Scams 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. Happen Because of Poor Boundaries & No Self Limits
What Are Boundaries and Why Do I Need Them?
A boundary is an imaginary line that separates me from you. It separates your physical space, your feelings, needs, and responsibilities from others.
Your boundaries also tell other people how they can treat you – what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Without boundaries, people may take advantage of you because you haven’t set limits about how you expect to be treated.
You can think of a boundary as a property line!
When a boundary is crossed, you need to provide feedback saying it’s not okay. The boundary is worthless if you don’t enforce it by giving feedback and consequences. Some people will easily accept a boundary and others will continue to challenge and escalate it. So, if someone continued to violate your boundaries, you would need to address it with him/her. The specific consequences depend on the nature of the relationship and the history of the relationship.
Your Scam Happened (In Part) Because Of Boundaries
Remember, that part of the reason that the original scam happened was poor enforcement of your boundaries.
Boundaries are important for everyone.
That original mistake we talk about was a boundary issue. Talking to strangers and trusting implicitly at the very beginning is a failure to establish or maintain a proper boundary for your own safety. Also when the scammer 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. first said they loved you, that also should have been a boundary that triggered alarm bells. But by allowing boundaries to be crossed and not matter, you opened the door to the scammer.
Now is the time to lock down your boundaries to prevent this from ever happening again.
BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES BUT ESPECIALLY FOR RECOVERING SCAM VICTIMS!
As a recovering scam victim, there are certain boundaries that you must put in place. As a part of our SCARS Steps Recovery Program we establish our recovery rules partly for your security, but also to help everyone re-establish their personal boundaries.
Boundaries are essential in providing guidelines that every victim should follow.
But almost always, some victims will allow their annoyance or 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. to get the best of them when we suggest that their behavior
Behavior / Behavioral Actions
Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. is either high risk and is going to lead them back into another (or more than) scam. Or they get upset when we suggest that they are derailing their recovery! After all, who are we?
We are a professional nonprofit organization registered with the United States Government as a crime victims’ assistance and crime prevention organization. We are trained and certified in trauma-informed Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care needs to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective care services with a healing orientation. Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. care, and our team has 30 years of experience in educating and supporting scam & cybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. victims. We are experts in the subject.
Unfortunately, many victims will not listen, they prefer to believe they are just fine and don’t need to listen to anyone. They learned their lesson and it will never happen again. Except, it just does not work this way. Cognitive biases, especially in traumatized crime victims convince them of all kinds of things that are just not true.
When someone willfully ignores our professional advice – it is usually because they are caught up in their anger. Anger blinds people from common sense, ethics, and personal boundaries.
Every recovery program in any form has boundaries. Ours is no different.
We try to help scam victims to re-establish their own boundaries so that they will not be re-scammed or take a turn into the darkness. But some people are determined. Sadly there is nothing we can do about that.
As we always say: we cannot save anyone. We are here to share a path. If our path does not work for someone, there is always counseling 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. and therapy. If it does, then it is not because of us, it is because the person followed that path. This is the way.
Anger and denial 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. are the two most destructive emotions for scam victims. The inability to moderate them will lead them away from proper help making the recovery that much more difficult. After all, trauma 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. does not simply go away by itself.
However, there is an additional, very important piece of this puzzle.
We work hard to make our process and educational information to be “Trauma-Informed” – meaning to both better understand victim trauma and to help (as much as we can) to share that information.
Understanding Trauma Is A Life Skill. Why?
Because as science is discovering, a significant percentage of the population has been traumatized in ways we never would have imagined.
Remember when your parents told you not to watch certain TV or movies? They were right – you might enjoy them, but our primitive brains were not equipped to handle these and other traumatizing experiences. Scams, to a much greater degree, also traumatize those victims with low resiliency. A person by themself will have great difficulty properly evaluating their own trauma – that is because trauma hides behind a million other reactions and unless someone is trained to recognize them, they will write them off as other things.
It turns out that trauma accumulates, and without a solid understanding and ability to recognize trauma in yourself it simply builds. It affects every aspect of our lives.
Trauma Counseling & Support
We wish that trauma counseling was available to everyone any time they needed it. In time, it will become AI Artificial intelligence (AI) is wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. (artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence.) driven and become as available as old phone booths used to be, and then everyone would have access to it. But for now, you have to find one near you here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd
The problem is that we humans are so damn stubborn! Our biases prevent us from seeing what is so plain if we all just knew what to look for. Even if we had universal access to trauma counseling, most probably would not use it.
This Brings Us Back To Boundaries
Remember, boundaries protect and define us. We need to examine our boundaries and make sure they are where we want them to be, and then know what we will do when someone or something crosses them.
In the case of scam victims – one of those boundaries is complete abstinence from communicating with strangers for at least the first year! As a scam victim, you were manipulated and you can be again. In simple fact, the trauma you just experienced makes you easier to manipulate the second time – remember, trauma accumulates and can increase vulnerability. So stay away from strangers, lock down your social media & messaging access, and don’t even look at emails from strangers.
These are some of the most important boundaries you can have right now. Without them, you are wide open to all the terrible things that are out there! But also remember that very often, that it is you that breaks down your own walls!
Also, recognize that you may have built unnecessary boundaries with family and friends. Your fear, shame 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., or guilt may be creating walls when they are not needed. Think about that too!
We Hope This Helps
Our goal is always to share knowledge that can help you recover from your experience and avoid future scams. But it is only useful if you can control your anger or denial and listen.
We hope you can, and that you can fully recover in the future.
Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams 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. Inc. [SCARS]