A victim recently corresponded with us about how he was scammed over a 6 month period by a Ghana scammer known as GIFTY. If you have read our website, you would know that anyone in Ghana named Gifty should be assumed to be a scammer.
What is always tragic is how hard it is to accept the fact that it was a scam.
Yet accepting that fact is essential to recovering from the scam.
Many many ask us to put them in contact with the real person who’s photos were being used (stolen) by scammers. They want to help that person, and make sure they know this is being done with their photos.
In fact we recently spoke with a model in Romania who was unaware this was being done.
Trust us when we say, they do not wnt to hear from victims that have been scammed.
It is not out of malice, it is that so often the scammer’s victim has fallen in love with the person they see in the photo – which is not the real person in that photo – that the desire to warn the real person is just a way to establish what the victim sees as the real target of their affection. Most of the persons know their photos are being used, and are powerless to stop it; they don’t need to hear from countless victims too. Especially victims that transfer their connection from the fake scammer to the real person.
There are many truths about dating and romance scams. One of them is that there are millions of victims. No matter what you felt or thought about the person you were connected to, you were being used – you were being scammed. This is hard to hear, but the sooner you accept that simple fact, the better you will be able to move on.
Dating and Romance scams ARE big business. They bring in hundreds of millions or billions of dollars every year to little countries in Africa, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leon, Guinea, and others. Their local police laugh at the stupid Westerners that get scammed and voluntarily send their money. It is only when their national reputation is on the line that they care. If they cared, they would control this, but they don’t. There are a few countries, such as the Philippines and Malaysia that do care and work aggressively to stop it, but they are few. It is just the way it is.
We are also constantly asked to track down this scammer or that, so that the victim can know their real identity. Victims want to confront their scammer, seeking recognition and closure. In a few cases we have been able to do this.
Our mission is to educate, inform, and provide what support we can. We do not get money from any government, we are supported by corporate grants, this is what powers our our organization. We are not private detectives, yet victims get angry when we tell them this, as though we are responsible for righting their wrong. We wish we could.
Being a victim of a romance scam is the equivalent of being psychologically raped.
You have shared your most inner self, your desires, feelings, and soul with another person that you had trusted. Only to find out that it was all a lie, and worse, you were being used to line the pocket of a fraudster half a world away. You were shown the kind loving face of a stranger and believed that you knew that person. That that person cared for you, and just needed a little of your help so that they could be with you.
Everything you were told was a lie. This is also hard to hear but true. Nothing you were told was the truth, so letting go of the story you were sold is important.
It was a lie, and they cut you to your soul.
When you discover this, you are angry and depressed. You know it to be true, but you can’t or won’t believe it. You want to reach the real person and find out if it was so. The fact is you were just a pawn, you were being used as a means to an end. They just wanted your money.
How you hate them for that.
You want justice, as any sane person would want, but the fact is that most of the time there is no justice, just loss. They are in another country, on another continent. They only care about you as long as you send your Western Union payments. You think someone must be responsible, Western Union, the government, the police, someone should be able to do something.
Someone is doing something – we are – you are reading the world’s leading scam avoidance education website right now, which is a division of the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS]. However, there are limits on what we and others can do.
In the end, you are the only person responsible. You believed the lie, and you sent the money, even though you were expertly manipulated and it is clearly not your fault.
That is a terrible thing to say, but it is the truth you must accept so that you can move on.
You are smarter now, less trusting. Except you are likely to be scammed again. You are your own worst enemy.
Our statistics show that the average victim will be scammed between two and three times before they truly get it. Why? Because as Fox Mulder says “I want to believe”. You want to believe there is a person for you out there, and in fact there is, but you have