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SCARS™ Scam Recovery: Victim’s 7 Deadly Sins

When Scam Victims Cross The Line

WARNING: This Is Going To Be A Fire And Brimstone Kind Of Sermon About Scam Victims

Its purpose is not to blame, shame, or condemn, but to help recent victims understand that their after-scam decisions have just as many consequences as their decision to let their scammer in.

Who Are We To Talk About This?

SCARS is a victims assistance and support organization. We have helped millions of victims learn about scams and start on the path to recovery – literally 3.5 to 5 million a year. In addition, we have directly helped thousands recover through our own support groups. We are also the only incorporated nonprofit registered online crime victims’ assistance organization – we literally wrote the book on scam victim recovery. We have seen it all and help scam victims find the better path, but sadly many victims will rush headlong over the cliff into continuing destructiveness. This article is intended to help victims understand the directions they have or may yet take.

There Are Things That Some Victims Do After A Scam That Are Difficult To Reconcile And This Article Is About These

This is going to be an article that will be harsh, pulling no punches, and judgmental. Because behavior that harms other victims is not acceptable whether done by a scammer or by another victim. It will not apply to most of you, but you still need to know this because you will encounter them.

The First Fails

First, let’s talk about the inherent challenges facing a recent victim because most of the lasting mistakes start right after the scam.

  • Many victims are in a panic and start making decisions from a position of fear. Obviously, that is not the mindset to start planning next steps or thinking clearly.
  • Other victims are enraged and hate so much that all they see is the enemy and want them dead by whatever means is possible. Anyone that gets in their way or disagrees with them is also the enemy.
  • Others are envigorated following their scam – they have something of a revelation – that they personally are going to stop all the scammers and only they know the answer.
  • Still, others find themselves in various delusional states and act on them. We would hope they find help but many do not.
  • Also, many victims will fall into a state of denial and while this is harmful to themselves and their immediate friends and family, it is not really harmful to other victims directly – but it is indirectly.

It is during this initial period that many of the victims that are unable to recover or fall into more severe states emerge. We hope that if you see these tendencies in yourself that you will work to control or overcome them, seeking professional help as needed. If you see these in others be cautious as the can drag you down just like a lifeguard saving a drowning swimmer.

The Longer Fails

Many scam victims after the scam embark on long journeys that can extend for years. These are the missionaries that channel their pain or anger into missions to save or guide other victims. Many believe that only they know the answer and everyone else is an enemy. Many believe that victims should only follow them.

They are frequently vigilantes too who believe that no one is doing anything and they will stop scamming all by themselves.

Still others, transform into cynical victims who delight in playing with scammers.

While it is true that there are many who have very useful skills that they have acquired throughout their lives, the majority of those that fall into these traps do not. They rely on their conviction, obsession, or fantasy, that they are the right person with the right ideas and do not have to listen to anyone else because they just know what to do. If they were in other walks of life they would live in a bunker or wear tinfoil hats!


When we say deadly sins we mean actions that cause harm to others.

Everyone has the right to choose how they recover and react after a traumatic experience. However, they do not have the right to hurt others or get in the way of real solutions.

In fact, many of these actions are illegal in many Western Countries.

The Deadly Seven

Here is our list of the Seven Deadly Sins that a subset of victims engage in after they have been traumatized by a romance scam:

  • Messiahs & Cult Anti-Scam Group Creators – Capturing Other Victims With Urban Legends, Half-Truths, And Destructive Methods
  • Haters & Trolls Attacking All That Disagree – Only They Are Right
  • Vigilantes That Believe No One Is Doing Anything So They Have To Do It
  • Scam Baiters » That Turn Scammers Into Toys Or A Sport
  • Trackers & Stalkers » Of The Face In The Photo – Invading The Lives Of Other Victims
  • Panicked Victims That Cling To Other Victims Looking To Be Saved
  • Mules & Moles » Still Believing In Their Scams And Serving Their Scammers

We have written extensively on each and every one of these topics in the past and will again as the continuing need arises. We will not go into detail about each of these except to explain briefly why they are harmful to others.

Messiahs & Cult Anti-Scam Group Creators

Almost every day another victim believes they are an instant expert and creates yet another anti-scam group. They create a page on social media and start plastering it with mostly useless information. Worse still is that because of their lack of skill and knowledge they profoundly increase the trauma for many victims by their never-ending focus of forcing victims to view an endless stream of scammer photos. The majority of victims are traumatized after a scam and leading them to believe that “exposing” scammers to the public will stop scamming is ridiculous. Instead, it continuously forces other victims to relive their experience in these photos which can cause or trigger other effects that can limit or delay their ability to recover, or worse transform them into vigilantes or haters. Repetitive exposure to trauma can also lead to