Recovery Psychology

Staring – A Stoic Tool To Aid Scam Victim Trauma And Emotional Regulation – 2024

Staring – A Stoic Tool To Aid Scam Victim Trauma And Emotional Regulation

An Emotional Control Technique that can be used when Triggered

Primary Category: Scam Victim Psychological Recovery

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The technique of “stopping and staring,” derived from Stoic philosophy, provides valuable support for scam victims by facilitating emotional and cognitive healing. This practice involves pausing to observe and reflect on one’s thoughts and feelings, helping individuals break negative thought patterns and manage emotions more effectively.

By creating a pause for reflection, it allows victims to reframe negative self-talk, view their experiences from different perspectives, and cultivate self-compassion. Additionally, integrating vagus nerve relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and mindfulness, enhances the technique’s effectiveness in stress management.

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What Is Justice For A Scam Victim? 2024

What does Justice Mean to Scam Victims?

Justice can sometimes be elusive but for Scam Victims it seems like it is Impossible! But it is Possible!

Primary Category: Scam Victim Recovery

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Justice for scam victims can feel elusive, as the chances of recovering lost money or seeing perpetrators arrested are slim. Instead, the best way for victims to achieve a sense of justice is by shifting their focus inward, prioritizing their own needs and recovery.

Personal healing becomes paramount in the face of financial and legal setbacks. Through professional counseling, joining support groups, and engaging in self-care, victims can regain control over their lives.

This approach empowers them to rebuild their sense of self-worth, move past the trauma, and find a renewed sense of stability and resilience, ultimately achieving a form of justice centered on their well-being.

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Feeling Overwhelmed and Overloaded in the Initial Months After the Scam – 2024

Feeling Overwhelmed and Overloaded in the Initial Months After the Scam

Helping Scam Victims Understand How Overwhelming the Process of Recovery Can Be!

Primary Category: Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

After becoming a scam victim, individuals often face overwhelming emotional and psychological turmoil in the initial months, severely limiting their ability to manage daily tasks. Emotionally, victims experience intense feelings like anger, guilt, and fear, while psychologically, they may struggle with anxiety, hypervigilance, and depression. Neurologically, trauma can disrupt brain functions, leading to heightened anxiety and difficulties in rational thinking and memory.

To stay grounded and overcome feelings of overload, victims should acknowledge their emotions, seek support, practice mindfulness, set small goals, limit exposure to triggers, take care of their bodies, educate themselves about scams, stay connected socially, use technology wisely, and seek professional help if needed. Recovery is a gradual process requiring patience and small, achievable steps to regain normalcy and emotional stability.

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Talk Therapy For Scam Victims – An Introduction – 2024

Talk Therapy For Scam Victims – An Introduction

An Introduction to Talk Therapy for Scam Victims

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Talk Therapy or Trauma Therapy is critical for scam victims due to the profound emotional and psychological distress these experiences can cause. Scams often result in significant emotional trauma, including feelings of betrayal, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Therapy specifically addresses these deep-seated issues by providing a structured and safe environment for victims to process their experiences and begin healing. Techniques such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) are particularly effective in helping victims manage their distress, rebuild self-esteem, and develop coping strategies. By focusing on the specific impacts of trauma, these therapies equip victims with the necessary tools to overcome the lasting effects of their ordeal, ultimately restoring their mental health and well-being.

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Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims – 2024

Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims Understand Depression and the Need For Help!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Victims of relationship scams often experience profound emotional and psychological impacts, including depression, due to feelings of betrayal and diminished self-worth. Addressing the cognitive patterns that sustain depression is crucial for their recovery.

Almost all scam victims suffer from trauma, and while resilience varies, every victim should be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional to prevent worsening symptoms. There is no shame in seeking help; it is a courageous step towards healing. Mental health professionals provide a safe, non-judgmental space for victims to process their experiences, rebuild self-esteem, and develop coping strategies. Early intervention can mitigate long-term effects, helping victims regain control over their lives and well-being.

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For Scam Victims – Healing And Moving On When There Are Still Residual Feelings – 2024

For Scam Victims – Healing And Moving On When There Are Still Residual Feelings

Healing After a Fake Relationship Ends: Acknowledge and Honor Your Residual Feelings

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of a relationship, particularly one based on deceit like a romance scam, it is important to recognize and honor your residual feelings.

Although the relationship may have been built on falsehoods and lies, the emotions you experienced were genuine. Your emotions were hijacked, producing valid feelings despite the manipulation. Accepting these feelings is a vital step in your healing process. Residual feelings are the lingering emotions that remain after a relationship ends, reflecting the emotional investment you made.

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Limerence/Obsessive Love Disorder – When Your Hormones & Neurotransmitters Rule – 2024

Limerence/Obsessive Love Disorder – When Your Hormones & Neurotransmitters Rule

For Scam Victims, it was NOT LOVE – it was Limerence. But watch out that it does not turn into Obsession!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Limerence, an intense and involuntary emotional state of romantic infatuation, can be manipulated by scammers to control their victims. This emotional hijacking involves the release of key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which creates feelings of pleasure, arousal, and obsessive thoughts about the scammer.

Characteristics of limerence include intrusive thoughts, emotional dependency, idealization, fear of rejection, and physiological responses like increased heart rate and sweating.

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Desperation – One of Many Normal Scam Victims’ Responses To Fear – 2024

Desperation – One of Many Normal Scam Victims’ Responses To Fear

After a Scam Ends Fear Becomes a Dominant Emotion that can drive Desperation or Despair

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Desperation is a profound sense of urgency and anxiety that arises when individuals feel trapped in a hopeless situation, such as a scam victim’s experience. It is driven by fear, hopelessness, urgency, and isolation, leading to intense emotional turmoil, impaired judgment, and risky behaviors.

While desperation can motivate and inspire creativity, it more often results in impulsive decisions and increased vulnerability to further scams.

Recognizing desperation involves monitoring intense emotions, obsessive thoughts, behavioral changes, and physical symptoms like fatigue and sleep disturbances. Taking action includes seeking support, practicing self-care, breaking down problems, avoiding impulsive decisions, and considering professional help.

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People Often Cannot Recognize That They Have Depression – 2024

People Often Cannot Recognize That They Have Depression

Helping Scam Victims Understand What Depression Is and Why So Many Survivors Cannot Recognize that they Have It!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  National Institute of Mental Health, and other sources

About This Article

Recognizing depression, especially at its onset, can be challenging as symptoms often develop gradually. Depression, or major depressive disorder, can affect anyone, including scam victims, presenting with persistent sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, loss of interest, fatigue, cognitive issues, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, and physical discomfort.

There are two main types: major depression, which severely impacts daily activities for at least two weeks, and persistent depressive disorder, with milder symptoms lasting at least two years. The difficulty in recognizing depression is compounded by factors like self-blame, a bleak perspective, internalized stigma, and cognitive impairment.

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Psychological Pain And Scam Victims Recovery – 2024

Psychological Pain And Scam Victims Recovery

Helping Scam Victims to Understand Psychological & Emotional Pain – Its Causes and Ways to Recover

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Visit ScamPsychology.org for more

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Psychological or emotional pain is a form of mental suffering that can feel as real and intense as physical pain. It often manifests as a heavy weight on the chest, a deep ache, or a sense of emptiness, with emotional experiences ranging from intense sadness and hopelessness to anxiety and anger.

This pain can also lead to physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, and muscle tension, disrupting sleep, appetite, and overall well-being. Psychological pain arises from various sources, including loss, trauma, mental health disorders, chronic stress, social rejection, and existential struggles.

Brain regions such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, which are involved in processing physical pain, also become active during emotional pain. Neurotransmitter imbalances, stress responses, and changes in neural pathways further contribute to the experience of psychological pain.

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Hedonic Adaptation And Scam Victims Finding Happiness – 2024

Hedonic Adaptation And Scam Victims Finding Happiness

Hedonic Adaptation: Understanding the Stability of Happiness and the Path to Lasting Contentment

Primary Category: Scam Victim Recovery

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Hedonic adaptation, often called the hedonic treadmill, is the psychological phenomenon where people return to a baseline level of happiness despite significant positive or negative changes in their lives. This concept suggests that while new circumstances can initially alter one’s emotional state, people quickly become accustomed to these changes, leading their overall happiness to stabilize over time.

Both positive events, like promotions or new relationships, and negative events, like job losses or breakups, see initial emotional spikes or dips, but eventually, individuals return to their baseline happiness level. Of course, trauma changes this in many significant ways.

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Relearning Critical Thinking And To Think Skeptically – For Scam Victims After A Relationship Scam – 2024

Relearning Critical Thinking And To Think Skeptically – For Scam Victims After A Relationship Scam

Trauma is known to cause Cognitive Impairment and Brain Fog after the Scam Ends. Relearning Critical Thinking and Skepticism again are vital skills Scam Victims Need!

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Rebuilding critical thinking skills after becoming a victim of a relationship scam is essential to restoring a sense of control and trust in oneself. Scam victims often experience profound emotional trauma and cognitive impairment due to the manipulation tactics used by scammers.

Recognizing the impact of trauma on cognition is the first step toward recovery. Victims can use self-assessment tools, engage in mindfulness practices, and seek professional support to identify cognitive distortions and improve decision-making abilities.

Rebuilding skepticism and learning to question assumptions are crucial for protecting against future exploitation. By practicing self-compassion, prioritizing self-care, and seeking support from trusted individuals, victims can gradually regain their confidence and move forward with resilience.

It’s important to acknowledge that healing takes time and patience, but with dedication and support, scam victims can restore their critical thinking faculties and reclaim their lives.

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Being A Victim – Labeling Theory & What It Means For Victims Of Scams Or Anyone! – 2023 [UPDATED 2024]

Labeling Theory & What It Means For Victims Of Scams

When words evoke strong emotional responses they can mean many things, but most of them are not good. They can easily become triggers for unresolved and unmanaged trauma.

Authors:
• Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
• Vianey Gonzalez – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Originally published in 2023 – updated 2024

About This Article

Labeling someone as a victim is simply a descriptive term, but how they react to it can reveal a lot about their emotional state. Some may accept it easily, while others might feel deeply ashamed, guilty, or even proud.

This internalization can lead to what’s called a victim mentality, where a person constantly sees themselves as helpless and blames others for their problems. This mindset can make it hard for them to recover from what happened. Overcoming this mentality involves accepting what happened, allowing themselves to feel their emotions, and seeking support from others.

It’s critical to understand that being labeled a victim doesn’t define a person; with the right help and support, they can move forward and rebuild their lives, reclaiming their sense of agency and resilience in the process.

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Residual Fear In Scam Victims – 2024

Residual Fear In Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims to Understand Residual or Chronic Fear that can remain with them

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

After falling victim to a scam, scam victims often grapple with a multitude of fears, both rational and irrational, which are fueled by trauma, grief, shame, and self-blame. These fears, whether imagined or grounded in reality, are profoundly impactful and valid for the victims experiencing them.

Residual fear manifests in various forms, such as the fear of recurrence, vulnerability, trusting others, loss of control, emotional consequences, social stigma, and retaliation. Such fears can persist long after the initial shock of the scam, affecting victims’ daily lives, relationships, and overall well-being.

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Scam Victim Resistance In Support Groups Therapy Or Counseling Can Destroy Opportunities For Recovery – 2024

Scam Victim Resistance In Support Groups Therapy Or Counseling Can Destroy Opportunities For Recovery

Helping Scam Victims Better Understand one of the Self-Created Barriers to their Recovery

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

This article examines the complicated topic of resistance in scam victims within or to therapy and support groups, exploring its challenges and consequences. It emphasizes the difficulty of discussing resistance due to its association with judgment and criticism.

Victims may resist addressing their trauma, fearing shame, judgment, or loss of control. However, understanding and overcoming resistance are crucial for healing and recovery. We distinguish between support groups and therapy, highlighting their respective focuses and structures. It warns against viewing support groups solely as social gatherings, as this may hinder healing.

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Entitlement Mentality And How Scam Victims Often Lose Their Path To Recovery – 2024

Entitlement Mentality And How Scam Victims Often Lose Their Path To Recovery

Helping Scam Victims Avoid a Problematic Mentality that can Stall their Recovery

Scam Victims Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In unpacking the Entitlement Mentality for Scam Victims we explore the complex psychological phenomenon of entitlement and its impact on scam victims’ ability to heal and move forward with their recovery. The article explores the origins of entitlement, its manifestation in scam victims, and its detrimental effects on mental well-being and interpersonal relationships within support groups.

Drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and victimology, this highlights the role of cognitive biases and social dynamics in perpetuating entitlement and offers strategies for overcoming it.

By employing empathy, promoting realistic expectations, and challenging victim narratives, the article aims to empower scam victims to maintain their recovery journey with resilience and self-awareness.

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Comparisons – The Dangers Of Scam Victims Comparing Their Suffering To Others – 2024

Comparisons – the Dangers of Scam Victims Comparing Their Suffering to Others

Comparing One Person’s Pain to another is a Form of Resentment, and it can be very Dangerous Psychologically for Scam Victims

Understanding Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Scam victims can often compare their suffering or victimization to others for validation, understanding, coping, a sense of community, and advocacy. However, this comparison can lead to resentment and envy, fueled by cognitive biases such as relative deprivation, negative contrast effect, and social comparison bias.

Resentment arises from perceived injustices and activates brain regions associated with emotional processing and social cognition. Envy, on the other hand, stems from feelings of inadequacy and activates neural circuits related to emotion regulation and reward processing.

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Scam Victims And The 9 Circles Of Hell After The Scam Ends – 2024

Scam Victims And The 9 Circles Of Hell After The Scam Ends

The Challenges that Scam Victims Face after They End their Scam/Fraud

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Updated 2024 – Originally published 2023 on RomanceScamsNOW.com

About This Article

“Scam Victims Welcome To Hell: An Insight into Recovery” delves into the harrowing journey of scam victims, likening their post-scam experience to Dante’s Circles of Hell. Drawing parallels between Dante’s Inferno and the psychological turmoil of scam recovery, the narrative navigates through each circle, mirroring the victim’s emotional descent.

From the initial shock of Limbo to the burning anger of Violence, victims grapple with denial, greed, and treachery. Each circle reflects a facet of victim psychology, from the insatiable need for answers in Gluttony to the treacherous allure of returning to scam tactics in Fraud.

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Transference And Emotional Danger After The Scam – 2024

Transference And Emotional Danger After The Scam

Understanding The Emotional Transference That Can Happen After The Scam Ends

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Updated 2024 – Originally published on RomanceScamsNOW.com 2019

About This Article

The article delves into the psychological concept of transference, particularly as it relates to scam victims, outlining its role in hindering recovery.

Transference, an unconscious process redirecting emotions and expectations from past relationships onto current individuals, emerges prominently in scam contexts. Victims often develop deep emotional bonds with fabricated personas, later struggling to accept the deception and projecting feelings onto innocent individuals, such as those whose photos were misappropriated.

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Helping Scam Victims Understand The Social Isolation Risks After A Relationship Scam – 2024

Helping Scam Victims Understand The Social Isolation Risks After A Relationship Scam

Understanding the Risks to Scam Victims after the Scam Ends!

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Originally published on RomanceScamsNOW.com in 2021

About This Article

The emergence of romance scams not only wreaks financial havoc but also plunges victims into profound social isolation. Throughout and after the scam, individuals often opt for self-imposed seclusion, severing ties with loved ones as they grapple with feelings of embarrassment, remorse, and apprehension of condemnation.

This isolation exacts a toll on mental well-being, exacerbating sensations of solitude, apprehension, and despondency. Scammers employ manipulation tactics to curtail victims’ social interactions, intensifying their isolation and reinforcing dominance. Even post-scam, victims contend with emotional anguish, compounding their inclination to retreat from social bonds.

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‘Mental Defeat’ – The Unique Condition Of Giving Up – 2024

‘Mental Defeat’ – The Unique Condition Of Giving Up

A Complete Breakdown of Resilience – Beyond Denial and Resignation

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the face of overwhelming adversity, mental defeat can be a profound human response, marking a breakdown in resilience and coping mechanisms. Whether triggered by encountering a superior force, falling victim to a scam, or experiencing betrayal, the shock of defeat can lead individuals to completely give up.

This reaction stems from our primal instincts and emotional responses, often leaving us feeling powerless and overwhelmed. The freeze response, similar to encountering a predator in the wild, can cause individuals to assume subservience, lasting far longer than the initial threat.

In scams, victims may experience a similar sense of resignation, compounded by feelings of embarrassment, anger, and vulnerability. Mental defeat represents a breakdown of resilience because it undermines our capacity to cope effectively with adversity, eroding self-efficacy, motivation, and belief in our ability to influence outcomes.

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Having An Identity Crisis Because Of The Scam And Loss – 2024

Having An Identity Crisis Because Of The Scam And Loss

Helping Scam Victims to Understand the Psychological Effects of Relationship Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Experiencing a significant loss, whether it’s due to a romance scam, investment fraud, divorce, job termination, or business failure, often triggers a profound identity crisis. This crisis induces a deep sense of failure in individuals as they grapple with the disruption to their core beliefs, values, and sense of self-worth.

Victims of scams, in particular, face a unique challenge as they confront the betrayal of trust and the shattered illusions they held about love, intimacy, or financial security. This assault on their core beliefs leads to a range of emotional responses, from shock and disbelief to anger, sadness, and despair.

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Trauma And Grief In Scam Victims – What Is The Difference Between Them – 2024

What Is The Difference Between Trauma And Grief?

Helping Scam Victims Understand the Importance of Trauma and How to Prioritize It

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

This article’s discussion sheds light on the intricate nature of trauma, emphasizing its dual impact as both a psychological and physical injury. Trauma disrupts normal brain functioning, leading to cognitive, emotional, and memory disturbances, while also causing changes in brain structure and chemistry.

This psychological toll manifests in symptoms like hypervigilance and mood disturbances. Moreover, trauma elicits physical responses such as headaches and muscle tension, stemming from the body’s stress response mechanisms. Recognizing trauma’s multifaceted nature underscores the importance of holistic approaches to healing and recovery, addressing both psychological and physical aspects to promote comprehensive well-being.

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Faith And Why It Matters In Scam Victim Recovery – 2024

What Is Faith And Why It Matters In Scam Victim Recovery

Helping Scam Victims to Find the Path To Recovery

Scam Victim Recovery

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

This explores the role of faith in the recovery of scam victims, distinguishing between faith in oneself and religious faith. It discusses the profound impact of relationship scams on victims’ trust and self-worth, leading to feelings of betrayal and despair.

It highlights faith as a powerful antidote to this despair, emphasizing resilience and belief in positive outcomes. Faith in oneself reaffirms victims’ agency and empowers them to navigate the journey of recovery with determination. Ultimately, the article underscores the transformative potential of faith in guiding victims toward healing and renewal amidst the challenges of scam recovery.

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Helping Scam Victims Understand Cognitive Dissonance – 2024

Helping Scam Victims Understand Cognitive Dissonance

Understanding Why Scams Can Have Such a Profound Impact on Scam Victims

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Cognitive dissonance in scam victims emerges when they confront evidence contradicting their beliefs about the scam.

The realization of being deceived triggers emotional distress, further impairing cognitive function. Chronic stress from coping with the scam’s aftermath also contributes to physiological changes in the brain, affecting areas responsible for higher-order thinking. This psychological conflict exacerbates brain impairment or “brain fog,” leading to confusion and difficulty in processing information.

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Coping with Scam Victim Trauma: Exploring Positive and Negative Coping Mechanisms – 2024

Coping with Scam Victim Trauma: Exploring Positive and Negative Coping Mechanisms

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of becoming a victim to a scam, individuals often grapple with a myriad of emotions and challenges, leading to the adoption of coping mechanisms, both positive and negative.

Positive coping strategies such as seeking social support, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in constructive activities can facilitate recovery, healing and resilience.

Conversely, negative coping mechanisms like avoidance, substance abuse, and self-blame can exacerbate emotional distress and hinder recovery.

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Rebuilding Trust: The Scam Victim’s Journey from Victimhood to Empowerment – 2024

Rebuilding Trust: The Scam Victim’s Journey from Victimhood to Empowerment

Understanding How to Rebuild Trust After a Relationship Scam

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Rebuilding trust after becoming a scam victim is a difficult journey that involves restoring confidence in oneself and others. The process often begins with acknowledging the betrayal and its impact on one’s sense of security and self-worth.

Adopting frameworks like the SCARS ‘R-E-A-L’ (Reflect, Evaluate, Accept, Learn) can provide structure and guidance in navigating this complex emotional terrain.

Trusting others again requires discernment, boundary-setting, and gradual engagement in healthy relationships. At the same time, rebuilding self-trust involves introspection, self-compassion, and reframing negative beliefs.

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Why It Is Important To Understand The Default Mode (DMN) And The Subconscious In Scam Victims – 2024

Why It Is Important To Understand The Default Mode (DMN) And The Subconscious In Scam Victims

Understanding the Psychological Processes During Scams

Helping Scam Victims to Recover

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Understanding the default mode network (DMN) and its role in psychological processes such as rumination is essential for scam victims navigating recovery.

By learning about the DMN and subconscious mental processes, victims can gain insight into their experiences, normalize their reactions, and identify triggers and patterns that contribute to distress. Armed with this knowledge, victims can develop coping strategies, cultivate self-awareness, and seek professional support to regulate their emotions and reduce rumination. Ultimately, understanding the DMN empowers victims to take an active role in their recovery journey, fostering resilience, self-compassion, and emotional well-being.

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Scam Victims Will Never Be The Same – A Harsh Truth – 2024

Scam Victims Will Never Be The Same – A Harsh Truth

The First Step in Healing is Understanding How These Crimes Affect Their Victims – and Accepting It!

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of falling victim to scams, many individuals defiantly proclaim, “I won’t let the scam define me!” or “I refuse to let it affect me!”

Yet, these assertions, though spoken with conviction, often veil a deeper truth. Each scam victim is intimately connected to the events they’ve endured, and denying this connection hinders their journey toward healing. The impact of scams, whether financial or emotional, lingers long after the initial deception.

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Actionable Steps For Scam Victims To Create Resilience & Recover After A Scam 2024

SCARS Actionable Steps for Scam Victims to Create Resilience After a Scam and Successfully Recover

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Based, in part, on the work of Raphael Rose, Psychologist

About this Article

The SCARS model emphasizes the importance of journaling as a foundational step for scam victims on their journey to recovery.

Before delving into actionable steps, victims are encouraged to express emotions, reflect on experiences, and process trauma through writing. The journal becomes a tool for tracking progress, setting realistic goals, and providing a cathartic release for overwhelming emotions. The empowerment derived from documenting one’s narrative fosters resilience, strength, and self-awareness.

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Understanding Grief & Complex Grief for Scam Victims 2024

Understanding Grief & Complex Grief for Scam Victims

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Helping Scam Victim Find and Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from multiple sources for accuracy

Article Abstract

Scam victims endure various forms of grief, each impacting their recovery uniquely.

Each grief type adds complexity for scam victims, necessitating tailored recovery addressing betrayal, financial repercussions, legal aspects, online safety, shame, isolation, education, emotional resilience, relationship rebuilding, peer support, and ongoing vigilance.

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Love Bombing & Amygdala Hijacked Scam Victims – Love Is Chemical After All 2024

Love Bombing & Amygdala Hijacked Scam Victims

Love Is Chemical After All

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Article Abstract

In the case of online deception, scam victims often find themselves deeply in love, only to realize it was a meticulously crafted illusion—a result of Amygdala Hijacks and Love Bombing caused by deceptive romance scams.

Love involves a complex interplay of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, creating a potent cocktail that scammers exploit. Amygdala Hijacks create urgency and fear, triggering the brain’s fight-or-flight response, while love bombing floods victims with excessive affection to foster attachment. The brain’s striatum and TPJ play pivotal roles in processing love, and scammers manipulate positive amygdala hijacks to create false trust and affection.

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Scam Victim Psychological Alienation After A Scam 2024

Scam Victim Psychological Alienation After A Scam

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Article Abstract

Scam victims grappling with the aftermath of romance scams often experience profound and lasting psychological alienation, extending beyond financial loss. Psychological alienation involves feeling disconnected from oneself, others, and the world, leading to self-estrangement, social isolation, powerlessness, and normlessness.

Scammers employ sophisticated grooming, manipulation, and control tactics, causing victims to question their vulnerability and decision-making abilities, and rupturing trust in personal relationships. Coping with psychological alienation requires seeking professional support, engaging in therapy, and joining support groups.

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Scam Victim Catastrophizing Making Recovery Difficult 2024

Scam Victim Catastrophizing Making Recovery Difficult

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Article Abstract

Scam victims often fall prey to catastrophizing, a cognitive distortion magnifying worst-case scenarios, and intensifying anxiety post-scam.

Financial losses amplify worries, eroding trust and fostering identity crises. Anticipating legal and social consequences heightens distress, making recovery challenging. Counteracting catastrophizing involves challenging negative thoughts, gaining perspective, and focusing on solutions. Mindfulness, gratitude, and seeking support play vital roles.

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Dear Scam Victim Family & Friends – You Are Also Scam Victims – 2024

Dear Family & Friends – You Are Also Scam Victims

Helping Family & Friends To Better Understand The Impact Of Scams On Them

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Article Abstract

This article addresses the secondary victims of scams—family and friends. It recognizes their emotional turmoil, from confusion to guilt and blame.

It helps the secondary trauma experienced and the impact on relationships. Acknowledging the ripple effect of scams, it offers guidance on coping strategies, seeking support, and fostering understanding.

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Savior Syndrome And The Negative Consequences To Them And Other Scam Victims – 2023

Savior Syndrome (Savior Complex or Messiah Complex)

And the Negative Consequences to Them and Other Scam Victims

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Originally Published on RomanceScamsNOW.com 2018

Savior Syndrome/Savior Complex – How Victims Often Use Negative Coping Mechanisms To Avoid The Pain Of Their Own Trauma

After Someone Is Victimized They Are Often Desperate To Take Control Back

The development of savior syndrome in scam victims who have experienced prior trauma is a complex and often counterintuitive phenomenon. It is a very powerful negative coping mechanism that leads them to believe they must help others instead of helping themselves first. However, understanding the underlying factors can help us offer better support and guidance to these individuals.

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Reclaiming Your Worth: A Scam Survivor’s Guide to Navigating Your Worthiness After a Scam – 2023

Reclaiming Your Worth

A Scam Survivor’s Guide to Navigating Your Worthiness After the Scam

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Your Worth? AXIOS! You Are Worthy

Falling victim to a scam can feel like a brutal assault on your identity and your worth.

The perpetrator, skilled in the art of deception, exploits your trust and vulnerabilities, leaving you reeling with a cocktail of anger, betrayal, and profound self-doubt.

The question that echoes through the haze of disillusionment becomes a gnawing refrain: “Am I still worthy?”

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Scam Victims And The Crossing Of The River Styx – An Interpretation Of The Recovery Process – 2023

Scam Victims And The Crossing Of The River Styx

An Interpretation of the Recovery Process

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Hear this article – Read by the Author – Click Here

The Recovery Process Has Greater Meaning Than Just Feeling Better For Scam Victims!

It Is A Mythological Journey From The Land Of What Was Once To The Land Of What Will Be

For most scam victims their recovery process is a journey of rebirth and renewal. It is a journey through the emotional underworld and that journey is a heroic beginning to their new and future life. And like most hero’s journeys, most of those who could make the journey will never take it, yet ironically, everyone could.

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Motivational Denial – Recovery Psychology – 2023

Motivational Denial

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

How Motivational Denial Can Hold People Back From Emotional Recovery – Especially Scam Victims

One of the things that can be hardest for new victims is total acceptance!

Motivational Denial can hold Victims Back

Relationship scam victims have been through the traumatic experience of believing in a totally false story spun by the criminals who stole from them.

But in the days that follow, that tendency to continue magical thinking remains. Victims are desperately looking for a savior, a path forward, and how to diminish the guilt and shame they feel.

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SCARS 5 Coping Techniques For Traumatized Scam Victims – 2023

SCARS 5 Coping Techniques For Traumatized Scam Victims

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

SCARS 5 Coping Techniques for Traumatized Scam Victims – Navigating the Aftermath

Being scammed can be a deeply unsettling experience, leaving you feeling violated, confused, and unsure of where to turn. The emotional impact can be profound, leading to anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the path to healing isn’t always linear, there are effective coping techniques you can embrace to navigate the aftermath and rebuild your sense of well-being.

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