SCARS 3 Steps For New Scam Victims 2024

New Scam Victims Please Read This:
SCARS 3 Steps

A Guide for New Scam Victims

Help to End the Scam and Begin Again

Article Abstract

The aftermath of falling victim to a scam leaves individuals in a state of shock and confusion, unsure of the next steps to take.

This guide, tailored for new scam victims, outlines three fundamental steps crucial for recovery. It emphasizes the need to refrain from self-blame and swiftly act within a limited time frame, especially concerning reporting to law enforcement or tracking lost cryptocurrency. Acceptance of being scammed is essential for moving forward, accompanied by seeking support and resources. Focused on self-recovery, it advises against pursuing the real person in the fake photos used by scammers, instead prioritizing emotional health. The guide advocates seeking professional support and educational resources for a comprehensive understanding of scams to aid in recovery.

Are You A Scam Victim – Now What?

This Is A Very Confusing Time For Scam Victims But We Have The Answers!

Your scam has just ended and you will be in shock, confusion, fear, and anger. You will be unsure about what to do now.

We have helped millions of scam victims, and we know that it comes down to THREE (3) BASIC STEPS.

This is a guide to help new scam victims understand what to do first and how to proceed with recovery!

First Thing

You need to understand that this was not your fault, and you are not to blame.

Do not feel ashamed of what happened. The scammers are professionals – yes scammers, there was more than one – they work in teams. They are expert manipulators, and you were not prepared.

Time is important after you discover the scams – there is a limited window for the police to act to help in recovering your money, depending on how it was sent. Learn more here. Also, if it was a crypto-based scam, your local police can, in very many cases, trace the lost cryptocurrency and recover it. Act now!

This is going to be hard, and most victims give up or give in to anger. But if you are willing to do what needs to be done, you can recover from this. Remember that the trauma from a relationship scam is very real and it will not simply go away – you will not just get over it – you will need help. Make sure you get it!

When the time comes to talk with your family & friends, click here for how to do that correctly, so they will not blame you. Also, see our videos on our YouTube channel here.

You will also find our self-help books available at


STEP 1: Stop All Communications!

You must block all contact with your scammers and do not accept friend requests or message requests or contact from people you do not know personally. Mark any email from scammers or strangers as spam. Try not to look at anything from the scam, save it in a folder, and do not look at it again except to be able to report it to law enforcement.

If you lost money: the way to report this is first with your local police – they are your first responders, then always report all scams to the FTC – visit to learn more.

If you did not lose money just report the fake profiles to Facebook or Instagram – and optionally to the FTC as well.

STEP 2: Accept That You Were Scammed

This means that you have to accept that you are the victim of a crime. Scams are crimes even if you did not send money. It is all about the deception, it was all lies. Nothing that you were told is the truth, so none of the stories or promises matter anymore because they were all lies. This is hard to accept, but it is what you have to do to be able to move forward.

As part of this STEP, you will need to report it to the police (see above) – this is your confirmation to yourself that you accept that you were scammed, that it was all a lie. You start with your local police – this is not easy, you will feel embarrassed and shame, but you do not need to. The police are not always going to be sensitive to scam victims, and they may not be able to do anything to get your money back or stop that scammer, but reporting matters regardless. Tell them you just need to report it and get a report number – this is your proof to yourself that you accept that this happened, and you may need it if reporting it to your national police or the FBI later.

Once this is done, put it all away, and don’t look at it again if possible.

You should sign up for one of the SCARS Support & Recovery groups at

STEP 3: Focus Only On Yourself

Do not try to track down or contact the real person who is in the photos, because you do not have a relationship with them and they are a victim too. Your relationship was just with the scammers – notice we said scammers – because scammers work in teams, there are almost never single scammers anymore. Try to separate the past from your future – hard as that will be.

Now you need to focus on your own emotional health and stability. Scams can be very traumatizing and they can lead to serious mental illness unless you take care of yourself. The scam happened, but now it is time to turn your back on that and focus on yourself and how you are going to move forward and recover.

We recommend that you take two immediate actions to help yourself:

  1. Join one of our support groups or forums: go to and apply for our free support & recovery program for scam victims.
  2. If you feel you need someone locally to talk to we recommend that you seek a local trauma counselor. If you are looking for local trauma counselors please find one here at

Additionally, SCARS offers free counseling or therapy as a benefit with our SCARS Gold Membership. To learn more about this go to

You do not need to tell your family or friends at this point unless you need to – that can wait until you are feeling stronger.

The process of recovery will take some time – it depends on how long you were in the scam and the depth of the trauma you are experiencing. Do not try to rush it and do not assume you will get over it instantly. Most scam victims will need months and sometimes longer to return to emotional stability. How seriously you take your recovery will determine how successful you will be – there are no shortcuts. It is hard and it takes work.

A Word About Fear

Many scam victims are in fear after the scam ends. You might be afraid of the scammer’s threats or something else. Scammers are business people and they only do what gets them money, they will not waste time on anything else. So you do not need to be afraid – remember that scammers ONLY tell lies. But if you really feel fearful tell your local police about this too.

If You Need To Talk To Someone Right Now

If you feel that you must talk to someone right now call this number (in the U.S. & Canada): 988 / 1-800-273-8255 – it is available 24 hours in English and Spanish. To find other crisis hotlines for your country search on Google for “Crisis Hotline.” Remember, there is no shame in asking for help.

Lock Yourself Down

After the scam, you will need to make sure that you lock down your social media profiles to ensure that scammers cannot see your life anymore! Go through your privacy setting and change anything public to private.

Also, if you have shared any financial or banking information with your scammers you will need to protect those accounts. Contact your bank and notify them you have been scammed and change your account numbers and access information – do this for anything that you think might be at risk.

To Learn More

At this point, you have to focus on learning to better understand what happened to you. You are a victim, but that does not mean you are an expert in scams. Learning is an essential part of controlling your fear, anger, and confusion. It is part of your recovery process.

We recommend that you begin learning here on our SCARS Official Educational Website:

You will find thousands of articles about scams and scammers to help you better understand how all of this works. Start with the Psychology of Scams section to understand how this works for you.

The 3 Steps™ is a part of the SCARS Steps™ Scam Victim Self-Help Recovery Program – Copyright © 2015-2023 SCARS

Did You Receive Money From A Scammer, Or Give A Scammer Access To Your Accounts?

You may have become a Money Mule. This is a crime!

You may have been involved in money laundering or aiding and abetting transnational criminals. Do not try to hide from this – this is serious, and if you are discovered (and you will be) then you might be prosecuted.

You should report these crimes to your local police – however, we strongly recommend that you speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. You have no time to waste. You cannot avoid this, do it today!

SCARS is not a law firm and we are not attorneys. The information we provide is for educational purposes only. See additional disclaimer below.

To find a criminal defense attorney in the United States visit FindLaw here: Criminal Law – FindLaw  For other countries look for your local directory of criminal defense attorneys or solicitors.

SCARS Resources:

Other Cyber Resources

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SCARS provides the leading Support & Recovery program for relationship scam victims – completely FREE!

Our managed peer support groups allow victims to talk to other survivors 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-informed care, grief counseling, and so much more!

To apply to join our groups visit

We also offer separate support groups for family & friends too.

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SCARS STAR Membership benefits include:

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PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.






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  1. lumi January 23, 2023 at 9:28 am - Reply

    I was scammed by crypto, and I reported it to the police but they closed my case. I know that crypto is fully traceable but I don’t know what to do to influence the police to recover my money.

  2. Glenda October 12, 2022 at 8:19 am - Reply

    My mother has just been scammed out of hundreds of thousands (South African Rand).
    I have sent her the link to this page but I think she is so upset she is not going to try to do anything about this.
    I wish I could help her!

    • SCARS Editorial Team October 12, 2022 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Get here in to see a trauma counselor or therapist. The trauma of the experience needs to be addressed before any meaningful progress can be made.

  3. July 1, 2022 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Is it possible getting your money back? Even though i sended money by Zelle Bank of America by different gmails but I didn’t have enough information on that but I have evidence.

    • SCARS Editorial Team July 1, 2022 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      If by Zelle, the only way to get anything back is to complain with BofA. Did you file a report with your local police?

  4. July 1, 2022 at 7:23 am - Reply

    I got scammed by someone trying to be the guy in the photos and it has been over whole year and I sent him 20,000 and now I’m broke and don’t have anything left besides being homeless and the money was always being sent by Zelle it was not the same gmail it was by very different gmails they gave me that to send it and I found out cause my friend investigated him and I didn’t even really knew the real person at all. And I wished I found out earlier and getting all that money back. He said his name is Juan Carlos but it turns out his name is Pierre Bonilla. Please is there anyway I can gat the money back. And I still have the evidence a lot of evidence.

    • SCARS Editorial Team July 1, 2022 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      If by Zelle, the only way to get anything back is to complain with your bank. Did you file a report with your local police?

      You can also complaint to the state banking commission and to the Federal Reserve.

    • Rosa February 22, 2023 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Pierre Bonilla is a popular guy. My scammer used his pic too. I didn’t lose as much. My police departmnet won’t do a thing

  5. Adrian Dickinson October 30, 2021 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I truly appreciate all of this very important information. I feel shame, stupidity and a lot of stress.

    • SCARS Editorial Team November 1, 2021 at 4:41 am - Reply

      You are not stupid. You may be ignorant about scams and scammers, but being a victim has nothing to do with intelligence. There is no reason to feel shame, even though it is a normal trauma response. Do learn more about how trauma affects you and we always recommend that you join a qualified support group and find a local trauma counselor to help you.

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