Scammers that pretend to be in a refugee camp, usually in Senegal.
Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:45 pm
This is a beautifully written article and sums up what most of us have gone through in trying to come to grips with a scammer and being scammed.
I can promise you -- you will come full circle, you will recover and you will be a much better man, and a man who can and will deal with all the good things that happen in life and will take full joy in the creation of the happy event --- the other - bad stuff - doesn't happen that often by comparison. That is something to keep in mind, good out weighs evil.
The image that is still in your mind you must try to block - I know easier said then done, but once that goes to the back of the mind, your recovery will progress rapidly. You told me in chat the other day, your 3 year old neice was challenging you to a play time in the park, or she would cut your hair.....that is something joyful to remember and laugh about --- the demands of a three year old, children don't worry about fears that may never happen, they live in the moment and that as a scammed individual we have all had to learn to do.
There is a wonderful saying, yesterday is history, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift, that is why it is called the present. I hope you will take today as a gift and live each moment as productively as possible. You are too strong to let the scammer win --- you are the winner here because he taught you a life lesson and that you can learn from in a positive manner.
I wish you well, and I know from experience of dealing with other victims you will get healthy and recover. Now is the time to take care of you and return to a "new" normal in your life. You probably have read in many areas of this forum, people actually thank the scammer for making them a better person, that will happen with you also.
I look forward to talking with you again in the chat room, in the meantime, let your neice guide you to joy as only the young can.
Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:09 am
Wow, an enlightening topoc indeed---an excellent essay on the grieving process. It shows Solidnake that you're an intelligent person and how well you have fully grasped and understand the process that you are in and where are you going to. Just be patient and you will eventually get there---the stage of closure/acceptance and then be ready to move forward and be back onto your feet again. This experience that you had will earn you a hard earned lesson---a useful lesson that will help you to be better, to be stronger to face life and what lies ahead. Life is full of trials, you sometimes fall but what is important is you stood up. Give yourself time---maybe a few days or weeks from now and you will look back to these days---and you will be proud of yourself on how far you have become and you made it through.
This experience of yours gives your greater knowledge---and it helps to share it to others like what you just did. For now, enjoy the journey--the journey towards closure and full recovery. You will be OK. Take care.
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:28 pm
SH, your opening post had been a big help to me over the last 3 weeks. It has certainly helped me see light at the end of the tunnel.
Solidsnake, what a well written post! I can relate to most of what you have said and I agree that the recovery process happens in stages. I also found jogging a good way of clearing my head, I'd go out fairly late at night with my iPod and quite happily cover 10 miles. I pretty much did this every day for a 2 week period. So that is one positive I have taken from the scam.
I was scammed just over 3 weeks ago and time is certainly the best healer. Initially I was searching YouTube/google and checking FB every 10 minutes, without realising the time between checks soon increases.
I was a victim of the blackmail scam/sextortion, I didn't pay them and I didn't see the video so I guess that has made things a little easier. But I think this scam is quite hard to get over due to not having any control over it. All that kept going through my mind was that this scammer had a video of me and a list of all my Facebook contacts. I put all of the preventative measures in place but I still felt completely powerless. Effectively they could cause me a lot of pain in just half an hour.
But all the scammer wants to do is make quick money, they would rather spend that half an hour lurring in another victim. There are times when I still worry about the video and it's whereabouts, I think that will play on my mind for quite some time.
I've taken a few positives from the whole experience, it's certainly shown me what is important in my life and how I may have been taking those things for granted. Potentially this could have caused a lot of damage to them. So hopefully I have come out of this a better person.
I'm sure there will be many more victims of the blackmail scam/sextortion coming to this place for help, advice and peace of mind. It's a great forum and a massive credit to the people that run it. Thank you for helping me through it.
Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:16 pm
^^^ This is why we do what we do. We don't get paid a dime for it. In fact we pay from our own pockets for the honor of helping others. It's not a large sum of money to do this and I for one gladly pay it for the knowlege that I have surely helped numerous others. Either by keeping scammers away from other victims or by warning potential victims by posting details of scammers here in our little corner of the internet. Reading about some of the people we've helped here is all the re-payment I need.
Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:57 pm
I was scammed via skype about 4 months ago now and would like to talk about the process of moving on and the perspective eventually gained.
At first yes this type of blackmail can seem, without doubt, like the worst thing to ever happen to you. The isolation, fear, shame and all the other dark emotions that come with it. I have spoken to a few survivors on here that worry that they still have the lingering emotions after a month, or two. they think it will never get better...IT WILL. I personally took around 3-4 months of real worry and depression before i finally moved on and realised that my life is my own and not the scammer's, and that i had nothing to be scared of. IT TAKES TIME, and while that is hard to realise when it's happening to you, you must try and accept that you will get there...in your own time.
The points on this subject have been made time and time again, but it never hurts to reiterate that the scammer HAS or WILL move on. You can bet that the video is not around or will not remain forever. All that's left is your own emotional and mental recovery, and time is a great healer.
I recently came to the end of a relationship, and i came to realise how much more it affected me in 5 minutes than this blackmail did over 2 or 3 months. Reality hurts more than a concept, and that's what this scam is, a frightening concept, if you follow the advice given by the amazing people on this site, it is NOT a reality.
Hope people will read this and take what they can from it. Good luck to everyone
Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:56 pm
Excellent article --- I know it will help many others who have been scammed. The recovery and healing process does take time, but as you said you do recover.
The most important point you made is the fact, you have to realize the scammer doesn't own you, he means nothing, your life is yours to do with whatever you want. That is the hardest part to learn.
I am pleased to learn you have moved on and now getting back into real life and real life processes. Congratulations,
Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:01 am
Thanks RF. All so true. and a big shout out to you guys. You do a brilliant job
Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:46 pm
It's been 5 mths of "my new normal". Like I said before everyone "heals" at different rates. The only thing I could equate me healing time was to the grieving process. I alternated through different levels of depression during each phase. Talking with my friends (who knew what happened to me), reflecting (without criticizing myself) and getting involved in things I once enjoyed but seemed to have stopped doing because my scammer took up a great deal of my time helped. I prayed basically whenever I needed to (generally outside - nature makes me feel better). I did it for serenity in my mind, acceptance of what has come to pass and forgiveness of my choices. There were days that were more difficult than some. There were days where I hated the "person(s)" that came into my life and robbed me of not so much my innocence but my faith in people. As time has passed, my new normal wasn't so much "cynical" but more of a filter of caution, a more "let me look deeper" attitude before opening that trust door. I'm not so quick to be the open book I once was but still willing to divulge information as I feel it's truly been earned. I have to say my best friend has had a lot to do with keeping my perspective and making me laugh when I doubt myself. I also remind myself of the saying " a fool is one bound to repeat the same mistakes if they choose not to learn". I choose every day, every hour, every minuute to believe in myself and my positive self worth. My attitude is I was knocked down but I CHOOSE to get back up. I CHOOSE to talk about it. I CHOOSE to remind myself I will get thru every day and it's challenges. Sometimes when I'm around people and feel crappy or sad I remind myself to act the opposite and people around me repond in a positive manner (she's funny, Hey she has a good opinion about whatever). I find the positiveness counteracts the negative mind.
There's so many cliche sayings, no secret weapon other than to really take one day at a time, reminding yourself that you're a good person who had a REALLY bad experience happen. Coming back here every so often an reading, perhaps throwing my 2 cents in helps stabilize my mind as well. I was also not in the same mind to find someone as I was before but as luck had it I cross paths with a great guy. First question was can we meet? With online dating, distance is the critical point and I wasn't going to ignore it. We've taken a great deal of time to get to know each other.
Today has been a good day so far. I'm looking forward to hanging out tonight with my best friend and seeing my guy tomorrow.....
Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:55 pm
First of all congratulations for choosing to get up, recover from your scam and heal in such a healthy manner. Your posting just goes to prove one more time, that healing and finding a "new normal" stabilizes your real life, with your family and friends.
Your best friend should be applauded also, for helping you get through the scam with her love and friendship, you were fortunate to have her to confide in and no judgment on her part.
I wish you only the best from now on, and keep us posted on your entire recovery. Also of course, enjoy a new relationship with your new guy - just one more reward in the healing process.
No point in saying to you anymore, take care of yourself --- it is evident you did and I am happy for you.
Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:17 am
Would just like to further some of the things said about recovery, and talk about something that i feel is so valuable in the road to getting past your scam. That is turning something of a bad experience, into something good.
This may sound mad, or impossible to initial victims, but i promise it is incredibly productive in the healing process.
Helping another victim, offering advice, being strong for someone else, takes the focus off the aspect of having 'exposed yourself' or whatever you feel your part in the scam was, and turns that into just a small aspect of something helpful that you are doing. Your scam is no longer about 'what happened to you' and 'how terrible it was' (i know from experience that it IS terrible) but it becomes about how you can use the experience as a tool in your wisdom kit. That experience, now it is over and just a memory for you, can be used as something to pull someone else through...and just like that it becomes something constructive, in a way not a negative experience any more. This also changes YOUR mind set, in effect stopping the memory from bringing you down, turning it into something slightly more positive, and helping you recover.
Many people on here say getting scammed was one of the best things to happen to them. This is one of the reason why, they are wiser, stronger, and are a figure of strength for some new victim in need.
Wouldn't it be great to say in years, i'm glad this happened to me for these reasons. Knowing that it will be, or already is over for you, the best thing to help you move on with your life is to turn this memory around, helping people in the process!