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 Read More …

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 Read More …

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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Fibromyalgia & Psychological Trauma Link – Medical Health Alert – 2023

Fibromyalgia & Psychological Trauma Link – Medical Health Alert

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

Connection Between Psychological Trauma And Fibromyalgia Is A Complex

The connection between psychological trauma and fibromyalgia is a complex and multifaceted one, with growing research suggesting a significant link between the two!

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Trauma Recollection/Traumatic Flashbacks And Scam Victim PTSD – Recovery Psychology – 2023

Trauma Recollection/Traumatic Flashbacks

Understanding Scam Victim Trauma Recollection, Flashbacks, & Memories

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.

Trauma Recollection/Traumatic Flashbacks Or Memories And The Effects That It Has On Scam Victims – PTSD And Recovery Psychology

Most Scam Victims Suffer from some form of Trauma, but for some, this can be the Retriggering of the Original Trauma Over and Over!

While flashbacks are a well-known symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it’s not the only way trauma can manifest itself – they can also be Trauma Recollection.

Scam victims can certainly re-experience their trauma simply by remembering the crime without meeting the full criteria for PTSD.

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Anger & Self-Radicalization – Recovery Psychology 2023

Anger & Self-Radicalization

How Scam Victims Radicalize Themselves

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez – 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.

Anger & Self-Radicalization – When A Relationship Scam Ends Victims Face Many Demons, From Shock To Fear & Horror To Desperation To Anger!

Anger can often be the default state when a scam is discovered, a victim’s world collapses and what they thought was real and certain is proved to be anything but. The desire for certainty in some victims can be overwhelming regardless of what the impact will be on them psychologically.

Many victims will give in to denial as a way of coping with the incredible trauma they experience. While others, more realistic know that something terrible happened to them and they need help Read More …

Scam Victim Empathy – How It Is Lost And How It Comes Back In Time – Recovery Psychology 2023

Scam Victim Empathy

How It Is Lost And How It Comes Back In Time

Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez – 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.

Most Scam Victims Lose Their Empathy When Trauma Sets In – Usually Immediately Following The End Of The Scam/Fraud

But it does come back in time!

Empathy is an elusive thing for scam victims. Right after the scam, the amygdala is hyperactivated and as a result, shuts down many other parts of the brain, this also includes most of your empathy.

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What Really Are Vulnerabilities That Lead To Scams? [UPDATED 2024]

What Really Are Vulnerabilities That Lead To Scams?

Psychology of Scams

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

About This Article

The article explores the diverse landscape of vulnerabilities, aiming to alleviate stigma and empower scam victims and their support systems. It underscores that vulnerabilities are inherent to humanity and should not elicit blame.

Vulnerabilities encompass psychological, emotional, and environmental factors influencing susceptibility to harm. Insights delve into emotional sensitivity, cognitive distortions, interpersonal challenges, trauma triggers, and self-esteem issues, shaped by developmental experiences and environmental stressors.

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Scam Victims – Black Swan Theory & Understanding Uncertainty – 2023

Black Swan Theory & Crime Victims

Helping Scam Victims to Understand Uncertainty

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

About This Article

The Black Swan theory, popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, describes unpredictable events with significant impacts, often rationalized after the fact.

It originated from the unexpected discovery of black swans challenging the belief that all swans were white. These events are rare, have profound effects, and are often rationalized with hindsight bias.

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