Emotional Harm

Victims, in addition to having lost tens of thousands of dollars, often also lose their ability to trust. The 419 Eater website says, “Although there is no serious physical injury, many victims of con-men speak of the betrayal as the psychological equivalent of rape” [26]. Victims may blame themselves for what has happened, resulting in overwhelming guilt and shame. If the victim has borrowed money from others to pay the scammer, these feelings are magnified. Further compounding the problem is the public opinion of scam letters and scam victims. Scam letters are often viewed as humorously moronic, and the people who fall for them equally so, in complete disregard to the fact that people from all walks of life at every level of education fall for these scams. The victim, having lost money through the scammer’s manipulation of payment methods such as money orders or checks, may become distrustful of the financial system. Scam victims may stop trusting and giving money to churches, legitimate charities and, in the extreme, even service providers such as their electric company because of their requests for money. The stress caused by the dwindling wealth and mounting debt can tear families and interpersonal relationships apart. Suicide is a common escape from the hardship and shame of being a fraud victim.

In other cases, the victim will continue to contact the scammer after being shown proof that they are being scammed or even being convicted of crimes relating to the scam, having been drawn so deeply into the web of deception that their trust in what the scammer tells them overrides everything else in their life.[27] Such victims are easy prey for future scams, digging themselves even deeper into financial and legal trouble.

Source : wikipedia

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