Scammed? Betrayed? At risk?

Leila Raven Post in General

I’ve had friends over the years fall prey to this. Friends or lovers, scamming them for money. Sometimes from within the community, that charming Dom in need you’ve gotten close to online, that new friend you made at a munch with a business idea.

People get so taken in, when it’s someone they care about, that even after they’ve lost much in the way of money, or materials, or hard work and personal time, that they still don’t want to think the person who scammed them ‘planned it’.

It is important to trust one’s friends, but at the same time, please be aware. This can, and does happen all too often. In fact, the number of friends and aquaintances I’ve heard these stories from is all to frequent. Especially because I know most people do not tell others that they’ve been scammed. Usually the situation, and even the scammer, will encourage the person to feel so shamed about it, that people will blame themselves, not the scammer, and will be embarassed to share what happened to them. Or will feel if they speak out they will be gossiping and causing drama.

Please, if you’ve been scammed/used. Tell someone, you don’t need to announce it to the world. Unless you think you can help someone else from falling in to the same hole. But tell someone you trust at least. Don’t carry the burden alone. If you’ve been used, it’s not your fault. These people are really good at getting what they want from others.

I’ve been there myself, strung along by a ‘friend’ who is really only interested in what I can give them, and what I can do for them. Interestingly enough, when the loans and material support and gifts stopped from me, and only my emotional support remained. This person ceased being my friend and found other more materially generous friends.

It’s not just about cash either, sometimes people con others in order to have sex with them, or to have service from them, or… what have you.

When is it okay? Can it ever be okay to be used financially, sexually, or in service? Yes, I think it can be okay if there is awareness of what is going on, informed consent, and everyone involved feeling good about it. Some people don’t mind, and even get off, on being used in a user relationship. Some even fetishize over it. If people are aware and consenting, then it’s not really a con or a scam anymore, and because it is consensual, energy exchange can still be equal.

I am not judging consensual actions of use or sacrifice for another. I understand people who embrace that dynamic. I’m talking about people being used without their awareness who when they become aware of what the true situation is, will feel deep betrayal, or have serious unexpected personal/financial/emotional consequences.

Real and true friends will still remain your friends, and will be understanding, if you refuse to engage in business with friends, loan friends money, give friends sensitive information, won’t sit their kids every Friday night, help them move every other month, etc. If a friend makes you feel pressured in any way around these kinds of issues, be wary.

In my opinion, even if there isn’t a scam or con being run, making business and/or money issues run smoothly in friendships is a tricky thing to navigate.

For myself, before I hand someone a stack of bills, a bag of donations, or put in my volunteer time for their organization. I ask myself, if it turns out to be the worst case scenario, and I’m being used. Will I still feel good/okay about doing this? Will I recover if I don’t get the expected results? I.e., My friend doesn’t pay me back my loan. My lifetime membership I worked for is revoked. Whatever the verbal contract that was given, is betrayed. Is that a betrayal I can shrug off? If the answer is yes, I proceed with my good intentions. If the answer is no, it will be way too hurtful, or I just can’t afford the loss, then I opt to protect myself from the worst case scenario.

I urge you, before doing ‘business’ of any kind, or doing anything where you are giving deeply of yourself in any way to another, to just ask yourself, am I willing to risk the worse case scenario? Remember, real friends and lovers, will support you, and not pressure you, if you do what you need to do to keep yourself safe and well in the world.

Here’s a good resource on affinity fraud. Remember, none of us are immune. Educate yourself, and make cautious decisions in terms of what kind of business dealings you do with others, especially friends.

Live in Love,
Love in Leather

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