After A Scam Ends All Victims Need Validation!
Scam victims are disoriented, desperate, and unsure of everything. They need help to validate that they are the victim of a crime!
How To Help Them
The following will help friends and family members help victims by validating them!
This information can reassure survivors that you believe them and support them
Whether it’s your best friend, your sibling, a coworker, or a complete stranger who tells their story on the internet, hearing that someone is enduring or has endured A RELATIONSHIP SCAM is never easy. But trust that for a survivor to break his or her silence and disclose that online abuse/violation is even tougher.
Even though relationship scams (romance scams & pig butchering scams, and others) are a worldwide epidemic — millions of individuals have or are experiencing this abuse from an online trusted person (a criminal)—there are still cultural stigmas and misconceptions that stand in the way of scam survivors being heard, believed or helped.
This is what it means to be Validated!
Survivors Face Judgment
Status discrimination, for one, means that victims of online financial fraud are often stereotyped as being of a certain class, or from a certain income or education level. Such as: all scam victims are old and lonely, young and greedy, or just needy. That old, “That sort of thing can’t happen here, to me,” excuse is a person’s way of thinking they’re protected from these crimes when in fact, scam victims come from all walks of life, all income levels, all geographical areas (worldwide, even in Nigeria), all types of professions, all sorts of family backgrounds, all ages, all levels of intelligence. In fact, everyone can be scammed, and everyone will be scammed.
The word victim itself can trap someone in the role of believing that they are passive, helpless, or weak. Many people, understandably, don’t want to label themselves as victims or be called victims. This is how the term “survivor” came to be the preferred term to describe someone who has endured these cases of fraud.
And then there is that belief by some, carried over from decades past, that these crimes are the victim’s fault, they should have somehow known better than to trust a stranger and send them money. This idea lays some/most of the blame for online/phone/email scams on the survivor, as though he or she has somehow played a part in the crime occurring. Even the police are sometimes guilty of believing this outdated idea. The whole blame is on the criminals that did this! No one else!
Let us be crystal clear, the only mistake a survivor made was in first saying hello! After that, the criminal’s expert grooming, manipulation, and control took over!
Between these stigmas and the widespread victim-shaming that occurs on a regular basis, it’s no wonder survivors have a hard time stepping forward and speaking out when they experience this violation of their trust.
That’s why it’s up to those in their support circle: the mental healthcare professionals, victims’ assistance providers, advocates, their concerned friends and family members, and even law enforcement — to validate and believe survivors when we hear about these crimes.
Validate with Your Word
When someone comes forward with a confession of being a survivor of one of these crimes, or even lightly dances around the topic, perhaps afraid to fully admit what’s happened or happening to them, but still scared enough that it needs to be hinted at, it’s vital to listen. Actively listen, without judgment and blame! You could be that person’s only trusted lifeline.
Here are important responses you can give that show you believe in and support them. Sometimes, it’s important to say them all:
- “This is not your fault.”
- “Many other people are scammed by these criminals. You are not alone.”
- “You’re not alone. I’m here for you. Thank you for telling me.”
- “I’m so sorry those criminals did this to you.”
- “I believe you. This is a crime”
- “Nothing you did caused this. Crime is a choice these criminals made. You were just their target”
- “No one has the right to hurt you, no matter how greedy they are.”
- “You aren’t being dramatic. You have every right to feel what you feel.”
- “Your emotions are valid.”
- “There’s a way out of this. I can help you find resources.”
- “You are worthy and deserving of a safe and healthy life.”
After validating someone’s experience, you can refer them to resources to help them better understand these crimes and to show them there’s a safe way out. Start by encouraging them to talk to a trained professional such as SCARS, as well as a trauma counselor — you can find one near you or through the SCARS partner BetterHelp.com or through these:
SCARS is here to Help!
We offer a free program for survivors to interact with other survivors in a safe environment through our online support & recovery groups. To learn more and apply visit support.AgainstScams.org
We also help to get survivors started with professional counseling through our SCARS Gold Membership. For just $15 survivors receive many benefits, including a full month of counseling or therapy free! To learn more about our Gold Membership visit membership.AgainstScams.org and to join now go to join.AgainstScams.org
We hear Scam Survivors – We Understand Scam Survivors
We can help survivors turn away from the destructive reactions that most victims experience and start on the path to recovery! This is what we do.
Also, remember that friends and family members can be strongly affected by seeing a friend or family member go through this. We offer a support group exclusively for friends and family members as well.
Learn what we do and how we can help!
To really learn the truth about scams also read the articles on the Psychology of Scams and Victim Recovery here on www.RomanceScamsNOW.com You will also find more information for family and friends of scam survivors here!
We are here to Help!
We are SCARS – the Society of Citzens Against Relationship Scams Inc. a government-partnered online crime victims’ assistance and crime prevention nonprofit organization supporting scam survivors worldwide!