An Exploration of the Psychological Effects of a Romance Scam on its Victim
A Whitepaper By Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Scam Trauma Syndrome is a term that we have termed at the Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams [SCARS] for the trauma that Romance Scam Victims experience as a result of their scam discovery, it is based (in part) upon the extensive research and awareness of a similar type of trauma called Rape Trauma Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
To a large extent, the experience of a Romance Scam is (in our view) a form of psychological rape.
Over more than two decades we have been observing the evolution of romance scams in their various forms we have seen that there are a number of traumatic effects that are layered upon each other, producing, in many cases profound impact on the victim. Unfortunately, this has not been well studied in academic research, and as a result, relies on anecdotal evidence.
STS is the psychological trauma experienced by a romance scam victim that includes disruptions to normal physical, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal behavior.
Scam Trauma Syndrome is based upon the theory of Rape Trauma Syndrome that wa