Common Mistakes Most Online Scam Victims Make

After a scam, most victims go through a variety of emotional states!

First there is denial, then comes anger, and judgment goes out the window!

Unfortunately, when you are a victim of a crime, you need to try to think as clearly as possible, and recover your mental equilibrium. This is not easy, but by losing your head you make your own recovery and law enforcement that much harder – if not impossible.

Here are the 10 Most Common Mistakes that Most Romance Scam Victims make after discovering the scam:

  1. Confronting the Scammer – Never Do This – EVER.
    Once you understand or suspect it was a scam STOP all communications immediately with the scammer. Do not respond, reply, take their calls, emails, or messages. Nothing – block them immediately. This is both so that they do not learn from their discovery, and to make it easier for you emotionally.
  2. Gather Your Evidence.
    Online crimes are not like physical crimes. The police are not going to send the CSI unit out to take fingerprints (digital or otherwise). It is up to you to gather everything together AND KEEP IT! This evidence is not only helpful for the police, but will be needed to expose the scammer on, and claim any of your financial losses later on.
  3. Don’t Get Desperate.
    Many victims are so desperate about the scam and the money that they lost, that they make incredibly bad decisions following the scam. This is the period where you are most vulnerable to follow-on scams, such as: money recovering scams, or scammer investigation or location scams. Keep your wits and don’t make more mistakes.
  4. Fixating On The Face In The Photo.
    When you are the victim of a romance scam, (most of the time) you formed a relationship with a false identity – a fake face. The person in the photo is real, but is just not the person that you formed a relationship with. Forget the face and do not try to find out who it really is, and especially NEVER try to contact them. Remember that they are victims too who do not like to be constantly reminded that someone is ruining their life by using their face to scam others.
  5. Do Not Believe The Scammer’s Threats.
    Remember scammers are professional liars. This is just business for them. When they don’t get your money they will make threats, but that is all they are – just words. Scammers do not have the time or interest to actually follow through.
  6. Never Believe The Scammer Loves You.
    Many times once confronted (remember not to do that) the scammer will admit that it was all a scam, but they did fall in love with you. This is just another form of manipulation, another lie.
  7. Close The Gate And Bring Up Your Walls.
    Immediately block all access the scammer has to you and your family. Phones, email, chat, social media. So many victims keep the scammer in their friends list or accept calls. All this does is keep the scammer focused on you and you are placing other people you know at risk.
  8. Don’t Look For Someone To Save You.
    The sad truth is that no one will. You are going to have to get up and do the hard work to properly report the scammer to your National Police and into the SCARS Network on If you don’t do it, no one will, and the scammer gets away clean. Just what they want. They want you to be a sad wreck after the scam, because they know that is the way they continue to get away with it.
  9. Don’t Try To Get Your Money Back.
    There is only one way to get your money back if it was sent outside of your country. If you sent it via Western Union, Money Gram, or other electronic services – contact them immediately and see if the money has been picked up, if it has not yet been picked up you may be able to RECALL the transfer or debit. It not, it is gone.
  10. Do Not Get Angry.
    Anger makes people stupid. Nothing you do in a rage will help anyone, least of all yourself. After the scam you need to focus on yourself and your emotional recovery. We offer a free self-help RSN Steps recovery program.

It is an unfortunate truth that most scam victims are mostly on their own to deal with the scam. The police need to know about it, but rarely help in any meaningful way, simply because they do not understand these crimes well, and mostly are powerless to go after criminals outside of your country.

However, in many countries there are Victim’s Assistance organizations that can help. Most offer some form of counseling, and some even financial assistance. Contact your local government and police for your local crime victims’ assistance service provides to learn more about what is available where you live.

Regarding justice: most scammers are going to get away with it (for now), and your money is gone. These are two principal facts that you will have to accept. But you also need to focus on our own trauma and recovering from that. If you do not, it will fester inside you and make your life miserable. The truth is that most people do recover emotionally, but it just takes time – a lot of time – from weeks to many months. You can move on if you understand this. We encourage you to try your best and never give up!