Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

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 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 motiv