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  1. #1

    Default Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    By Bernard G. Vance, PhD and Dimitria McCreary, RN/MHN

    From reading reports and article on victims of "Romance Scams" is has become apparent that the real damage may not be financial but emotional. A Romance scam can devastate the already weaken emotional state of the victim. The mental stress brought on by being scammed is similar to a death or divorce of a spouse in which the victim has lost their companion, lover, hopes, dreams and direction for their life. There is no support system for victims of romance scams as most of the community around them is already laughing at them for even trying to find love in a non traditional way. Many times they are made to feel ashamed for getting scammed, losing their money, falling in love and trusting their lover (scammer). Because of this shame they do not seek help and can end up with severe mental health issues that have even lead to suicide.

    These victims are regular people whom have suffered a loss in there life such as a divorce, death of a spouse, or break up of a long-term relationship, typically older (in their 40's to 60's) and are looking to replace the love and companionship they have lost. This is what makes them an easy mark for romance scammers. Scammers using beautiful avatars, pray on the emotional needs men and women who have suffered loses in their life, promising the undying love and a new start to life with someone out of our dreams.
    Romance scammers have one thing on their minds, relieve you of "Your Money", and that is the crime that we hear the most about. What we do not see the emotional devastation that this crime takes on the victims. Almost all of the time, the victim was emotionally involved with the perpetrator (Scammer) and willing sent money or other means of support to a person that they thought was their love and soul mate.

    An example is a 59 year old man, just coming out of a divorce, looking to get back in the dating scene, signs up on a dating website to see what is out there for him. After posting his profile, he gets a request from am outrageously beautiful lady, about 34 years of age, and she has asked to get to know him. She likes his profile, thinks that his picture is handsome and that they might have interest in common. This is where it starts, innocently enough, but the scammer start to weave a web of emotions that is to entrap the mark (victim) and bind him to her. First, she profess to be looking for the lifelong soulmate, she will state that she has been hurt in a past relationship which is her way generating empathy from him, then over the space of several week or months encourages him to become in love with her, and begin planning for a life together.

    Sometime during this process emotions and egos take over and the mark (victim) becomes fully attached to the scammers beautiful avatar, becomes enamored and thinks that he is in love with this beautiful, and loving woman. This is where the scammers want the victim, as now they can set the hook and start extracting (sealing) money from the victim. At first the victim thinks he is helping and taking care of their new love one, acting as a good lover and fiancee, getting ready to bring them home to start their new life. As the scam progresses and the victim is bled dry and only then does it becomes apparent that there was never a real lover, the victim is left in despair, shame, depression and even sometimes suicide from another loss in their life.

    After a traumatic experience, one of the factors/after affects is that a victim can often suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). An anxiety can occur after being subject to a traumatic event, some examples being; assault, bullying, Military, sexual assault, the list goes on. Unfortunately also as a result from being scammed. What follows with PTSD are anxiety/depression/agoraphobia, the agoraphobia in some cases of panic disorder. In saying this not all traumatized persons get PTSD or has the experiences, PTSD is diagnosed only if the symptoms last more than a month.
    As far as a victim of scamming is concerned, the victim is not only Mentally exhausted, but also financially drained, feeling as they are a fool, suffering the loss of a love one, loss of hopes and dreams, many time not knowing where to turn or whom to trust. The victim may experience all or some of these symptoms from this trauma; depression, feelings of helplessness, fear, flashbacks, recurring distressing dreams, nightmares of the event, anger, lack of communication, withdrawn, feelings of isolation, just to name a few.

    The first thing is to help the victim understand that it was not their fault that they were scammed, that scamming is a criminal enterprise looking to take advantage of our need and want for love. Next is to understand that the pictures of the person that they were writing /chatting /emailing with was just an avatar, not a real person. This can be devastating when the victim learns that most scammers are men and not the beautiful Avatar that they were communicating with. Get the victim involved in anti-scam web sites and educational programs so that they will have a means to reach out and find out that they are not alone. Victims will need a strong support net work, from either friends, family and if necessary a referral to a good Doctor/Psychologist, to help with the recovery.

    Education is the best prevention to this crime. The more internet users understand about the scam and how it works, the better they can recognize when they are being approached by a Romance scammer (criminal) and can protect themselves. Also we need to understand the trauma and emotional distress that one can experience from being scammed and be ready to give empathy and understanding as these victims tries to recover.

  2. #2
    MorrowErna Guest

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    Being a scammer is awful ....I hate our American system where there are a lot of scammers ...every person has a right to have a private life

  3. #3

    Default feelings

    There really is good in the world?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    i Agree people who are scammed financially has definately lost their desposible income. which any ways can be recovered. but the emotional loss is one which takes hard to heal and time to regain. this loss is something which makes people to report about the fraud girl in forums.

    even i had the same experience lost money that was not so important. when i got to know she was acting to be single and was actually married and both husband and wife scamming people for money. i was shocked to find from her lately that some time husband pretended to be her been chatting with me. this pissed me off..i said wtf she just broke my trust..i was emotionally attached.

    This girl works for Chaturbate.com

    she banned my region permanently. my ip so that i would not make others to know in her room how fraud she is. i reported to chaturbate they never seem to take any action on her. even site encouraging people to scam through their platform.

    what i want to say is.. stay safe..it may hurt you emotionally...cheerz

  5. #5

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    I guess we are all on here for the same reason, in one way or another we have all been victims of a scam. Be it a fictitious profile or a woman who has encouraged us to become emotionally and financially involved. I too thought I met the woman of my dreams in Odessa, met in May and again end of September and early October through anastasiadate.com. We had been communicating since February and after our dates in May the messages became more affectionate from her ? darling this and darling that, very positive feelings about our next meeting, I will be waiting for you etc. It was OK for the first few days this time, although a few missed days and early evening departures and then the old chestnut ?my mother is sick, I can?t see you again?, followed by ?you are a good man, but I can only be friends with you?.

    Now I consider that I got off lightly and although I spent quite a lot of money on her it was nothing to the level of what I have been reading here. But in terms of emotional turmoil and loss, disappointment and the feeling of being so foolish it was quite devastating. I had a week left in Odessa and nothing to do and no one to see, made worse by the fact that I had changed my ticket to come out 3 days earlier too.

    It has been a salutary wakeup call and as I said, I was relatively speaking one of the lucky ones. I just wish I did not have so much credit left on the anastasiadate.com site. I must have got through a hell of a bunch of cash on that site chasing phantoms ? it is not a cheap to site to stay on. Certainly I have no wish to dive back into that site and repeat my experience.

    I think the article at the head of this blog hits the proverbial nail on the head, it sums up all the emotions and also societies unforgiving attitude to those they perceive as ?losers? who have been victims in this field. Internet dating is a huge and incredibly financially rewarding industry for those running it. It can only get bigger and in doing so more unlikely lads are going to be sucked in as inevitable victims. It is about time the phenomena was looked at scientifically and some sort of regulatory control considered. The mentioned article is one step in that direction.

    Just my thoughts....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    Ditto Sparkie! I just came back from Odessa two weeks ago where I visited a young lady who I had been writing for the past 3 months. Like most, she contacted me and I was hooked in because she seemed so much mature for her age because she wasn't the one writing the letters! While she was the person from her photos she had shared, she was obviously not the same person who was writing her letters to me as there was a total disconnect. I felt like a total idiot. Ironically, I met another young lady by coincidence and she already knew my story as I began to tell her. She said that most of the young women she works with do this as they get a commission from the cost of letters and any translation services (yes, my girl required a translator for our dates which I paid $30 an hour for). There are some good girls out there but they are few and far between with the bad ones seeming to jump to the front of the line so you never ever see the good ones. Regarding the lady I met, she is 26 and I am 50. The difference is I have Skyped with her and met her whole family so the likelihood of a scam is minimal, especially considering we are just friends. It is true that the wider the age gap the more likely it's a scam. I will post one interesting observation I made during my Odessa trip in a new forum topic. All the best guys.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    hey everyone
    nice post i really like it thanks for sharing it

  8. #8

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    I cannot agree more, I am starting to think scammers don't have heart. As in the given example we can clearly see that young woman too advantage of his emotional shutdown and used it for her advantage.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    Unfortunately, I am here for the same reason as everyone else. I made the mistake of responding to a woman who I thought was genuine. From the start I had my suspicions and I took months looking at what she said, the tenor of our dialogue, I looked at everything. It is my nature to do this because I am a programmer and I think logically. When love is involved, logic has a tendency to be thrown out the window. I used to ask myself, "how did I get here?" Well, it took a combination of events to get here. My mother passed away on June 10th, 2014. I left my job to go to my parents house to help my father with her illness. As a programmer, I made pretty good money and I saved a lot. I also worked from home which made it convenient for me to maintain an illusion with my folks that I was gainfully employed. I carried my gear with me and continued to code while at my parents house. While I was off, I felt it was necessary to maintain my skills as a programmer. When my Mother died, I served as an emotional support system for my father. Each month, I would drive down to his house and bring him back for a week or more to stay with me. Months went by and I continued to do this. I was also getting better and started to feel better when one day I was contacted one day by a woman who happened to say all of the things that I needed to hear. My one regret of not having children could have been fulfilled through her. This is how she got too me. Yes, I saw many clues that I chose to ignore. One day I will tell my story, but I am not ready now. I am just reading other peoples comments. One thing I can say about these "scammers" is that they are sociopaths. They don't really care about you because they have no interaction with you other than typing words on a screen. A sociopath is a habitual liar. Yes, I did spend a lot of money in trying to get my supposed interest here. I found the error of my ways, I do have regrets, but I don't beat myself up about it. People do make mistakes and I made a bad one. I have gotten over this for the most part, but I want to possibly help others to prevent them from going down this road. As a programmer, I am using my skills as a programmer to decipher all of the digital bits she has left as she traverses the Internet. Again, I will tell my story in more detail when I am ready. For now, I feel better even saying this much.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Emotional Devastation of being Romanced Scammed.

    I'm a bit late on the draw here, but nonetheless, wanted to share a few thoughts too. I am a bit emotionally devastated by my experience with a scammer too. We spent a long time before the scamming behavior started...shared quite a few dreams and secrets with one another (...hers were nothing but lies). I hear songs that we said we would love to dance to together and it makes me sad, but furious at the same time. I am a highly educated individual and I have met someone online before...so the online dating aspect of this is not ludicrous. It IS ludicrous that there are people out there who have made it a profession to bilk people out of their hard-earned money, to toy with their emotions, and to find out that they are also doing this simultaneously with an infinite number of people. To sit and wonder if these people have a heart is futile...they DON'T...end of story. How cold can they be, you may wonder? I had reached out to my scammer (...she was nothing more than that it turned out...) during a very difficult time (my father was dying...actually it turned out, he was in the last hours...I chatted with her at 4PM on a Wednesday afternoon and he died that next morning at 7AM). She knew I was there with him, that he was dying but instead of just being there to offer me solace, she had the nerve to ask me to send money to the tune of $3000 because she was in trouble with a work project. A scammer doesn't care how YOU will eat or how YOU will keep a roof over YOUR head or how YOU will pay YOUR electric....they couldn't give a rat's rear end! So if you STILL believe that there is some goodness in these people, delusion is not becoming. The one thing I can take away from this experience is the importance of listening to my instincts when it is telling me something is "off" with someone and NO MATTER WHAT my heart is telling me to do, ignore it for a second and THINK and be smart!


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