What Are The Responsibilities Of A Scam Victim?

What Are The Responsibilities Of 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?

The Needs Of Every Victim After The Scam

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. Insight

What Responsibilities Does A Person Have After They Become A Victim Of A Scam?

Everyone has a duty to their fellow citizens but also to themselves!

Every member of a culture has a duty to help make life better for themselves and for others. When we turn away from this duty we contribute to its decline. But also, far too many people only help to satisfy their own needs and desires. They help because it fulfills their needs, not those of others or their society.

Each member of society has an obligation to recover and do what they can to improve the world. The management of SCARS all volunteer their time to help others. You can too!

From The Beginning

From the very beginning, a scam victim has certain things that they should and must do, both for themselves and for those around them. This is complicated by the emotional state of the victim and their 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.. Some victims automatically justify their aggression and the desire for revenge, others believe that nothing really happened to them but that they are the “one” that will save everyone else. Neither of these is valid or healthy.

The problem is that all victims of serious crimes experience some trauma, and 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? victims can be profoundly traumatized. So much so that they may believe they are not, that the scam did not really affect them, and as a result feed the negative aspects of 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 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. or freezeFreeze Trauma Freeze Response: While fight-or-flight is the better-known way humans respond to certain stressful stimuli, the additional less known third response "FREEZE", was not as widely studied until this last decade. Freezing as a response to a threat might seem effective, a sort of “playing dead” in the face of danger; however, in humans freezing manifests as an inability to communicate, react, make decisions, or take any action of self-preservation or defense. increasing their trauma in the process over time. As we have said before, trauma doesn’t just go away!

The purpose of this short article is to help a scam victim keep everything in perspective. This is a kind of “to-do list” of the duty and responsibility that every scam victim has, even if they choose to ignore it!

A Scam Victim’s Responsibilities

An important point. Recovery is not just something to want, it is a moral imperative! If you do not recover from this experience or if you chose to ignore your responsibilities, then the criminals win. This really is a question of right versus wrong, good versus evil.

The choices and mistake you made no longer matter. What matters are the decisions you make after the scam ends.

These are what we view as the basic responsibilities of every scam victim:

  1. Acknowledge and accept that you are the victim of a crime. That it happened. That you were the victim of a criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. act.
  2. Begin to change your vocabulary and terminology about what happened. Using the right terms will make it easier for you to accept the situation and help begin the mental adjustments that will come. This was a crime, and 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. is a criminal. Use these terms as much as possible, instead of scam and scammer.
  3. You must properly report the crime to law enforcement. This is the first step in your re-taking control in your life following the scam. You are breaking free and are acting outside of the manipulation and the wishes of the criminal (the scammer).
  4. Focus on yourself first – at least initially until you are far more recovered. No victim can help others if they are not yet able to moderate and control themself. Saving others or getting revenge is just another fantasy, at least until you are fully recovered.
  5. Recognize, whether you feel it or not, you are traumatized. How much or how deeply depends on many factors such as resiliency, but it is still there. Denying this is simply greater proof of that trauma.
  6. Try hard to moderate your emotions so that you can be helped. You may be angry or not want to talk, but if you turn your aggression or denial on the people trying to help you then you will cut off the help you need.
  7. You have a duty to share your story. It is only embarrassing because you are allowing it to be. Once you start talking to other victims about the crime it will become easier. It is also beneficial in helping to moderate and manage your trauma. But it also serves to help others understand that they are not alone – others have or will do that so you can feel that, and in turn to owe it to other victims to do the same.
  8. Find professional help both with your recovery from your experience but also for the deeper traumatic effects. You may not fully understand how much you have been affected, but it is there never the less. We recommend that all scam victims get local help from a trauma counselor or therapist. And that when they are ready, they join a qualified, professionally managed support groupSupport Group 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 also understand that you may not be ready for a support group, in these cases start with 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. to prepare you to be more stable and ready for a group.
  9. You must actively participate in your own recovery. No one can save you – this is not a fairy tale. This dragon can only be vanquished by your own actions.
  10. You must learn the truth about how these crimes function, both to aid in your own understand and what that will allow you to during your recovery, but also to help stamp out urban legends and misinformation spread by so many others. Scam victims look for easy answers that satisfy their fight or flight responses (anger or denial), but ironically the real answers are far more satisfying because it makes it clear that you were 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..
  11. Recognize that 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., guilt, and blame are just your own beliefs, they are not objective truths. You are not to blame. There is no reason for shame. You are the victim of a crime!
  12. Remember that you are worthy and a valuable person in your own right. This crime is something that happened, it is not who you are.
  13. Learn to recognize your trauma (emotional) triggersTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. so that you can control yourself around others. This will allow you to re-establish the relationships with family and friends that may have suffered or been harmed during the crime.
  14. Don’t let yourself judge other victims or compare their situation to your own. Each person has their own hell to escape from.
  15. Prioritize your recovery, at least half as much as you prioritized your fake relationship.
  16. Accept that you harmed others during your scam. It may have just been that you pushed them away, or it may have been more serious, but either way, you must admit this and begin to make up for it.
  17. Once you are well on your way to recovering, make a real effort to help the next victims. You were helped by strangers who did not know you, and now you have a duty to help those that came after you. You can do this in many ways:
    1. Provide support and compassion to other victims that you encounter – they need it just as you did. Clicking LIKE is NOT providing support, use real words – they matter.
    2. Help them learn the lessons of the criminal experience, and point them in the direction of authentic information about how and why this happened. They will also be confused and may have listened to the wrong people.
    3. Steer them toward the right professional help. Trauma counselors, therapists, attorneys, financial professionals, law enforcement, and crime victims’ assistance providers such as SCARS.
  18. However, do not try to help others more than you are able to. If you start to get frustrated it means you are not yet ready or it means you are taking on someone else’s trauma. Remember that trauma is contagious  Remember that you are struggling too!
  19. Tell your family and friends about what happened (look at our guide to help you with this). You do not need to tell them very much, but you become someone that can help spread the word! If you don’t do it, you may be dooming someone else to follow the same path when you might have changed their future. You can do this!
  20. When you feel ready, volunteer to more actively help victims – either by working with an organization such as SCARS, or contacting your local police and making yourself available as a Victim’s Advocate to help them through the process that you had to do alone.
  21. Remember that elections have consequences. Certain political points of view tolerate criminals, others do not. Learn the difference and why this is so. Become an advocate! You can work with SCARS and independently. Every voice matters!

Of course, there may be more, but you should be aware that recovery begins selfishly by necessity, but as time progresses there is an obligation to contribute back what you received from others. Each person “pays it forward” as the saying goes. And everyone that breaks the chain endangers others who will not be able to hear the words that could have prevented it or the words that might help them see their path forward.

Remember this was done for you.

When you are ready, do it for the next, and the next, and the next!

We know that you can! And just imagine how proud of yourself you will be when you help the next person find their way! You will be a hero! You will be a survivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com, and no longer a victim!

What else do you think should be included?

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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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