"How could you give money to someone you've never met?"
That's the first question most people ask.
For Jan Marshall, life was good. She had worked hard, set herself up well, and was looking for a companion to share her future with. Just as countless thousands around the world do, every day, she turned to online dating.
In just a few months, Jan believed she was 'in love'. She accepted a proposal of marriage, and then sent money - ALL her money - to a professional scammer.
How did it happen? How can an intelligent person be so thoroughly scammed?
Jan courageously shares the details of her devastating experience, in order to help others recognise such devious swindlers who prey on trusting souls, and maybe even to catch this thief.
You might think it can't happen to you, or someone you love, but can you be sure?
The work is a non-fiction account and memoir covering the communication between myself and the scammer, based on my records of our communications. By sharing the personal and intimate nature of the interactions it asks the reader to put themselves in my shoes, and in response the question "how could you be so stupid?" is answered. It details the process of dealing emotionally with the scam and the financial difficulties that I found myself in afterwards. It is a story of my process through being a victim to becoming a survivor. Areas that need change are also addressed. Some support resources and links are also provided, though this is not the main purpose.
"Jan Marshall is a vital voice in the discourse on romance fraud." Dr Cassandra Cross, Cyber Frauds, Scams and their Victims.
"I applaud and respect your honesty - it must have been extraordinarily challenging to relive the experience, and I salute you for it. It's a high emotional impact book."
"I began reading Love over Money and have been compelled to continue.
My heart is breaking for you as I am amazed by your strength.
This is more than a memoir. It has great honesty and openness and contains much useful research and advice."
A friend and editor
Four Stars and Silver Book Award from LITERARY TITAN:
"Romance Scam Survivor, written by Jan Marshall, is the story of how Jan herself came to be the victim of an online scam. ...
Jan recounts her story using many of the emails and instant messages she collected throughout the exchange. This is a unique approach to the topic, as in doing this, she shows how the scam affected her emotionally at each stage of the journey. By looking back on her conversations with Eamon she comments, with hindsight, the worrying signs of a scam and pin-points exactly how she got reeled in.
As the relationship grew stronger Jan's friends and family tried to warn her against Eamon. They tried to tell her that Eamon was becoming obsessive, a trait common in scammers. The reader holds a similar outsider perspective as the friends do in the book, watching as Eamon tries to increase the contact to numerous times a day and persistently asking for personal details. The reader thus feels the same compulsion as Jan's friends and family to point out the 'red flags' of the relationship.
Eamon continuously plays on Jan's hopes, fantasies and fears. She wants to settle down with a man, so Eamon fills that role for her, talking about potentially moving to Melbourne with her. This makes the relationship all the more real to Jan thus getting her hopes up. Jan's fear of being alone and unworthy of love also add to her denial of Eamon being anything sinister, even when he change's topic swiftly to her assets and work history. As the reader, it is hard to watch the scam unfold and seeing how vulnerable Jan was.
The most striking part of this book however, is Part Two, where Jan discusses her recovery. She explains the first days and weeks in detail, exploring her relationships with the people around her. Explaining their reactions, how they questioned her decisions. But most importantly her own thoughts; how she grappled with how easily she had been manipulated and why she ignored the signs.
This book gives a victim's perspective of how a scam impacts one's life and with hindsight gives a deeply critical investigation into how they can be manipulated. In an age where dating sites and apps are becoming common, this book could help people who have been in a similar situations, those who are potentially going through it, or potentially instill caution in those that don't know the signs to lookout for."
Five Stars from Bruce Miller of Team Golfwell
"I liked "Romance Scam Survivor: the whole sordid story" by Jan Marshall which I felt was a very bold account of her dealings with a scammer. Women can learn from her book. It's well written, fast moving and very interesting about the people in this world who put on a good show with nothing behind it but deceit. I admire the author for writing this book."