Realizing you’re falling for a scam can be difficult, but trying to convince someone else is another story. It can often end in a strained relationship.
If you know someone falling for these tricks, especially romance scams, it’s important to let them know before the damage becomes irreversible.
Convincing them they’re being scammed can be an uphill battle, but identity theft and scams can have lasting effects on their financial health and overall well-being.
It’s essential to learn how to protect and convince them; we understand just how difficult this can be.
To help you come up with solutions, we looked into various ID theft and security sources online, gathered the best tips on protecting your loved ones, and found the most critical tip when trying to help you convince them that they are dealing with scammers.
Let’s protect them at all costs—read on below.
What to do when you believe your loved one is a scam victim
Feeling hopeless when your loved one is being scammed or taken advantage of is a shared experience—and can be quite painful.
You may wonder: should you warn a friend or family member who’s falling for a romance scam, a phishing scheme, or other identity theft tactics?
Yes, you should, especially since they may lose more than just their money in the long run. However, this can be complicated. Your loved ones may be too caught up in a web of lies and deceit, making it challenging for them to realize the scam.
You play a vital role in leading them toward the truth and protecting them from further harm. However, this is easier said than done, as you may end up dealing with misunderstanding or emotional fallout.
Typical human emotions of shame, guilt, and anger can get in the way, but we’ve identified these methods to help you out:
1. Hold off your judgment
It can be tempting to utter “I told you so” when they come to you for advice, but remember that your loved one has already been through something.
We mustn’t remind them of their mistake, as it can lead to feelings of shame, vulnerability, embarrassment, and anger.
You can point out the truth, but scammers have likely spent much time grooming your loved ones into submission. Resorting to condescending tones can push them away from you, leaving you with a strained relationship.
2. Lift them up with your support
If you think a friend or a family member falls victim to scammers, speak to them as soon as possible.
Admitting mistakes can be difficult on their end, as this comes with shame, embarrassment, and other emotions that may cloud their judgment. However, it’s crucial to let them know that you’re there for them and are willing to help them however you can—even if it’s just by listening.
The best thing you can do is to not only offer sound advice but also reassure them that this isn’t their fault.
How do you comfort someone who got scammed, though? You may simply be there and listen to their story.
3. Look for solid evidence with their help
If you can, you may collect evidence that proves that the relationship or circumstance is a fraud. You can start by asking for the scammer’s name, which can help you gain access to past victims.
These people can also prove that your loved one is dealing with a scammer. If your loved one isn’t entirely convinced, statements from previous victims may open their eyes.
You can then take the cases to local authorities with tangible evidence from your loved one and others.
What are the signs your loved one is being scammed?
Again, it can be tricky to tell if your loved one has fallen into a scam. They may talk about it casually, such as a new opportunity they recently invested in or a romantic partner they’ve recently loaned money to.
These seemingly normal parts of life make it easy for them and us to remain unaware of these scamming tactics. However, whether you’re aware of it or not, falling victim to a scam can eventually change your behavior.
They may suddenly become stressed due to financial strains or perhaps become more withdrawn. These are more signs you need to watch out for:
- They suddenly worry about finances, quickly losing money in their accounts.
- They now keep their financial transactions a secret.
- They receive a high volume of frequent phone calls or get visits from strangers.
- They receive unusual and unnecessary packages in the mail.
- They receive countless invitations for meetings, meetups, and other gatherings from groups you’ve never heard of.
If you notice these indications, it’s critical to remain vigilant and learn to safeguard your loved ones against scammers.
How to protect your loved ones from scammers
While it’s challenging, there are things you can do for your loved ones.
Step 1: You should sit down and speak with your loved one.
It’s important to remember to speak to them calmly and without judgment, as this will let them know you’re on their side—even if they’re in the wrong.
It’s best to wait for them to walk you through what happened.
Step 2: Once you get a clearer picture of the scammer’s scheme, help your loved ones regain their identities.
You may collect all possible evidence you can use later on, but after doing so, you can cut off the scammer’s access to their finances, starting by changing all usernames and passwords.
This applies to online bank accounts, digital wallets, and social media accounts.
Step 3: Help your loved one move on—especially when they’ve fallen into a romance scam.
You can block the scammer on every possible platform, including the phone number, email, and social media.
Step 4: It’s important to remember that scammers can be persistent, so you may need to think of more solid ways to prevent them from reaching your loved one.
You can opt to overhaul their online accounts, email addresses, and phone numbers. In doing so, you effectively prevent the criminal from contacting them ever again.
Step 5: Go to your local authorities after following the steps above.
Scams are fraud cases, meaning that they’re illegal. You can obtain a police report, which will prompt an investigation to begin. You can also contact federal agencies to submit all the evidence you’ve collected.
Figuring out what to say to someone who got scammed, especially your loved one, can also be painful on your end. It can be difficult to see them suffer through financial stress, emotional burden, and other negative effects scamming can bring.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take not only to save them from the scammers but prevent the onslaught of further risks. It’s never too late to help your loved one.