Admitting that you fell for a scam is something that most people would rather not do. Scammers know this, and they use it to their advantage, but there’s no shame in being conned.
You can be the smartest person in the room and still get taken advantage of. That’s why they’re called scam artists, after all.
There are so many ways they can trick us nowadays. From fake stores online to job listings that turn out to be frauds, investment fraud schemes, and just straight imposters and they’re only getting better at it.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released data that showed Americans filed almost 2.4 million reports of fraud last year. That led to a loss of about $8.8 billion, which is absolutely insane.
Don’t think that you’re alone in this situation, because you aren’t. Many people have had their money stolen by these scammers too.
Right now, you might be feeling upset, frustrated, or even embarrassed, but there are steps you need to take quickly before your finances are ruined completely.
If you’ve fallen victim to fraud, we have a guide that’ll help you recover and protect yourself in the future. We’ll break down everything you need to do.
To recover your scammed money, you can contact a recovery expert here.
How does scamming affect someone’s health?
The impacts of scams go way beyond your wallet. It can also effect one mentally, emotionally, and socially.
Just the thought of losing all of that money is enough for stress to kick in, which can be both intense (from how much they lost) and chronic (long term as they try to recover).
And such stress can lead to depression or other disorders like anxiety. This turns into a symptom where you experience low moods, sleep troubles, or panic attacks that can greatly impact how you work daily and socially.
A feeling of shame or self-blame may usually come after being scammed, which, if left unchecked, can lead to depression. This guilt may also lead to victims becoming more withdrawn from society.
What’s unfortunate about that is that isolating yourself will cause you two problems: making it harder for you to get better since you’re holding onto all the weight, and denying yourself social support.
When something like this happens, it’s best to find ways to take care of yourself. You can reach out to friends and family for comfort and even dive into activities that make you happy. Try to stay positive, too.
Here are some suggestions to recover mentally from a scam:
1. There’s no need to blame yourself
A staggering number comes from the Department of Justice. They estimate that only 15% of fraud victims report the crimes
Why is that? Well, fraud is just as emotional as it is financial. As a victim, you might feel angry or embarrassed that you were tricked. Others won’t report it simply because they don’t think their losses are worth it.
It’s important to know that your feelings shouldn’t get in the way of reporting the crime. Doing so will not only help you recover but also prevent future fraud from happening.
2. Observe and Change Your Thought Process
The way you think about things can do two things, influence your emotions and motivate some kind of behavior as well.
For example, if you dwell on things that have happened and continue to talk down on yourself, you’ll feel terrible.
However, if you focus on the things you can do and forgive yourself because it’s true we all mess up sometimes, I guarantee you’ll feel better.
3. Ask for Help
When something hard comes up in life, what do we do? Reach out for help from our friends and family, of course.
Well, this case is no exception.
Think about someone in your life who is very supportive and safe.
Your support system is going to play a big role in changing your way of thinking. They can help steer you away from dwelling on the event too much and change any negative self talk into positive dialogue.
It’s possible that they’re the support you need for a full recovery from whatever hardship comes your way.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Living a balanced life requires self-care. However, when healing from being scammed, it becomes essential.
Self-care comes in many forms. You can do something as simple as taking care of your physical health by eating well, getting enough sleep, and going on daily jogs.
Another option is seeking help from professionals to keep your mental health in check. Sometimes self-care is just about implementing healthy boundaries and knowing when to say no.
Taking care of yourself also means doing things you enjoy. If you like the great outdoors, then go out and take a hike!
Feel free to indulge in your artistic side or pick up an instrument.
Learning new things can be fun too, so don’t hesitate to invest in some classes or read books that catch your interest.
5. Warn others
It’s shocking how often scams happen. We need a safe place where we can share our experiences and warn others about these threats. Knowing about the game helps us avoid becoming victims, and we can’t do that alone. A support group is what we need.
People always think they’re too smart to be scammed. But I’ve seen it happen to anyone.
At first, it feels like the person you’re talking to has your back. Then suddenly you get hit with a contract or a request for money. You realize something is wrong, but by then it’s too late.
Anyone would feel foolish after realizing they were scammed. So it makes sense why people don’t talk about it much. They don’t want their children to take power of attorney over them, making them feel helpless and dependent on others again.
But suffering in silence won’t help either. We should have judgement free conversations with others who have experienced the same thing. Sharing this information will not only prevent more scams but also help us cope with what happened in a healthy way.
6. Act fast when assessing the damage you’ve fallen victim to
Scammers rely on their ability to go unnoticed. The longer it takes for you to realize it’s a fraud, the more they can take, and the harder it’ll be for you to get that back.
The moment it clicks in your head that this is a scam, start checking and documenting all the damage done.
Tell your state consumer protection office about what happened. Letting them know could help them warn others about this potential scam.
Also, let the local police know if you lost money or any other possessions as a result of this fraudulent operation. It might not seem like much, but reporting the scam will be able to help your local or federal government track down these scammers.
To increase your chances of getting your money back or removing fraudulent charges, reach out to third parties and make sure you still report it to organizations outside of the government as well.
If you bought something online from a retailer that turned out to be a scammer, contact their fraud department right away.
Some positive news is that if you used your bank account or credit card, then the issuer of that card will have your back too, so let them know what happened as soon as possible.
And lastly, report scams to major credit reporting agencies. They’ll keep an eye out for suspicious activity under your name and put an end to it before anything happens.
Scammers are good at what they do. It’s worth repeating! Scammers are good at what they do!
They play on people’s emotions, needs, and fears. Sometimes we can be more easily fooled when the scammer presents an easy way to get something we want so badly or a way to avoid something we are very afraid of.
The way our brains tend to work in these situations just makes it so much easier for them to take things from us. These statements only bring on embarrassment, shame, and self doubt which don’t help with anything.
To beat around the bush here, anyone can be caught in a scam. There’s no telling who it will happen too next, and it doesn’t make you stupid if you do fall for one. Don’t blame yourself for someone else’s actions.