The victims of this scam are not only robbed of money, but also see the sentimental relationship disappear. This loss is often likened to the disappearance of a loved one or to actual mental cruelty. Depending on the person, feelings may take various forms and be perceived as deep anger, betrayal, distrust, or shame. There are situations in which the involvement or the process of falling in love is very intense, the betrayal of trust and the abandonment by the con man is lived as true grief. The victim often feels guilty for not being able to recognize the scam and for having become involved in the first place. For this reason those who have fallen for this type of c ruse lose confidence in themselves, are no longer sure of their decisions, cannot rationally analyze the situations and people they encounter, and not surprisingly, lose trust in others and seek to withdraw into themselves and their loneliness.
The situation often is aggravated by a lack of understanding and support from both the community as well as the friends and family who are aware of the “love interest”.
The stubbornness on the part of the victim who wants to continue the relationship often leads to the disruption of previously well maintained family and social relationships.
When the victim is a parent the situation may arise where the children see money savings disappear and accuse the parent of not listening to the advice and warnings given to them. The situation can escalate to the point of creating irreconcilable divisions within the family.
When the scammed person realizes what is happening, he or she feels a sense of deep shame, negative emotions and a loss of self-confidence. Many victims react with suicidal thoughts, while others clearly manifest symptoms of post traumatic stress.
Often the community tends to ridicule the victim and this can lead to a sense of estrangement. The lack of understanding can cause these people to feel different, losing esteem and self-confidence and believing themselves to have made a lot of bad choices in their lives. All these emotional signs can lead to problems of depression or anxiety, resulting in the loss of labor productivity, and social involvement. Another reaction might be a strong anger that can push the victim to get back in touch with the scammer to take revenge and try to obtain the restitution of their money. Sometimes when this contact occurs, the scammer openly admits the deception and declares that he was never in love with the victim. Such statements can be damaging on both the emotional and, more seriously, the spiritual level.
Some people are compromised because they naively took sexually explicit photos or video hich they then gave to the scammer. This material quickly becomes the scammer’s main instrument used to demand a ransom, and if payment is not made, the compromising photos / videos will be published on the internet, or on social networks.
If you’ve fallen into a romantic scam, our hope is that through sharing your story with other romantic scam victims, you will experience the solidarity, to help you in your new journey towards total healing.