Financial Fraud Crime Victims
This article is intended for Fraud & Scam Victims in the United States. However, there is equivalent information for most western countries – look on your Department or Ministry of Justice for such information.
As the victim of a federal fraud crime, you may suffer financial and emotional harm and even medical problems relating to your victimization. And you are not alone. Millions of people in the United States are victims of fraud crimes each year.
Being the victim of fraud means that you are going to be dealing with a complicated set of requirements, laws, and things you will need to do. This will not always be easy, but you can do it – you will make it through this process if you are committed. You will have a lot to learn, and we work tirelessly to bring the information you need to know to every victim of scams and fraud. But, no one will save you, you will have to do the work yourself, but if you do, not only will it help you obtain the best possible outcome, also, this also contributes to your long-term emotional recovery. RomanceScamsNOW.com is the SCARS encyclopedia of scams – use it and you will learn!
A Victim Of A Federal Crime
Under federal law, a “victim” means an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime. If the victim is deceased, then that person’s spouse, child, parent, guardian or other relative may qualify as the victim on their behalf. If the victim is a minor (under age 18), then the victim’s parent or guardian may choose to exercise the child victim’s rights. If the victim is mentally or emotionally unable to participate in the legal process, then his or her parent, guardian or custodian may exercise that right.
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 trauma, 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 blame themselves for being too trusting or naive.
- The fraud criminal for taking financial advantage of you, betraying your trust, and jeopardizing your financial independence and security
- Your family, friends and colleagues for blaming 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 are my rights under federal law?
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
- The right to reasonable, accurate and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding involving the crime, or of any release or escape of the accused.
- The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines that testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
- The reasonable right to confer with an attorney for the Government in the case.
- The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
- The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.
- The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.
What Other Laws Affect Victim’S Rights?
In addition to the Victim and Witness Protection Act (VWPA) of 1982, applicable laws include:
Federal Victim FAQs
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, was never intended to be provided, or was misrepresented. Typically, victims give money but never receive what they paid for or what was promised. However, anytime a victim provides something of value (including their time) as a result of deception by the scammer or fraudster it can be considered fraud.
Who Are The Victims Of Fraud?
Virtually anyone can fall prey to fraudulent crimes. Con artists do not pass over anyone due to such factor