Money Wellness
illustrated woman stressed at a PC after being scammed
calendar icon22 Mar 2024

Fraud victims struggle with mental health after a crime

Three in five fraud victims have struggled with their own mental health after a crime, research from Stop! Think Fraud, a government campaign, found. The campaign is backed by organisations representing law enforcement, tech, banking, telecoms and charities.

The research highlighted:

  • 55% Bottom of Formof people whose mental health was affected said they experienced anxiety.
  • 48% dealt with depression after becoming a victim to fraud
  • 51% had low self esteem after becoming a victim to fraud
  •  26% of fraud victims experienced physical changes as a direct result of losing money, like  losing or gaining weight, having headaches and suffering from panic attacks.
  • 69% of fraud victims had sleep problems
  • 21% said the crime had a significant impact on their sleep

The campaign has teamed up with Mental Health UK and behavioural psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. Dr Papadopoulos said: “One of the most insidious things about these scams is that they create a barrier to seeking support, because the victim feels ashamed.

“There is a sense that they ‘should’ have known better, that they ‘could’ have spotted the signs, and as a consequence, this embarrassment often stops people from not only feeling entitled to seek support but, critically, from processing and responding to what has happened in a way that minimises the impact on their mental health.

“The fact is that scams like these can happen to anybody. Fraudsters and the technology they use are becoming so advanced that our ability to spot fraud and respond to it is constantly being challenged.

“The key message here is to encourage anyone that has experienced fraud to seek support, because good effective support is out there.”

There are many different scams out there, but we’ve put together a guide on how to spot fraud and the latest scams to look out for.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, report it. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, fraud should be reported to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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