Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

RSN™ Guide: Sharing Your 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. Story

BE CAREFUL!

Recently a series of incidents occurred where victims have come forward to speak with the press and others and it resulted in serious consequences for the victim.

We are not going to disclose the details or the identities of the victims involved. However, the consequences of “coming out” can be life-changing and it is not something to consider lightly.

FIRST: We Recommend Sharing Your Story

Sharing your story will help you process what happened to you and is very cathartic. Every time you tell the story of your romance scam it loses a little power over you.

We suggest that you should be doing it with therapists, counselors, in 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., and with family members (eventually). But in each of these settings, there are risks that you have to think about and make sure you are ready for.

In talking with mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". professionals, it is probably a good thing to discuss your situation early so they can help you in every way you need. Medical professionals will maintain your confidentiality in most cases, so there is very little risk.

SECOND: Sharing With Family

Talking about this with your family is something else. You have to consider how it will impact your relationship with your individual family members and how judgmental they will be. You also have to consider how much of the details you will share. You don’t have to tell them everything.

Do you talk about the money? Do you share how traumatized you are?

Each person is different. Sharing with your family can be a way for them to understand and help support you – maybe even financially, since you may be penniless after your scam. Either way, do this with caution and be prepared for reactions – positive or negative.

Sadly, there is no right time to talk to your family, but we believe it is based upon need – your need. If you do not need them to know or need their help, then put off telling them for a few months till you are better able to deal with the impact it will have on them and yourself. If you need immediate help from your family to survive then do what you have to do. Same with your friends.

We strongly recommend that you also have someone to turn to if this goes badly. Have a Crisis Hotline number available in case you desperately need to talk with someone. (Look Here for Crisis Hotlines Numbers)

No matter what, this event happened in your life and to deny it is not healthy. We offer support and discussion groups for romance scam victims on Facebook in an environment of victims only without drama or judgment. You are welcome to join us (see below).

THIRD: Sharing With Local Crime Victims’ Advocates

Most communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe have local crime victims advocates. Most of these are volunteers that help victims through the justice system but are there to help victims at the local level. We encourage you to seek them out if they are available and see what resources and support they know of or can guide you to.

Local Victims Advocates are also helpful in helping YOU report scamsScams 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. to the local police. They can be there (if it is available) as a sounding board and a support when the police cannot do anything but take the report. The report matters very much, but you may have expectations not consistent with what is possible. Having someone to talk to about that can help make that process less stressful for you.

FOURTH: Sharing In Comments Online

After you have been scammed you have so many mixed emotions.

You are full of regret. Full of angerAnger