Existential Psychology

Victimized By Scam Artists

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We’re not talking here about the full on scam artists who manipulate the actions of their targets through manipulating greed but instead about the seemingly legitimate business people who promise one thing and end up delivering something inferior, only to make all manner of excuses after the fact in order to wash their hands of responsibility for making things right. The victims of these ‘legitimate scams’ are left in a tough place economically but also psychologically and emotionally since the scam artist isn’t going to drop the narrative that everything that has occurred was above board.

So really what’s going on is gaslighting, just in the realm of business relationships rather than intimate relationships. Gaslighting is a form of abuse where the abuser makes the victim start to question their perception of reality, their perception of truth, their perception of what’s really going on in the relationship. The victim calls a spade a spade and the gaslighter says ‘Not so fast, that’s not a spade.’

Whether legal or illegal, when you agree upon one thing but receive something less it’s a scam unless the person you agreed with tries to make things right. And if this person doesn’t try to make things right but instead tries to make you question your own perception of reality it’s probably gaslighting.

So you entered into a contract with an abusive scam artist. You might not be able to recoup your economic losses but you can learn from what happened to decrease the chances it will happen to you again and you can remember to place the responsibility for the victimization where it belongs, around the shoulders of the victimizer rather than around your own shoulders.

Maybe you should have done the proper due diligence, maybe you should have picked up on the signs and signals that something was off, maybe you should have had a better contract in place, and those are lessons for future business dealings. But if you entered into a contact in good faith and got scammed that’s on the scammer not on you, regardless of the things you could have done differently.

Victim blaming is a dirty psychological trick. It villainizes the very people who were directly taken advantage of by the true villains. Refuse to play that game or the gaslighting game. Unless the reasons given for leaving things as they currently stand are philosophically sound you’ve probably been taken advantage of. That responsibility lies primarily with the scam artist and only secondarily with you.