(Last Updated On: March 24, 2022)

How To Confront A 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. Victim In Total DenialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.

For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

A 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. Guide

How To Confront A Scam Victim In Total Denial

What To Say To A Romance Scam Addict In DenialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.

IMPORTANT: If you are a victim and you are reading this – IT DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU! You are already working through your scam, you are seeking knowledge and help to address what happened to you. This document is about scam victims who refuse to accept that they are being scammed.

When you care for someone who is a Romance Scam Victim in total denial there is little difference between them and a drug addict.

It is incredibly difficult in so many ways for you and everyone else that knows and cares for them.

Romance 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. take on the characteristics of an obsession, but it is more than that. A romance scam is a real addiction. But it operates on multiple levels, both behavioral and physical.

The victim is systematically manipulated by the scammers to condition them to reduce or eliminate their connections with friends and family, while at the same time the scam itself is flooding their brain with some of the most addicting chemicals (hormones) that can cause real addiction. This is one of the things that make these romance scams so difficult to break.

Treating The Scam Victim As An Addict

People who struggle with scam addiction, just like drug addicts, tend to be unable to care about the people around them as they once did because they’re consumed by a focus on the maintenance of the fake scam relationship – they are getting their fix from the continuation of the scam. Frankly, just like an addict, this is what they care about more than anything.

Scam victims in this level of denial, just like addicts also exhibit many behaviors that can destroy the lives of the people around them. For example, these scam victims will often lie and steal to sustain their fake relationship. They will also try to manipulate situations to facilitate their scam relationships. First exhausting their own resources and then trying to take from others. Sometimes they only destroy their own lives and stop when forced to by spending every last cent they have in the world.

The Impact On Friends And Families Of The Scam Victim

In addition to the negative behaviors of a scam victim in total denial, you may also find that you’re often scared for them or becoming traumatized by their behaviors. This is called “Vicarious 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..”

Loved ones or close friends of scam addicts tend always to be worried about something bad happening, or wondering if the next phone call they receive is going to be the news they dread the most. It is not uncommon for victims in total denial to take their own life after they hit rock bottom and run out of money. When the money ends, many times the 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. will reveal themselves as a way to threaten and taunt the victim. But in most cases, the victim just “wakes up” to the reality of what they have done.

This kind of scam denial or addiction is particularly difficult to deal with because there aren’t a lot of things you can do to help them.

Fixing The Romance Scam Addict

There’s no way to fix them!

There’s no way to change a romance scam victim in total denial unless they have the desire to seek treatment and make a change and stop.

This is one of the biggest mistakes loved ones and friends of these victims often make. They will tend to think they can somehow make the problem go away and they become frustrated, discouraged, and even suffer from depression themselves when it doesn’t work.

So How Do You Confront A Scam Victim In Total Denial?

If you’re at the point in your life where you can’t stand by any longer and watch a friend or family member destroy themselves, you may be wondering how to confront them?

It’s a difficult situation when you’re confronting a scam addict because they may be in total denial or they may become defensive and unwilling to have the conversation that needs to be had.

When you’re confronting someone about their 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?, they may see what you’re saying as a criticism or an unnecessary concern, and they may lash out at you. Many victims will go so far as to completely end friendships or family relationships to retain the delusion of the scam – their addiction.

Learning How To Confront A Family Member Or Friend

IT IS DIFFICULT BUT IT’S ALSO NECESSARY

The following are some specific things to keep in mind when you’re confronting someone about their romance scam and scam addiction:

  • Never tell them that you think they are suffering from 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. or an addiction!
    • Stay focused on the facts about scams and their situation
    • Share information about scams, and how fake identities are used to scam victims just like them
    • Help them to understand they are not alone, that there are millions of scam victims just like them
  • Try to keep your calm, no matter what!
    • You don’t want the conversation to begin angrily or seem like venting
    • You want to simply be factual when you’re learning how to confront them
    • You want to remain calm and steady, and don’t let yourself be drawn into an argument
    • Simply know that you know the truth [learn more here]
  • It’s also important when you’re learning how to confront a scam victim in total denial that you don’t seem like you’re judging them!
    • When you react this way, it leads to defensiveness from the scam victim
    • While the person you care for may have made an initial choice to connect with a stranger or to take an offer that turned into a relationship scam, they 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. – they were expertly manipulated into this
    • They are now experiencing the symptoms of mental illness and addiction, and you should always try to keep that in mind
  • As you’re exploring how to confront a family member or friend in the depths of a romance scam, think about trying to focus on how their scam and addiction make you feel!
    • You should be honest about your feelings and be specific with them
    • What often happens is that scam victims at this level of denial are so focused on their scam – their fake relationship that they honestly don’t see how their actions are affecting the people around them
    • They may be in denial but showing concrete examples of how their specific actions have impacted your feelings, it can help you chip away at some of that denial
  • It’s important that when confronting someone about their scam away from the environment where the scam is happening, such as away from their home!
    • This is often the first thing in the morning, right after they wake up.
    • If you try and confront a scam addict when they’ve been talking with their scammer for an extended session, they’re not going to be rational, nor are they likely to be able to control their emotions
  • Remind them of your relationship
    • Talk to them about good times you had with them – places you went, things you did – this helps them reconnect with you
    • Remind them of little secrets you share and how you have been their confidant and trustworthy advisor – help them remember how they always trusted you

Other tips for how to confront a drug addict include:

  • Try to listen to the scam victim as well as talking about your feelings
    • Sometimes when people are confronting a scam victim at this level of delusion, they think they have to do all of the talking, but it can be helpful also to listen – get them talking about it
    • Letting them talk it out may help them hear what they are saying and how impossible it all sounds – this can be helpful in creating the doubt they need to break free
    • This will allow them to feel like they can trust and confide in you
  • Try to be consistent when you’re confronting a scam victim
    • You will probably find yourself confronting them over and over again until they finally accept the reality
    • When doing so, you want your message and delivery always to be the same

Set Boundaries And Define Consequences!

The key phrase to keep in mind when confronting a scam addict is often tough love.

This means that when you’re confronting someone about their relationship scam or learning how to confront someone about it, you keep in mind unconditional love, with strict boundaries at the same time.

For a lot of people, the best way to learn how to confront a romance scam victim in total denial is to stage an intervention with the help of a professional therapist or interventionist. As a last resort, you can invite the police in.

An intervention allows a group of loved ones to come together and plan what they’ll say when confronting a then victim. This can help alleviate some of the tendency to lose your temper or become overly emotional. The ultimate objective of an intervention is to motivate the scam addict to seek treatment for their romance or relationship scam.

READ OUR SCARS INTERVENTION GUIDE HERE »

Actions Have Consequences

In the end, you may fail in trying to help the scam victim.

We are not talking about something casual at this level, we are talking about mental illness. It may well be beyond your ability to help them. This is where you will have to be prepared for the hard choice. You may have to walk away or distance yourself for your own mental well-being.

You can only pound your head against this wall for so long!

We suggest that when you have exhausted the normal approaches to this problem that you – yourself go and speak with a therapist or counselor and work with them to address the impact on yourself, but also to use this person as an ally in continuing to develop strategies for confronting the victim. This will also help you plan for the eventual and inevitable collapse when the victim runs out of money and resources.

Just Know That You Are Not Alone In This

Thousands of families and friends go through this every day!

Romance scams are worldwide and their victims number in the millions. Sadly, only about a third of victims get the help they need to recover, the rest are lost to their rageRage 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. 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., or slip into despair and further denial.

Being there when the crash happens allows you to guide them through the inevitable destruction of their life that follows this scenario.

We provide real professional scam victim 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. but your friend or family member may need real therapy or counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. locally first. Don’t be afraid to guide them in that direction. Don’t be afraid to seek it for yourself either! There is no 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. in asking for help – that is why you are here! That is why we are here!

Beware

In the world of scams, there are thousands of pretender/amateur/instant experts. A huge number of victims believe in post-scam delusions – such as: “just because they were scammed, they are not an instant expert in the subject.” Many instantly believe they are the only ones that can save other victims – these are dangerous!

BEWARE OF OTHER VICTIMS THAT PRETEND THEY CAN SAVE OTHERS!

Look for groups that are professional and registered crime victims assistance organizations before you listen to anyone about scams, or are SCARS Members. (Yes we are an incorporated nonprofit and a registered crime victims assistance organization with 30 years of experience.)

Resources:

Of course, this website is full of additional information about relationship scamsRelationship 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? and scammers. Use it – learn from us about this plague of modern society!

Additional places:

  1. SCARS Scam Avoidance Education Group on Facebook »
  2. A Support Group just for Family & Friends of Scam Victims »
  3. One of the SCARS Scam Victim Support Groups for Women »
  4. How To Find A Therapist – WebMD »
  5. How To Find The Best Therapist For You – PsychologyToday »
  6. Better Help – Therapist Directory »
  7. Find A Therapist – GoodTherapy Directory »

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

Essential Tools For Every Scam Victim From SCARS Publishing

Visit shop.AgainstScams.org

Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 31 plus years of experience.

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SCARS GREN BOOK - The SCARS STEPS Guide to Scam Victim Recovery

SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide

LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN

This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!

The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.

After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.

The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!

Get it here

SCARS SLATE BOOK - A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!

A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims

HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS

This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.

The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.

Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scams work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.

Get it here

SCARS RED BOOK - Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer

ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!

Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you

Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!

As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.

The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.

Get it here

SCARS BLUE BOOK - Survivor's Recovery Journal
SCARS LIME BOOK - Wisdom & Motivation for Scam Victims
SCARS CHERRY BOOK - A Guide To Understanding Your Fear
SCARS WORKBOOK - 8 Steps To Improvement
SCARS WORKBOOK - Understanding Self-Blame, Guilt, and Shame
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Your generous purchase allows us to maintain our scam avoidance, support, and recovery services. Please help SCARS and stand proud.