Romance Scam Survivor Book

Romance Scam Survivor: the whole sordid story

By Jan Marshall

  • “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 herself and the scammer, based on her records of their communications. By sharing the personal and intimate nature of the interactions it asks the reader to put themselves in her 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 she found herself in afterward. It is a story of her 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.

    Rosie said:

    “I read  your  book  in  (almost)  a  single  sitting…….had  to go  to  work  in  midst  of  it.
    Your honesty, vulnerability, determination and persistence are extraordinary.
    I think you are astonishing making such a leap forward from this truly awful challenging event.
    I found it riveting from the start, I’m sure I won’t be the only one.”

    Sue said:

    “I’ve also just finished Jan’s book. Amazing and so powerful, I echo all of Rosie’s words. For me it also helped to hear more of the details that you couldn’t share with us at the time. I was feeling such sadness and anger as well as feeling so much admiration and power as you emerged as Survivor.
    I knew that we were doing our best to support you at the time yet we had no way of knowing what it was really like for you. Reading about the work we all did together on that post-legal letter to the ATO and how this was part of your recovery process was deeply touching.
    And the amount of research you did- wow! This book is a great contribution and over time it’s clear that the system has started to catch up. All the Media work you did is also a big part of this shift and I hope through publishing this book you will be even more widely acknowledged.”

    Format: Paperback and eBook (ePub)

    Pages: 324

    The book is available for order on

  • Romance Scam Survivor Book Trailer

  • Jan Marshall Bio

    On the surface, Jan Marshall is an unassuming woman, just ask her cat... For 30 years Jan worked in the IT industry, selling computers and software, being a consultant, and for 14 years working in the field of Change Management. In 2012 Jan’s quiet life changed forever.
    Jan moved from Brisbane to Melbourne for work and to be closer to family. She wanted some companionship to explore Victoria with, so engaged in online dating. She connected with a man and was defrauded of over $260,000 over a several month period. The realisation leads to grief, shame, financial devastation, and a shattered self image. It takes a number of years to work through all the issues, including financial ones, and fight her way through to becoming a survivor.
    Jan is one of the rare few survivors of a romance scam who has the courage to speak up, and she does - loudly, eloquently and frequently!
    Early in January 2015 she set up a support group for other victims, created a blog, and became an Ambassador for the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) because she is willing to talk publicly about her experience.
    She regularly speaks to the press, TV, and community groups. She has become the face of an internet scam victim in Australia, and is an active advocate for other victims. She also provides peer counselling to other victims and their families.
    Jan loves to draw and paint, read urban fantasy, and propagate African violets. She remains single, having not returned to online dating.