Emotional Impact of Fraud Victimization

The federal criminal justice system recognizes that you, as a victim of a federal fraud crime, want information about the justice process, you have an important role to play in that process, and you possess rights that must be honored and may need referrals to support services. This handbook has been developed to address your needs and provide you with important information. In addition, the handbook answers questions commonly asked by fraud victims and lists resources that may be of help to you.

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:

You might find the criminal justice process intimidating and stressful due to several factors:

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