Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.

They might also say that they live near you, but that they’re away; they could be in another country on a trip or for work, but they’ll almost certainly be somewhere far away where you can’t meet them.

Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.

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The disclosure is crucial: the co-addict needs to know the extent of her partner's addiction in order to decide whether she can stay in the marriage. Their own needs, wants, and values are often obscured by years of self-neglect due to "other focus." Further, it is draining living with someone whose attention is always elsewhere. This means individual therapy with a sex addiction specialist, 12-step groups geared for partners such as COSA, therapist-facilitated partner support groups, and psychoeducation about co-addiction. The discovery of the addict's behavior is intensely traumatic.

The partner must shift her focus from the addict to her own mental, emotional, and physical health. Although co-addicts are never responsible for the addict's actions, they need to learn why they chose the addict and how they might have used their obsession with the addict to keep themselves from focusing on their own lives. Co-addicts often become hypervigilant, trying to control the addict to prevent further trauma.

When it was clear that Sam was not invested in saving the marriage, she was emotionally and logistically ready to leave.

Even when a situation as destructive as sex addiction is present, a partner should not leave a marriage in haste, despite what friends or family may urge.

Unlike many young mothers, Stephanie was in the position to leave an unhappy marriage and be able to provide a good standard of living for herself and her child. The following is a suggested treatment plan for couples dealing with sexual acting-out within a marriage. If an addict doesn't genuinely take ownership of his behaviors, recovery is not possible. Therapy and 12-step groups can also help the addict identify slippery-slope behaviors such as flirting, cruising, and using the computer without net nannies (that prevent the addict from clicking on porn sites). Typically, the addict reads aloud his sexual history, including behaviors that occurred within the marriage.

The therapist will assist the couple in processing this information and setting boundaries for acceptable behavior. Partners tend to be caretakers who structure their lives around the addict.Taking a year to focus on personal growth -- whether or not the addict chooses to do the same -- will give partners clarity and empower them to make the decision that is right for them.In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.Snooping through the addict's belongings, calling multiple times a day to check the addict's whereabouts, telling the addict's therapist how to treat the addict, are all understandable responses to trauma, but can actually be re-traumatizing, in addition to shifting the focus from where it needs to be: on the co-addict. Even if she decides to stay, she needs to set personal goals that will enhance her life.The co-addict must learn the only person she can control is herself. This may mean taking charge of finances, seeking paid work, developing a self-care program, nurturing relationships with friends and family.The photos used by scammers can also clue you in that something is off.