Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Financial FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. Crime Victims & the United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Role

As the victim of a federal fraud crime, you may suffer financial and emotional harm and even medical problems relating to your victimizationVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology.. And you are not alone. Millions of people in the United States are victims of fraud crimes each year.

THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF FRAUD VICTIMIZATION

Fraud crime is a personal violation. Your trust in your own judgment, and your trust in others, is often shattered. You may feel a sense of betrayal, especially if the perpetrator is someone you know. You may have hesitated to tell family members, friends, or colleagues about your victimization for fear of criticism. If they then were exploited by the same fraud, you might feel guilty and suffer a sense of isolation.

Fraud crimes can destroy your financial security and sometimes that of your loved ones. If you are elderly, disabled, or on a fixed income – and you lack opportunities to recover your losses – you may face additional traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS., even the loss of your independence.

You may experience feelings about:

  • Yourself. That old saying, “Hindsight is 20-20,” is never more true than in financial fraud crimes. Many victims believe they should have known or recognized what was going on, or blameBlame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action. themselves for being too trusting or naive.
  • The fraud criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. for taking financial advantage of you, betraying your trust, and jeopardizing your financial independence and security
  • Your family, friends and colleagues for blamingBlaming Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action. you, being upset over what they perceive as your lack of judgment, or withdrawing financial or emotional support.
  •  The investigative and prosecutorial phases of the justice process, especially in cases that progress slowly or do not result in financial outcomes favorable to you.
  • The news media for failing to warn the public about fraud schemes or for exploiting victims when fraud crimes are reported.
  • Consumer protection agencies for failing to protect your interests.
  • Creditors who don’t understand your dire financial circumstances.
  • Community, state and federal agencies if their resources are limited or they do not have the authority to help you.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT FRAUD VICTIMIZATION

What is fraud?

Fraud occurs when a person or business intentionally deceives another with promises of goods, services, or financial benefits that do not exist, were never intended to be provided, or were misrepresented. Typically, victims give money but never receive what they paid for.

Who are the victims of fraud?

Virtually anyone can fall prey to fraudulent crimes. Con artists do not pass over anyone due to such factors as a person’s age, finances, educational level, gender, race, culture, ability, or geographic location. In fact, fraud perpetrators often target certain groups based on these factors.

Why are fraud crimes under-reported?

Although fraud victims are not alone, they often suffer their losses alone and in silence. ShameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self;