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Post up any 419 emails you received. All persons/companies depicted in these emails are either fictitious or have had their identities copied/stolen by the scammers.
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recovery and reassurance

Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:04 pm

Moderator note: Read this carefully before you post in this topic!

I have had to split many posts off of this topic, as they were "off-topic." All were regarding webcam blackmail questions that are answered in other topics, mainly None of them had anything to do with the intention of this topic, which is "How did you recover from the scam?" Your insights about how to deal with the aftermath, mostly in your own head, or attitudes, or changing perspectives, behaviors, changes in your life, etc.
Read a bit of this or all of it before posting, and you will get the idea of what belongs here.

The stuff that gets posted here that does not belong end up in The Dump, and may not even be answered as the answers are in other topics that the poster already read once or is too lazy to read or is looking for a different answer when there is none.:
The Dump - "Whatif?" Questions Have Answers Here

This site is brilliant for giving people advice, reassurance and the opportunity to talk to and see your not the only one to go through the awful experience of webcam blackmail. I'd like to try and further this, by opening up a topic on the recovery process after an attempted scam, because through my own experience and from reading others, it is clearly very traumatic and can take time to get over such an invasion of privacy combined with such awful threats. I'm not an expert but I can say for me it led to feelings of anger, alienation, withdrawl, lack of power to do anything, depression and fear.

After 3 weeks of no contact, and reassurance from the kind people on here, these feelings are gradually going, but a feeling of hurt as a result of the shock still lingers. So basically my message is one of hope, that things will get better, and to quote the old cliche, time is a great healer. And I also think its important in the healing process to share any feelings, so we can offer reassurance, for example that the scammer will not return, that there is no need to worry your video will resurface, and to generally help each other let the worry go. I hope this hasn't sounded too soppy, and I'll look out for any replies! Thanks...

And thanks again to the people working on this site, espeically those I've spoke to on chat.

Closure.When Will This End? How Do Scammers Think? pg13

Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:30 am

Closure. You want closure? To do this, you must change your own mind from that of a victim to that of a survivor. Here are a few thoughts on how to do that.

To on-line scammed victims, closure is a bit different than crimes committed by someone in your own country. Your scammer will not get arrested by anyone, regardless of whether you know his real name or not. He is in a different country using a false name to scam you, and police interest and capacity deficits, and proof of the scam in addition to jurisdiction issues will prevent any arrests. You can expect to absolutely never get your money back once it's taken by an Internet thief. These facts you must accept and put behind you in order to move on with your life in a positive way. If you hold out hope for arrests or getting your money back it will only prolong the hurt and pain and prevent you from moving forward with your life.

Closure for Internet scam victims begins when you decide to drop all the fantasies he has placed in your head and post the details of the scammer here.
This helps you remove him from your life and also helps other victims of the same scammer, who has many more hooked at that moment. You must realize that you are not the only victim of him at that point in time or in the future and that posting his details can and does save others from falling to the same scammer. Your posts here can and do save real lives.

Closure is moving on with your life, and taking a bad experience and turning it into something good for yourself and others. Dwelling on any detail of the scam prevents you from doing this. Holding on to the "image fantasy," looking for the real person in the pictures, looking for the real scammer behind the scam, etc. will not do you any good and it will prolong the hurt and recovery time.

Moving from being a victim to being a survivor begins when you forgive yourself for making a mistake. You must realize that it is not your fault, but all the scammer's fault. He took advantage of you when you were most vulnerable.
Everyone makes mistakes, but you learn from them, and recovering from a scam and being a survivor is done by all of the members of this website with help from the others.

Your trust and love in others was deeply wounded by the lying scammer for his own advantage. Talking to the members of this website, posting your thoughts in your stories here, helping other victims recover by posting in our topics or by visiting the chatroom all help you to recover faster as a stronger person.
We see examples of it every day on our forums and hear it in our chatroom.
Your ability to trust and love again will be restored, but you will be more aware of the sociopathic criminals out there, who do not care about that.

Regardless of how long your stay is with us, we all hope that you will all take advantage of reading all of our informational topics, and some of the rest of our forum so that you can be armed with more knowledge of scammers and how they operate. This way, you can be protected from any more scams on yourself and you can also warn others about the dangers lurking out there on the Internet.
Scammers breed like cockroaches and are infecting every single social website, dating website, and chat website, in addition to their ages old email formats.
Read as much as you can here. Education is the biggest weapon against them, and you might just save someone else's life from a scammer someday. Our members do this daily, 24/7, 365.

This is the kind of closure you you will receive, and this will restore you.
The past scam is left behind. The person that you once were is past now.
You are changed and you are stronger. Some of our members have said that being scammed was one of the best things that ever happened to them. That it was somehow a gift to them for many different reasons. So, be optimistic.
You have your future ahead of you. Best wishes for you! :D

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:37 pm

Thank you so much for this article, it meant so much to me. Although it has been over a year for me since I was scammed and my life is back on track so to speak, and I have helped quite a few other people who have been scammed, I have never really forgiven myself for what happened. Reading this article has made me realise that it is finally time for me to forgive myself and realise that yes I did make a mistake and yes that is ok.

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Hi SlapHappy

As always you say the right things at the right time, and I am very happy you posted this essay. It gives many scam victims a chance to understand, maybe relive a little bit about our scam, but also the recovery and healing process. And most importantly as Holly Louis put it, gives us the ability to forgive ourselves and move forward.

Looking back does not help, it is the present and the future that gives one hope and a balance back to their life.

Thank you for all your support for all the victims on this site, and this essay gives hope to each and every one.

Best to you always,

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:28 am

Nicely written.

I never think of myself as a scam victim. To me, that is closure.

I rarely think of my scammer at all.

I have met some great people and made friends through sites like this.

I have had fun baiting a few scammers, taught by a few experts. In later telling stories about it, I've educated a lot of people about scammers.

I've had the satisfying experience of posting scammers and having a victim find my posts - and having it stop them from being scammed.

I've gone on the radio with a site moderator to talk about scammers and education people.

I've met a few recent victims and helped them through the process of coming to terms with what happened to them.

And I have tremendous respect for the people behind this site, who dedicate so much time to helping people who tangle with these scum, in understanding what happened, in guiding people in the very best way to respond, and in coaching people in how to move on.

I am an intelligent, successful professional. If I could believe, even briefly in the lies of a mugu, then anyone can. I am not a victim because I choose not to be one.
That, to me, is closure.

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:53 am

So beautifully written SlapHappy. Though you were never scammed, but you have the ability to fully understand the process and what steps to take in order to fully recover; that’s a gift and thanks for sharing it with us. And thank you to all the dedicated and wonderful people here on this site.

Yes, in order to achieve that closure, one must first fully embrace, accept and understand the ugly reality of a scam rather than trying to cling to the fantasy that was created by these scammers. To start with the full healing, one must forgive themselves for making a mistake and have to realize that they were just an innocent victim with wonderful qualities as a person that was taken advantage of. To start the healing, one should honor the pain and the hurt that the scam has caused but ready to move forward towards healing and recovery, to never look back but to move on.
Reading this article makes me look back to the day one of my road to recovery, look back not with tears, but with a smile because though not an easy one, it has been a wonderful journey. Wonderful because I have learned a lot, meet wonderful people and make new great friends along the way and most of all, discovered what strength I have and feel proud of myself that I made it through and now able to help others too. And to all those who have been part of this journey: Thank you very much!!!

So, to all those who have just been scammed and are about to take the journey towards healing and recovery: just be strong and always believe in hope that there will be better days ahead. Enjoy the journey towards survivorhood. At the end, you will emerge a better version of yourself, much wiser and stronger.

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:45 am

Tomi ---

You said it all for all of us, what an eloquent answer you wrote to SH.

You have always been a very strong person, and it is my priviledge to know you. You helped me through a very tough time, this past year, I will always remember that. I guess we are partners now.
God Bless you always,


Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:52 pm

Thank you for this post. Everything you said is so true. I was touched by your comment about forgiving yourself. That is ONE of the issues I struggled with. I have always thought I was a fairly intelligent person and that being deceived the way I was would never happen. When it did, I ran the gamut of emotions, and to be honest I thought recovering from it would never happen. Those feelings would have continued if it weren't for the help and support I received here.
Moving forward and seeing my scam for what it is, was the only way I could heal; along with trying to help and inform others with what happen to me.
Being scammed is never easy, but I have to say I agree, (NOW) that it was the best thing that happened to me. I realize now the kind of person I really am and have the knowledge and power to recognize it when I see it.

To those who have recently been scammed, follow SlapHappy's advice. I know from experience that closure seems impossible, but it's not. It's up to you-- Forgive yourself, get the support that is offered here and arm yourself with the tools throughout this site so if there is a next time you are approached by a scammer, you will be prepared.
also, help others by posting your scammers information--it will help you as well to begin the recovery process. Last but not least, know you are not alone, and there is help and support for you, all you have to do is seek it out and ask. Good luck to everyone on your road to recovery. :)

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:22 am

Slap Happy's essay is great. I am a week out from my last contact with the scammer. I'm still a little unsettled about whether he will post a video of me, but with the help and reassurance of the folks like slap happy, firefly, wayne and ruffled feathers, it is a little easier each day.

Would anyone be willing to share a timeline on when they were able to get full closure on the experience? And how long until you were totally sure that the scammer had moved on?

Re: Closure. When will this all end?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:43 am

The scammer has moved on, now you have to move on with your life, duped_once. You decide when. You have control.
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