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My mum is a victim of a romance scam and is in denial

Community Member

My mum is currently "in a relationship" with a scammer and is in complete denial of what is happening. She has accused me of some awful things and it's taking every fiber of my being to put this down to the psychologically manipulative situation she is in and try to not let it affect me but it's so incredibly difficult. The seemingly endless rollercoaster of seeing a horrible situation unfold is impacting everything in my life. I'm not sleeping,I'm constantly anxious and I feel utterly helpless.

My dad died just over a year ago, and this has been hard enough to deal with, but this scam has been going on for months and she's getting in deeper and deeper. I lost my dad already. I don't want to lose my mum. My brother is handling this even worse. Everyone has always told me how strong I am so I keep trying to hold myself together for the sake of my family but I fear I am shattering inside. I have never sought mental health support before today but I'm desperate and I don't know where to turn.

Is there anyone out there with a similar experience who can offer some ideas on what to do? I want to help my mum and family but I know I have to also help myself.

8 Replies 8

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I recall 60 minutes carried out an investigation a few years ago.

A lady about 60yo A60Ayoustralian Caucasian was "in love" with a 25yo Nigerian man. She'd given him a few hundred thousand dollars over a 12 month period.

60 minutes investigated and found he was indeed a fraud. They managed to confirm this and told the lady, complete with evidence.

However at the end of the segment they asked he "if he asked for more money would you give it to him"?... "I think so" was her answer. She was infatuated.

I don't have the answer to your problem apart from counseling if you can get her there.


Hi Dusicka, 

FIrst of all we want to thank you for joining our community and say how brave we think you are to reach out for support. It is a great act of courage to share you story and experiences with us here. It is a wonderful and welcoming community of people and we are sure you will find nothing but kindess and understanding. 

We are really sorry that you are feeling so low and distressed at the moment. It sounds like there is a lot going on with your mum and losing your dad must have been an incredibily difficult time.

It sounds like it could be useful for you to give out phoneline a call on 1300 22 4636 and talk through how you are feeling. The counsellors there are fantastic at offering practical and helpful adivce when we are feeling anxious and unsure. You can also try Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you want. Reaching out and talking about how we feel is a great first step. 

It can be hard to talk though and so you can also try our webchat service, please note that this is not a 24/7 service.

Thank you again for coming and sharing your story and please feel free to come back and update us if you feel comfortable.

Kind regards ,
Sophie M

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dusicka, welcome to the forum.

I'm really sorry to hear about what you're going through with your mum. My grandma went through a very similar thing where she was talking to someone in South Africa (her home country) but we had to tell her his profile picture was actually the CEO of Twitter.

Though she realised what was happening, she kept speaking to him (didn't give him any money luckily) but I truly think that having that attention and feeling loved by someone trumped the reality of the situation. She's probably feeling so lonely and there is a gap in her missing which your dad used to hold. Usually people take time and heal in a healthy manner but sometimes people try to fill the gap in whichever way works for them.

For your mum, I think the best thing you can do is acknowledge how she is feeling and try and guide her to a healthier way to handle these feelings. Maybe you could go to a joint counseling session together. I can only imagine the impact this is having on you as well and it's really important to take care of your own mental health while you support others. I'd recommend giving the numbers Sophie provided a call first as a starting point. Hotlines have helped me before a lot 🙂

Community Member

I’m going through this myself at the moment. It’s so hard to get help from anyone! 

Dear Worried-daughter,
Welcome to our supportive forums’ community, thank you for having the courage to seek assistance with your concerns. We are so sorry to hear that you feel you mum is being taken advantage of or scammed.
Sorry you have not had a reply, sometimes posting on an existing thread can make it harder to spot.
We hope there has been some improvement in your situation and encourage you to provide an update.
If you believe there is a risk to your mum, please consider going to the police to discuss your concern and ask for advice on how to minimize the risk to your mum.
While you wait for the amazing support from our lovely community, we just wanted to pop in and remind you that Beyond Blue is here if you need support.
Beyond Blue are available 24/7 via calls and chat via this link.
Thank you again for joining our supportive community and sharing your experiences, we hope you find the shared insights and advice of our members helpful.
Warm regards
Sophie M

Community Member

Hi, I am in exactly the same situation. My mum has been in a romance scam for over 2.5 yrs and lost all her savings. My dad passed away a few years ago. She has been spoken to by police, consumer protection, friends family and she denies or lies. I haven’t been sleeping properly for 2 years, I’m constantly stressed trying to come up with ways to help her but she tells me I’ve ruined her life. I’m worried she will end up homeless giving the scammer everything. Wondering what the outcome has been with your mum. I see this post is a couple of years old now

Hi, I’m wondering if you have any insight of what to do or any success? I just don’t know what to do anymore, my mum won’t listen to anyone, even the authorities. It’s so stressful 

I have been in a similar situation. It’s going to be very hard for your mom to believe it’s a scam. You should seek the services of Brugetech..com. They are a cybersecurity company that helps victims of romance scam. They helped me recover the money I lost to the scammers