Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why It Is Important to Highlight the Issue of Romance Scams

Just last week I was talking to a few people about my coming book LOVE ON THE LINE. I was enthusiastically explaining my theories and approaches only to be suddenly stopped by the realisation that the person I was talking with had been a victim of scam herself and when I asked if she had lost money, she said: 'Yeah, yeah!'

So, here it is again. More people in my list who are wondering just what happened or how come it happened and confirming that they lost money they can ill afford. Knowing that they never get their money back again. And even though I have now written a whole book explaining my views on how this can happen, I am still at awe of how it is that every time this issue of Romance Scams is raised in any conversation I am involved in, there always is someone who has been a victim.

Every conversation I have had with anyone about it has also revealed more people who know people who have been victims of romance scams. We should talk about it more. Maybe then those who have been affected could get some closure and not just keep it in their own private minds. Airing the issue makes more people feel less embarrassed about speaking out about their own experience. This is important as then those affected feel less isolated with their thoughts and experiences. 

In the Fraud Siupport Group I attend to, I hear people tell their story again and again. It is like they want to reassure themselves that it is a right thing to do. That the shock never truly lessen because, every time you think about it, you are confronted with the fact that it happened and it happened to me. Many victims keep asking themselves: 'How on earth was I so vulnerable?' And it never seems to go away, however much you think about it. It is like an ever rewinding record player. So, what can we do to move on and stop the self-blame? 

What I did was write a book. I looked at the research on how people who are affected by trauma cope with it. I investigated how directing the emotions an experience with romance scam to writing effect the  survival from the scam and how one might overcome in time. I tried to find a solution on how one might be able to move on with dignity intact and without victimasation. How successful I was, will be judged by the reader reaction and their feedback, once the book is published before the end of the year. But for me it was a freeing experience. 

I find that now, it is easier, and easier to raise the issue with anyone I encounter without feeling shame over the fact that it happened to me. I know that I am not alone with this experience. I know that there are more and more support structures being created. I know that there are more and more professional and government procedures being tightened so that people with experience about romance scams are able to find help and relief from their worry and wonder. 

You can start by Googling scamwatch.com.au or finding support pages from Facebook. Just write Romance Scam in the search. It does not matter where you are, in what continent or whichever country. Laws are being looked at and tightened. The issue of scams is being high lightened more and more and more. This is a good thing! It makes me happy to have written a book to further the recovery from romance scams in a small way. My book is about my own solution. But everything counts towards the more equal future against crime, violence and inequality in this world. 

Stay tuned. There is more on the way.