The Final Reveal & “I Love You”
A Significant Percentage of Scam Victims report that just before the end of their scams, the scammer revealed their real face and said that they can grow to love the victim!
Of Course, It Is Just Another Lie, But An Effective One!
After spending weeks or months in a fake relationship with the scammer, a scam can go sideways – meaning that the victim finally discovered that it was all just a scam. But in the final moments, the scammer has an opportunity to regain control by confessing!
The Typical Tactic
The typical tactic is for the scammer to admit that it was all a scam but that he/she really does love the victim – they grew to love the victim after all of the time they were together! This is very compelling for the victim, after all, they always wanted to believe in the fantasy and this is an opportunity to salvage it. So what if the face is not the real face, so what if the scammer has taken all the victim’s money, so what if the scammer has spent weeks or months lying to the victim. He/she loves the victim! This is the victim’s greatest desire come true.
We know that so many victims have such a hard time letting go. That human desire to be loved and accepted remains strong right up to the very end of the scam. Then at the last minute, the scammer confesses and says they really love the victim – this is a scene right out of a Hollywood movie! Right?
It Is Just Another Lie!
It is just another lie in the long line of stories and lies that the scammers tell their victims.
This is yet another attempt to perform an Amygdala Hijack Amygdala Hijack
An amygdala hijack refers to a personal, emotional response that is immediate, overwhelming, and out of measure (proportion) with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat or hormonal response. This can include: Anger, Sadness, Love, Desire, etc. and confuse the victims enough through a flood of neural transmitters & hormones and base desires to continue with the scam relationship. This is how romance scam manipulation works – a constant stream of manipulation to maintain control over the victim and to get them to send every last penny!
Scammers have scripts and procedures they follow when conducting scams. This increases the likelihood of success and saves the scammers a lot of time. After all, scamming is a very time-consuming business for the fraudsters involved. But there are also different stages in a scam, and many times they will bring in specialists from their team to take over during these phases:
- Initial contact and Grooming Grooming is a form of setting up a victim for a scam or other crime by befriending and establishing an emotional connection with the victim, and sometimes the family, to lower the victim's inhibitions with the objective of the scam or criminal activity. Grooming includes the development of a trust relationship between the criminal and the victim, getting the victims to the point where they can be more completely manipulated.
- Manipulation and Control
- Getting the Money – the Closer
- End Game
The Confession Scam happens in the End Game phase of the fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim..
During the End Game
Once a victim is beginning to show doubt or even to admit that they suspect, the scammer will attempt to maintain control, but when it is obvious that they cannot hold on then it will shift into the End Game phase.
When the deception is discovered, scammers will react in several different ways, depending on their experience and the size of their crew. Here are the typical end game strategies or reactions that come from romance scammers:
- Threats – this is the most common. Its goal is to embed fear in the victim and to keep them quiet after the scam. Scammers will threaten the victim, but also their families with either physical violence or with exposure – exposing the victim to judgment and ridicule.
- Blackmail – this ties in with the treats. Many victims are told that if they do not pay then the threats will be carried out.
- Sextortion – during the course of the scam many scammers will obtain sensitive information, possibly intimate photos that they will save for use at the end of the scam. Suddenly the scammer reveals that it was a scam and that they have these photos, videos, etc. and they will publish them or send them to family and friends unless the victim continues to pay.
- Anger 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. – many less experienced scammers just get angry when discovered and then block 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 ••• the victim. In a way, this is the best possible outcome. It makes it clear that it was a scam and helps to stop communication with the victim.
- Insistence – some scammers will go to the grave insisting that they are real and that the victim just does not understand. These are typically scammers in smaller groups that do not have the experience or specialization needed for End Game scams.
- The Reveal – this is where the scammer reveals him or herself as an African, Asian, Indian, etc. (usually African). They show their real face (but maybe not) and confess that they love the victim.
- Comeback Scams – these are posts scam scams, meaning that after the scam is clearly over, the scammer or someone else will come back and try another tactic. These include scam investigation scams promising to find the scammer, money recovery scams If you've already fallen for a scam, another scammer may call you and offer to get you your money back for a fee. Their goal is to double-dip and steal more of your money. Unfortunately, in most cases, only real law enforcement or your government can get your money back. There are exceptions, but you are safer to avoid all recovery options. promising to get the victim’s money back, or police scams when the victim will be contacted by fake police officers promising to arrest the scammer – all want money, but deliver nothing.
End Game: Threats
We have talked about this before. Scammers can be vicious with victims and threaten them in so many ways.
During the course of the scam, the victim typically tells the scammer all about their life – their family, their children (if any), their friends, their jobs, and so much more. The scammer will weave this into their threats of exposure or of violence. Scammers have been known to threaten to kill the victim and their family. They have been known to threaten the employment of the victim with made-up stories just to get even.
These are usually to try to get the victim to make one last payment but can be when the victim refuses to pay anything more as well. Regardless of what the threat is, in almost every case the threats are meaningless and never carried out.
Why is that? Because fundamentally scammers are business people and their time is valuable to them. When a victim stops the scam, they need to focus their time and attention on the next victims that are working. Sometimes a scammer will come back after a few days or weeks to see if the victim has reconsidered, but they do not have time to waste.
Once you discover the scam follow our 3 Steps for New Scam Victims – including blocking 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 the scammer and other strangers!