Emotional toll of financial fraud

Published 8:55 am Monday, May 4, 2015

By Lana Hollerud

Crime Victim’s Resource Center

Anybody, regardless of education or financial status, can be a victim of financial fraud.

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Recent studies estimate that between 12.5 and 15 percent of the population are victims of financial fraud, according to a report by The National Center for Victims of Crime.

All too often people who experience financial fraud are victimized by somebody they know and trust. This fraud typically takes place in the form of misusing their checking account or credit card, or perhaps selling the victim’s assets. Being victimized by someone you know can be particularly distressing to victims and can make it harder for them to recover, both emotionally and financially.

Unfortunately, most of these victims never report their victimization to law enforcement. Common reasons they give for not reporting include not wanting to get the perpetrator, who may be a close friend or family member, in legal trouble, or they may have been threatened by the perpetrator and are afraid of retaliation. Some financial fraud victims feel shame and guilt about their victimization and are hesitant to report that they have lost money because they are afraid that they will lose their legal or financial independence.

It is important to consider reporting thefts of this nature to law enforcement. Even if the possibility of recovering the money or stolen assets is limited, reporting to law enforcement can help stop further losses and potentially keep others from being victimized by the same person.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing financial fraud victimization please give us a call at Crime Victims Resource Center (507-437-6680) for advocacy and support, and to learn about options available. All services provided are confidential and free of charge.