I’m more than a little bit embarrassed, shocked and sad to tell you this, but over the Valentine’s Weekend, I fell prey to a huge scam. And when I say “fell” I mean totally and completely. Then right after I realized it was a scam and I started cleaning up the mess, I lost my phone. But I have to tell you this because I didn’t fall prey to the scheme because I am stupid. I did it because I believe in the goodness of people, and that is what they were counting on. I’m not telling you this so you don’t trust people. I am telling you this because for a minute my money is messed up, and I am probably not going to be as available as I usually am. I might ask you for some extra support and I might ask you to be patient with me. I have vulnerabilities, and all of them have been tapped for the benefit of someone who lies and deceives and tricks people in extremely sophisticated and calculated ways for a living. And I just wanted to let you know. Take special care. These are Americans, and they are based in the US.
Don’t believe people when they tell you that there is a gag order and you can’t talk to anyone. Don’t let someone keep you on the phone because you cannot be arrested on the phone. You always have basic rights. Don’t take someone’s word about something that doesn’t feel right without talking it out with a trusted friend. Even if you want to just get it taken care of without bothering someone else. Even if you are afraid to ask for help. Even if you don’t know about how certain legal systems work. Even if you want to think the best of people and trust them. Even if you are tough and think you are completely capable of doing this on your own. You are not alone. And there is no need for you to handle confusing things on your own.
I plan to write out my experience in greater detail and share it with Psychology Today because that is where the scammers found my phone number. They were looking for people who listen to other people’s truths. My superpower is compassion, empathy and the ability to suspend disbelief, and I suspect that other therapists have these superpowers too. But watch out. It can be used against you.
So you know, I have filed a police report. Many of the charges I made will be covered under fraud insurance. I have opened a case to prevent identity theft, and apparently many people have already been and continue to be affected.
You can read about your rights concerning this issue by following the link below.
While I clean up this mess, I am talking to myself in the following ways:
- I don’t have to put up with abuse, whether the person is aware of being abusive or not.
- Nobody else can take away my happiness or freedom.
- I am always supported. There is always legitimate support when I pause, get clear, and ask for it.
- I never have to be rushed by another person or follow their cues on “how things work” in the world.
- I have a voice. I get to use it.
- I can always say “Let me get back with you.”
- I must always demand to get things in writing.
- I need not set aside my own priorities and plans without feeling completely grounded.
- I am worthy of having my own goals and dreams.
- I am worthy of having abundant time and resources in my life.
- I am not just a helper. I also get real, appropriate, well-attuned, generous help.
- I need not give up basic rights or things I want because my life is so good (because I’ve found an unconventional solution to my problems).
- Nobody gets to take my happiness away. This is mine.
- I get to have what I want. I get to ask for what I want.
- I am a decent person. I am so grateful for all the support I have, spiritual and otherwise.
- When I feel like I need to explain or defend my own strange behavior, and I’m ruminating on my rationale, I am allowed to stop and talk it through with someone I trust.