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How Can You Explain What Happened To Family And Friends?
A SCARS Guide for Scam Victims
The simplest explanation is the best explanation.
Your family and friends want to know:
- Are you alright? You say no, you are very traumatized by the experience
- How much did you lose? Tell them the amount.
- How did it happen? Tell them simply that it was an investment scam (even a romance scam is an investment in your future).
- Did you know this person? Say that you thought you did, but obviously not.
- Didn’t you verify? You thought you did, but obviously not enough – you were totally fooled.
- Can you get your money back? The police have the information but they do not think I can recover. However, they and the FBI (or national police) are investigating.
- What can you do? Not much. You have to live with the situation and plan as best that you can.
- What about your future? Everything has changed and I have to change my plans because of it.
- Tell me the details or Tell me more? Just say that you are too upset to talk about it more. This was very traumatizing. Ask them for their understanding and support.
If you do this, no one should blame you. No one should shame you.
Financial scams happen and people are victimized. But your friends and family only want to hear the basics so they can form an opinion, and then they will want to help and support you.
Everyone has heard about financial and online scams – this is now a normal part of our world. Your friends & family mostly want to know how they can help!
If you tell them the basics and then you say you are too upset or traumatized they will not ask more until you are ready to tell your whole story.
Victims often make the mistake of telling TOO MUCH INFORMATION upfront – this overwhelms their friends or family, and they start looking at YOU, instead of sympathizing with you.
Our experience is that if you can stick to these basics that you will not be made to feel blamed. Additionally, you will have a huge release of not having to maintain the secret. Keeping that secret is a cancer that grows and eats you from the inside. Let it go, even just the minimal information is a relief and helps you down the path to recovery.
Remember, just the minimal facts above. AVOID TMI – Too Much Information.
Of course, this is not what you tell the police. But with them also avoid TMI – avoid all the dialog, just stick to the basic facts and let them ask what they want to know.
This is your best path to share enough so that you are not hiding the truth, but not telling more than they need to know.
One last note. This also applies to almost all forms of scams – from phone scams to other online scams too.
This is the way to recovery!