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The Effects of Falling Victim to a Scam

Sarah Bolton

Sarah Bolton

Falling for a scam is something that can happen to anyone under certain circumstances.
Any individual of any gender, age, race, educational level, geographic location or income is vulnerable to this type of vicious crime.
Even intelligent, skeptical and successful people who are wrongfully overconfident they would never fall for it are not immune from being targeted.

For decades, scammers have used a variety of traditional methods to con people out of their money. The popular platforms for fraud were phone, mail, flyers, and the streets.
In our current technology-driven age, online scams may come in many shapes and forms and through a variety of techniques: fake websites, email, phishing, malware, and others.

Many people have difficulties identifying fraud in real time and detecting the differences between legitimate offers and dubious ones.
Con artists use sophisticated and persuasive psychological techniques to lure their unsuspecting victims and exploit their human weaknesses.
Their goal? To influence them to act illogically and provoke a spontaneous ‘gut reaction’ to their fraudulent “special offer”.

Falling prey to such criminal acts may have a devastating impact on the victims’ lives, which may come about in different forms:


Scams, rip-offs, and dishonest behavior may exist in every type of transaction.
Financial fraud may cost people anything from a small amount to their entire life savings, even up to the level of becoming homeless.
Other possible implications may include identity theft, damaged credit, mounting debt, and other financial issues.


Scams often have devastating emotional consequences on victims.
The initial shock, dealing with feelings of embarrassment, guilt and shame, the humiliation and the understandable anger leave the victims crushed and heartbroken.

The tendency of some people to blame the victims for their poor judgment, naivety, gullibility, stupidity and overall responsibility for the situation only exacerbates the problem.
After being psychologically violated, the trauma may lead to panic, stress, anxiety, an inability to trust people, and even depression or other mental illnesses.

Other Health Impacts

In some cases, fraud victims may suffer illnesses or conditions such as loss of appetite, weight loss, sleeplessness, nausea, and other unfortunate health-related problems.