually unfolds over time. As this process begins to unfold, a person’s motivation changes. The most popular framework for discussing motivation to change is the Stages of Change Model developed by James Prochaska, Ph.D. and Carlo DiClimente, Ph.D. Their work began during the late 1970s when they became interested in the way people change. They developed, tested, and refined the Stages of Change Model. This model is one of the most widely used and accepted models within the field of addiction treatment.

In the book “Changing for Good” (1994), Prochaska and DiClemente describe the six stages of change:

Stages Of Change

Stage #1: Pre-Contemplation – Suspecting The 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.

People at this stage may be aware of the costs of their addiction. However, they do not see them as significant as compared to the benefits. Of course, others may view this situation differently. Characteristics of this stage are a lack of interest in change, and having no plan or intention to change. We might describe this person as unaware.

Stage#2: Contemplation – Recognition Of The Scam

People in the contemplation stage have become aware of problems associated with their behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams.. However, they are ambivalent about whether or not it is worthwhile to change. Characteristics of this stage are: exploring the potential to change; desiring change but lacking the confidence and commitment to change behavior; and having the intention to change at some unspecified time in the future. We might describe this person as aware and open to change. Between stage 2 and 3: A decision is made. People conclude that the negatives of their behavior outweigh the positives. They choose to change their behavior. They make a commitment to change. This decision represents an event, not a process.

In dating scams, this is the moment when you recognize you have been scammed.

Stage #3: Preparation – Eliminating The Scam

At this stage people accept responsibility to change their behavior. They evaluate and select techniques for behavioral change. Characteristics of this stage include: developing a plan to make the needed changes; building confidence and co