Scam Obsession – Becoming Scam Junkie [UPDATED]

(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Scam Obsession – Becoming Scam Junkie

Updated August 2022

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

A SCARS Insight

Some Victims Replace The Obsession Of The Scam With Another Obsession About Scams

Unfortunately, some scam victims simply cannot turn away from the scam once it has ended.

Those Of Us That Assist Scam Victims Cannot Turn Away From Scams

We are forced to deal with scams and scammers on a daily basis. We write about them, report scammers, and help victims. This activity has the purpose that supporting other victims in a conscientious way.

Some Victims Cannot Turn Away

It’s like that compulsion that forces people to stare at a traffic accident!

Many scam victims though, simply cannot turn away from scams. There are many reasons for this:

  • Need for justice
  • Need to spread the word
  • Need to take revenge
  • Need to save others

All of those are valuable causes, but not when a scam victim is trying to recover from their scam.

The Need To Turn Away

After a scam, a victim needs to do the reporting and then try hard to turn away from the scam so they can recover. The best approach is to join a SCARS Scam Victims’ Support Group where we try to help victims develop a new sense of trust and community while focusing on their future.

Fixation of the scam and the scammer holds victims back from recovering and increases negative emotions.

These can lead to two potential problems:

  • Anger can turn to hate, and it can also lead to the need for revenge and vigilantism
  • It leads to a new obsession fixating on scams and  scammers

A Scam Junkie

This is not a nice term. It is intended to be that. It is intended to get your attention!

When a victim replaces one obsession with another it takes on an addictive quality that can be very destructive.

During the scam, the victim’s brain was flooded with hormones that helped to trap the victim in the scam. After the scam, especially during the withdrawal period when the victim is returning to normal, the opportunity for compulsive behaviors remains. This can turn into a compulsive behavior to stay connected to scams and scammers.

What Is A Scam Junkie?

We know that scams – during the romance phase can lead to an addiction. It modifies your behavior, your thinking, just like an addiction, because it is one – based upon your addiction to endorphins and other hormones released by your brain.

In short, victims become dependent on what they get from the scammer. Horrible idea, but true.

What Happens When The Scam Is Over?

A victim should be going through the process of grief. This helps break the bonding with the scammer and allows the victim to refocus on reality.


Some substitute one dependency for another – an obsession with a scammer or obsession with scams and scammers in general. They just can’t let go.

This can also translate into another obsession – with the face in the photo. That is another obsessive behavior discussed here »

How To Know?

Most scam victims have anger issues after their scam, this is normal.

It is ok for a scam victim to use their desire to fight back (within reason), or a desire to help others avoid the traps they fell into.

But if a victim truly looks at what you are doing, and it is one of the following, or is it an obsession with the scammers themselves, then there may be a problem.

Becoming a Scam Junkie is both a form of desperation driven by fear – the fear of losing that final connection to the relationship that was there. But it is usually more than that.

PLEASE NOTE: Someone who is not obsessed may take on the responsibility to help others, and that might includes many of these indicators. The test is the degree that you can walk away from it when you need to without concern that you are missing something of not being connected to the scammers.

Here are several indicators to help identify someone that is compulsively and obsessively connected with scams and scammers:

  • Do you spend hours looking or searching for fake profiles?
  • Do you want to look at every scammer photo posted?
  • Do you go and hunt scammers?
  • Do you insist that you have to know the name of the real scammer behind the fake act?
  • Do you want to know and contact the real person in the photo?
  • Do you think these things make a difference?
  • Do you belong to numerous anti-scam groups on social media that constantly post scammer photos?
  • When someone tries to tell you that this behavior is preventing your recovery, does it make you angry?

If you answered yes to many of these then you may have just substituted one dependency for another.

You May Now Be Obsessed With Scams And Scammers

These can be ways of avoiding the hard truth about what happened to the victim and fighting against your recovery. Admitting the full extent of the scam, the victims’ participation in manipulation, and the results can be frightening. Obsessing about the scammers in these ways can be comforting.

The fact is that every victim made a bad decision by letting the scammer in and they now need to move forward and recover,

It is important to remember that the odds are no one will save you, and no one will get your money back.

Worse, all of that emotion that you invested in the scammer was based upon the scammer’s lies/deception. It is hard to take, every victim wants justice, many want revenge, and all victims want something or someone to help them make sense of it all. Fakes amateur anti-scam groups are good at making it sound like “exposing” scammers will make it all get better.

But it doesn’t make any sense, constant exposure to scams and scammers will actually harm a victim’s recovery.

The Dark Side

There is also another Dark Side of the Psychology of Scams – Schadenfreude! This is when you start to feel better observing the misery of others. We suggest that you learn about this as well.

Vicarious Trauma

Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm. It is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope with or accept the emotions involved with that experience. Almost every scam victim experiences significant trauma, even if they will not acknowledge it.

But trauma may result from recurring events of being overwhelmed such as by binging of scammer news. It can be precipitated over weeks, years, or even decades, as the person struggles to cope with the original crime circumstances, eventually leading to more serious, long-term negative consequences.

After a scam is over, we recommend a complete absence from looking at scams and scammers. Yes, you should learn about WHY & HOW scams happen to help you fill in the gaps in your knowledge and to help you avoid scams in the future, but not about day-to-day news.

Letting Go

Every victim has to learn how to let go – it is never easy – but it is necessary to learn how to accept that.

It starts by accepting three things:

  • You only allowed the stranger in the door, what followed was not your fault
  • You did not do this to yourself, it was done to you – you were expertly manipulated and deceived
  • Now you need to walk away. You need to move forward

A victim can’t recover if they constantly surround themselves with scammers (news, photos, etc.).

Once a victim has substantially recovered, and if they want to help others, then they can come back, but in the beginning, they have to stop looking at or for scammers and scams.

If they can’t do that on their own, they can join one of the SCARS professional support and recovery groups where people can help them keep it under control, and where they have other scam victims that know exactly what they are going through to talk to.

Stop Being A Scam Junkie – Make The Change And Get Help Now

There are many ways that victims can help themselves:

Take A Time Out After Your Scam

Whatever you decide to do, we want you to understand and be able to see that scams leave people damaged and every victim needs time to heal.

You have to look at what you are doing and make a change for the better!


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  1. Anonymous February 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Ive read the article on scam junkies and that describes me. I hate myself for falling for it but keep talking to them. Ive been scammed 4 times and you would think I would learn after the first. But in my mind I give them a chance, well maybe. but the biggest thing when I say out loud what was done, it sounds stupid All I have to show for it damaged credit and using my house to get myself out of the mess. And i trust no one now, and all conversation with people in general is what do they want from me. Ive become secretive dont tell any one whats happened.Tried going to a counselor but couldnt bring myself to tell all that had happen to me. What the scammer has taught me is how to lie. Try telling anyone you get that look (how did she not see what was going on) even from police and family members.

  2. Anonymous February 20, 2018 at 9:08 am - Reply

    God bless you all your team for helped us .

  3. Željka Mujic February 20, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Da,prevarena sam.I to za dosta novac.Trebali je proći dosta vremena dok sam mogla prijaviti ćinjenicu da sam žrtva svoje naivnosti I vjere u lijepe priće.Nisam znala ,a Nisam niti vjerovala da se ljudi bogate na takav naćin.Život mora teći dalje a ja se nadam da će prevarant biti uhvaćen.Sve sam prijavila,i koliko mogu pomažem drugima da ne nasjednu na laži kao ja

    • Romance Scams Now Editorial Team February 21, 2018 at 12:48 am - Reply

      If you want to help contact Internet Valkyrja on Facebook – their Romanian Group. JUST REMEMBER, because you were a victim does not mean you know how to help other victims. This is a regulated activity with strong professional standards. First focus on yourself, then take the time to learn to become a professional, then you can truly help others.

  4. Tammy Truesdale February 20, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I was definitely a scam junkie. I was in shock and so very confuse about what happen to me. I figured out if I stop going on Facebook and other websites I’ll be better off healing from the trauma. It’s even hard to visit this website reading and researching for information. It’s good to know when you’re not alone and other intelligent people had fallen for the same scams. In my case I had too many problems I was dealing with and too busy helping people that didn’t deserve my time of day. I guess I was trying to escape from them and looking for a happier place in life. I understand now how easier for me to become a victim. I avoid has many people possible and removed myself from stressful situations. This includes family and friends not to mention volunteering in a thankless job. I’m mad at myself about forgetting to take care me first. If I done this then I most likely would’ve never fail for these monsters scams. I’ll never be the same person that I use to be.

    • Romance Scams Now Editorial Team February 21, 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

      Tammy, there is good news. The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train – it is just a long way away. This takes much longer to heal than people understand. It may take a year or two to recover emotionally, and even then, scam victims suffer from a form of PTSD – but you will get better, just give it time – lots of freaking time!

      • Tammy Truesdale February 21, 2018 at 3:32 pm - Reply

        Thank you for being here for victims like myself. Much appreciated here because it’s a battle trying to heal when all I want at times is to be alone in the dark.

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