I had a very friend who I was close with that I knew for a long time. My family even knew him from birthday parties and we had gone on trips together etc. My friend recently involved me in a scam and basically stole several hundreds of dollars (more details in my other questions).

As it is now I have blocked off all communication with my ex-friend. My family (including my grandmother) keeps asking about him. I've told them parts of what happened and they are surprised I haven't forgiven him yet. I was at a family dinner and one of them who already knew about the falling out asked how he's doing and I said I don't want to talk about it and they replied "I didn't know it was still a sore spot" and after hearing this my other family members became even more interested.

Personally I can't just forgive and forget about someone who has stolen hundreds of dollars from me. Also the dropping communication is partly from my ex-friends end too, when I was trying to resolve it I tried to meet with him but he did things like send other people in his place.

What should I tell my family? The scam was highly technical in nature and most of my family aren't tech savvy. My friend was engaged and my family keeps asking if he's gotten married yet etc. My family worries a lot and I don't want to stress them out by telling them I am out hundreds of dollars.

closed as off-topic by Kaspar Scherrer, Chilly, ElizB, avazula, Belle Aug 13 '18 at 14:00

  • This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    At the moment this is an opinion-based question - you are asking what you should tell them, and we can't decide that for you. You really need to outline what you want to achieve (eg how much you want them to know) and then ask how to do that. – Astralbee Aug 13 '18 at 9:21
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is either a phrasing request or a what-should-I-do question or both, all of which are off topic here. See above comment for how to make the question on-topic. – Kaspar Scherrer Aug 13 '18 at 13:13
  • You don't say where you live - is "out hundreds of dollars" so much that they would be stressed out? Is it the amount of money, or the fact you were scammed? – gnasher729 Aug 14 '18 at 8:04

You need to firstly decide how much you want your family to know about the situation. Personally, I'd advise you tell them everything. Because at the moment they appear to still like and trust this person who scammed you out of hundreds of dollars, so right now the door is open for him to scam your family too. That is how confidence tricksters work - by relying on other's misplaced confidence in them.

If you tell your family the depth of his deception then they might well change their opinion. But at the moment you say they expect you to "forgive". There is a difference between forgiving and forgetting. Forgiving is a "letting go" of the bad feeling, and actually that is helpful to you. Negativity is not good for your health. So maybe your family are just trying to get you to move forward with your life. They might not be suggesting you resume your friendship, and if they are then that might change once you discuss the details with them properly.

Loss of trust in someone, or loss of friendship is really more a consequence of someone's actions and is not dependent on whether or not you "forgive" them. For example, if a friend borrowed your car and accidentally scratched it you might well forgive them completely, but as a consequence you might not loan them your car in future.

What your friend did to you was deliberate and he has shown no remorse, which really indicates he can't be trusted. Unless he were to completely turn around and demonstrate he is sorry to you, including paying back what he took, it is highly unlikely that anybody would expect you to go back to the way things were with this friend.


In general the simple truth should do:

He is a con artist who scammed me out of several hundred dollars.

There's a German saying "Friendship stops at money": it doesn't matter if it's 2 bucks or 2000, as soon as they trick you out of money, they're not a friend anymore. I'm not sure if this is culture dependent, but in my culture, if I say that someone scammed me, nobody would expect me to be friends with them anymore.

That seems to be the main point of your question. There are several directions to go from there, but that comes down to what you want to achieve. If you want to avoid overloading your family with technical explanations,

I did some work for him and he didn't pay like we agreed

is enough. Or, if people are interested in all that juicy drama and you don't want to talk about it,

I'm quite upset about it and don't want to discuss it

will be respected by people who respect you.

However, in the end it comes down to what you want to achieve.

Personally, I would inform anybody who A) knows him and B) I care about, in order to protect them from also being scammed. That's a personal decision though, not something you should just emulate from a stranger on the internet.

Seems I overread your very last sub clause "[...] and I don't want to stress them out by telling them I am out hundreds of dollars". In that case, you might go with less information, like

He betrayed my trust.

That's all I can say so far, the rest then comes down to your context: How stressed out would you family be, would you want to white lie to them "to protect them", how important is keeping an open relationship with your family etc.

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