New Victims Please Read This: 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. 3 Steps™

You Have Been Scammed – Now What?

This Is A Very Confusing Time For You

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. has just ended and you will be in shock, confusion, fear, and angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.. 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.

3 Steps For New Scam Victims

First Thing

You need to understand that this was not your fault, and you are not to blameBlame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action..

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 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. – 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.

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 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. from 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? 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.

THE 3 STEPS

STEP 1: Stop All Communications!

You must blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• 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 the 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 your local police or on www.Anyscam.com.

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 – 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 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., 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 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., 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 FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. later.

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

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 illnessMental Illness Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. 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 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. or forums: On Facebook go here (SCARS Education & Support Group) or go to www.ScamVictimSupport.org and join our support forums 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 visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd

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): 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 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: www.RomanceScamsNOW.com

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 ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them. section to understand how this works on you.


The 3 Steps™ is a part of the SCARS Steps™ Scam Victim Self-Help Recovery Program – Copyright © 2015-2021 SCARS

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

You may have become a Money MuleMoney Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes.. This is a crime!

You may have been involved in money launderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. 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 CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. 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.