Understanding Recovery Psychology
Almost All Romance Scams Victims Start Out Confused About Who Scammed Them!
Often 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. victims associate the scam with the face in the photos, even if intellectually they understand that it was scammers behind the photo!
Recovery psychology helps us help you to fully understand your experience as a scam victim. As of 2023, SCARS has had over 12,000 scam victims pass through its doors in their online support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers.. This, plus our other publications and communications has allowed us to have a very large sample size in understanding what scam victims experience, believe, and how to help them recover.
One Of The Most Common Things That Scam Victims Do Is To Refer To Their 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. As He Or She!
Yet, the reality – in 98% or more of the cases with romance scams – there is no HE or SHE. There is ONLY THEY!
For most victims (especially those that do not get professional support or who are still early in their recovery path) speak about and think about their scam in terms of the person in the photo, even if they know it was stolen and fake. Correcting this perception is an essential part of each victim’s recovery psychology.
Many victims come out of the scam with a variety of beliefs, and thanks to amateur groups they often have a head full of urban legends or misinformation.
Sometimes the victim remains locked into the belief that the face in the photo was the real scammer. Or if not the real scammer, that the photo was stolen, and the real person should have known about their photos being used and done something about it. Mostly, they just do not (yet) understand how the business of relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam?, and specifically romance scams really work.
Understanding these truths is essential for each victim’s recovery psychology.
Relationship Scams Are A Business
Scammers, regardless of what new victims think, are in this as a business. A very profitable business.
Scamming today follows closely the business and organizational models of telemarketing – including the development of teams, and individual specialization.
A typical relationship scam is built on a trust relationshipTrust Relationship What Is Trust In A Relationship? Trust is the faith you have in someone that they will always remain loyal to you, honest, reliable, or love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them. It is the building block for any relationship without which the foundation will always remain shaky. with deception and manipulation functions with a set of stages.
A Relationship ScamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? has a basic set of stages to prepare a victim and to move them forward:
- An Initial Lure or Contact
- An Introduction Phase
- A GroomingGrooming Grooming is a form of setting up a victim for a scam or other crime by befriending and establishing an emotional connection with the victim, and sometimes the family, to lower the victim's inhibitions with the objective of the scam or criminal activity. Grooming includes the development of a trust relationship between the criminal and the victim, getting the victims to the point where they can be more completely manipulated. Phase
- A Capture & Control Phase – the Application of Manipulation
- A Closer Phase (Get the Money)
- A Wind-down Phase
- And Post-Scam Scam Phases:
- Threats & Coercion
- Follow Up Money Recovery ScamsRecovery Scams If you've already fallen for a scam, another scammer may call you and offer to get you your money back for a fee. Their goal is to double-dip and steal more of your money. Unfortunately, in most cases, only real law enforcement or your government can get your money back. There are exceptions, but you are safer to avoid all recovery options.
- Follow Up Scam Investigator Scams
- Follow Up Police Reporting Scams
Each of these is being performed by human criminals, either part of one group or by separate groups, all focused on extracting as much as possible from each victim! Each group of criminals engages in their own various models and businesses to steal as much as possible.
However, scammers specialize based on their skills and success – remember this is a business. There is a management hierarchy that make these decisions too.
In most cases, a victim will be handed off to different criminals over the course of the scam – and they may be males and females, regardless of the gender of the victims.
For this reason, there is no HE or SHE. There is only a THEY. Can you accept that?
Taxonomy (Terminology) Affects Your Recovery Psychology
One of the many challenges for romance scam victims is letting go of the face in the stolen photos, and associated with this is the use of pronouns such as HE or SHE. This is important to each victim’s recovery psychology to help them de-personalize their connection with the criminals – converting them in their own mind from a very personal one on one violation to one that was all business and not person, conducted by multiple criminals over the course of the crime.
In our SCARS recovery programs, we teach victims to let go of these pronouns and to use only THEY. Why? Because it helps to disassociate the person that they thought they has a relationship with and to turn it into a faceless THEY! Once a victim can control the pronouns, it becomes much easier to accept the rest of the reality of these types of scams:
- That there was NO relationship in reality
- That there was no HE or SHE behind the photo
- That there was a team of scammers controlling and manipulating the victim
- That there may have been many scammers that impersonated just one person
- That the victim was actually talking with multiple scammers over the course of the scam
Each victim that can accept these facts and integrate it into their recovery psychology has an easier time recovering from their scam. It makes it easier to disconnect from the romance and the relationship. It makes it easier to see it as a crime. It also makes it easier to overcome shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness. and self-blameSelf-Blame Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. SCARS seeks to mitigate the prejudice against victims and the perception that victims are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders or scammers. There is historical and current prejudice against the victims of domestic violence and sex crimes, such as the greater tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery. Scam victims are often blamed by family & friends for the crime. Scam victims also engage in self-blame even though they are not to blame..
Learn more about Relationship Scams Taxonomies here
This may seem like a small thing – what you refer to a scammer as, but in the victim’s mind, this is critically important.
There is NO “HE” or “SHE”
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Our managed peer supportPeer support Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or in a support group. Peer support is also used to refer to initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help organizations and others meet, in person or online, to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis. Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has "been there, done that" and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as SCARS Volunteers receive special training and may be required to obtain Continuing Education Units, similar to clinical staff. Some other trained peer support workers may also be law-enforcement personnel and firefighters as well as emergency medical responders. groups allow victims to talk to other survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com and recover in the most experienced environment possible, for as long as they need. Recovery takes as long as it takes – we put no limits on our support!
SCARS is the most trusted support & education provider in the world. Our team is certified in trauma-informedTrauma-Informed Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care needs to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective care services with a healing orientation. Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. care, grief counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling., and so much more!
To apply to join our groups visit support.AgainstScams.org
We also offer separate support groups for family & friends too.
SCARS STAR™ Member
SCARS offers memberships in our STAR program, which includes many benefits for a very low annual membership fee!
SCARS STAR Membership benefits include:
- FREE Counseling or Therapy Benefit from our partner BetterHelp.com
- Exclusive members-only content & publications
- Discounts on SCARS Self-Help Books Save
- And more!
To learn more about the SCARS STAR Membership visit membership.AgainstScams.org
To become a SCARS STAR Member right now visit join.AgainstScams.org
To Learn More Also Look At Our Article Catalogs
SCARS Printed Books For Every Scam SurvivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
SCARS Website Visitors get an Extra 10% Discount
Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout
SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scams work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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This was a hard separation to make. After 16 months of intense all encompassing constant contact multiple times every day and night, it was extremely hard to make the break. After 7 months of support I’m finally there. What happens is I would say nearly impossible for someone who has not experienced this to really understand. It’s difficult to put into words. Thank you for the informative articles and support.
We would also like to offer you our SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims.
Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Green Book – Self-Help Recovery Guide for free – https://shop.againstscams.org/products/scars-green-book-free-download-version-the-scars-self-help-self-paced-scam-victim-recovery-program-guide