What To Do When Someone Close To Has Been In A Romance Scam
The nature of life is such that, occasionally, we all experience traumatic events. We don’t mean for them to occur – they just do. And when a friend or a close family member suffers from one of them, it’s important to know what to do to help them through the aftermath.
This is especially true following a romance scam which can be profoundly traumatizing!
When you’re in this position, seeing your friend or family members suffering through the aftermath of the scam you will feel unsure, confused, and may not know what to do or say to help.
Avoid being judgmental! Your friend or family member will be blamingBlaming 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. themself far more than you could ever do. Instead of asking a lot of questions, simply listen and let them talk.
Listening is especially important because suicides are common in scam victims. Be sure to listen for any indicators of self-harm or intent to kill themself. Make sure that your friend or family members have these numbers handing in case they need to talk to someone and you are not available:
- USA/Canada in English: 800-273-8255
- USA/Canada in Spanish: 888-628-9454
- Find more crisis hotlines here: https://www.opencounseling.com/hotlines-us
Consider these strategies whenever someone close to you suffers a trauma:
1. Use your past knowledge of the person. Are they usually quiet? Do they talk your leg off normally? Consider how they might respond to the troubling event they’ve recently experienced. Anticipating how your friend or family members will behave can help you be better prepared to be the best friend you can be to your cherished friend or loved one.
2. Be supportive. When you’re near this person, think about what you could to do help them most. Focus your efforts. Do they usually enjoy going for a walk or out to coffee? Maybe they’ve always loved going to lunch at a particular restaurant. You can be supportive by inviting your friend or family member to do things they enjoy. If they do not appear interested, consider inviting them to a quiet dinner and evening watching a movie at your house. Going to your home might be a more relaxing, less overwhelming experience for your friend or family member than going out. Allow your loved one to move at his or her own pace. He or she must experience this journey as it unfolds.
3. Acknowledge to your friend or family member that you’re sorry about what happened to them. Sometimes, a statement as simple as, “I’m so sorry this happened to you” can be all that’s necessary to give your friend or family member the opportunity to talk openly about how they feel. Giving this simple “sorry” also provides important acknowledgment to your friend that you recognize have been through a major event in their life. Doing so is at least one step closer to showing you are trying to understand how he feels.
4. Tell your friend you’ll be there for them at any time. Make it clear that your friend or family member is free to call you or drop by your home whenever they feel like it. Even though it might take some effort on your part to be on stand-by for them, later on, you’ll be glad you did. Strive to do whatever it takes to come to their aid because literally, their life might depend on it.
5. Call your friend more frequently than usual to check in with them. Share information about your day or what you’ve been doing. Talk about the book you’re reading or how your kids (if you have any) are doing in school. Hopefully, your friend will do the same. ABP – Always be positive. Taking this step will begin to normalize your friend’s life again, which is not always welcomed, given the unusual trauma they’ve recently experienced – but it will make a difference.
6. Listen. Many times, someone who’s gone through a romance scam simply wants to talk about it but is afraid of being judged or scolded. It is not even necessary to comment or give your opinion of what your friend has been through as long as you’re listening, they know you care. Let them talk as much as they can or want to.
7. Have patience. Because your friend or family member might not recover in the same way that you would or that you expect him to, patience will come in handy. There’s no defined timeline for getting over a traumatic event like a romance scam – each person is different, but based upon SCARS’ experience with several million scam victims the recovery process can take one or more years (see the chart below.) Therefore, having patience will enable them to progress at a pace necessary for them.
8. If they are expressing 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., try to encourage moderation. Anger is an incredibly destructive emotion, and about 1/3 of all scam victims lose themselves in it. Anger is a natural part of the grief they are experiencing, but you can help them understand that anger can derail their emotional recovery.
9. Encourage 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.. The trauma from relationship scamsRelationship 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? is very real and it does not simply go away. SCARS always recommends trauma counseling for all scam victims. This is the best way to recover in the shortest amount of time. There is no 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. in getting help, help them understand this. Even volunteer to take them to the counselor or therapist (this strategy also helps assure that actually go.)
10. If they are ready, encourage a professional scam victims’ 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.. SCARS offers online crime victims support groupsSupport Groups 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. for women and men, in English and in Spanish. You can find our groups on Facebook. Our trauma-informedTrauma-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. groups are professionally moderated and only allow scam victims – they are completely private and confidential. With our team’s 31 year history of helping scam victims and our numerous certifications, we understand better than any how to help victims through this. Your encouragement though can be the difference between them accepting help or not.
11. Help them to start learning why and how this happened. This website is a rich encyclopedia of information about 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., but more importantly about the psychology of victims. This will help them understand how they were targetted, groomed, and manipulated. It is important that they understand that everyone can and will be scammed – including you – and the truth about how scammers work. Knowledge and learning is a major component in scam victim recovery.
When someone you care about experiences a traumatic event like a romance scam (or any impactful crime,) it might take them a long time to fully recover from it. However, you can serve as a great support to encourage your friend to gradually get back into their life.
Following the simple steps above will aid you to provide the special assistance your friend or family member needs to continue down the path to recovery.
Your optimism, confidence, and personal support will show through when you reach out to help a loved one in need. Just remember that people who have been traumatized are not always able to show appreciation for your effort. In fact, at times it may be very difficult to help them, but stick with it, they will come around in time!
SCARS Printed Books For Every Scam 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 From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
SCARS Website Visitors get an Extra 10% Discount
Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout
SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scams work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
100% of all profit goes to help SCARS help more scam victims worldwide.
Your generous purchase allows us to maintain our scam avoidance, support, and recovery services. Please help SCARS and stand proud.
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