How to cope with the aftermath of fraud

It can happen to anyone

Falling victim to a scam is far more common than we might think.

Scammers and frausters are running highly sophisticated operations, that can get the best of absolutely anyone. 

Fraudsters target everyone, including CEOs, trustees, finance managers, lawyers, investment companies – all to the tune of thousands and millions of dollars. They even swindle police officers. We have to remember that every single one of us is a target.

Please remember – it's not your fault, and there are people you can talk to to get help. Find out where to go in our guide to protecting yourself from fraud and scams.

7 steps to get your life back on track


Don’t beat yourself up.

It might be the hardest step, but it's important to remember that anyone can become victim to fraud.

Say this out loud as many times a day as you need: “Okay, I made a mistake. Now, let’s move on.” This really does work!


Do not allow yourself to feel judged.

If the person who has been assigned to your case does not make you feel comfortable, ask to speak with someone else or ask to speak to a supervisor.

Remember this: fraudsters hit everyone, including heads of state, corporate giants, pension fund trustees, finance managers, corporate attorneys, investment companies, all to the tune of thousands and millions of dollars. They even swindle cops.


Give yourself time to grieve.

It’s often about more than the money or possessions. Becoming victim to fraud can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Take time to talk about it with people you trust, and make sure you're getting the support you need.

Lifeline is available for people in crisis, if you don't know who to talk to reach out to them on 0800 543 354.


Talk to someone you trust.

If you did something you feel embarrassed about, share your fears. You'll likely find that anyone in the same position would have done the same thing.

Go through all the “if only’s” and “should of, could of’s”. It’s okay! Eventually, your inner system will work through it, and you'll be able to see the experience for what it was – a heartbreaking scam, that through no fault of your own, may have caused a lasting impact on your wealth and your wellbeing.


Find out how to prevent it from happening again.

Prevention is key to avoiding the traps of scammers, and to avoid falling into another one in the future. Learn how to protect yourself, the warning signs to watch out for and you will be a long way to staying safe. 

Take a look at our guide to protecting yourself from fraud and scams for resources and strategies to protect yourself and the people you love.


Report it.

If you have sent money, the police advise that you report the loss to your bank and to them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in many cases victims have to accept that they will never see their money again.

However, by reporting the scam you are raising awareness and may be able to save someone else from being conned.

Find out where to go for help in our guide to protecting yourself from fraud and scams


Get back to your life.

This is no easy thing, but take a small step each day.

Adapted from McGuire, A. “Coping with the aftermath of fraud.

Where to go for support

Our The Little Black Book of Scams has what you need to know about typical scams, tips on how to recognise them, how to avoid them and what to do if you have fallen for one of them. 

Our guide to protecting yourself from fraud and scams has a comprehensive list of where to go for support.

There's help available

You may want to consider the services of a counsellor to help you move on.

You can reach out to Lifeline for support at any time. Lifeline Aotearoa’s helpline provides 24/7, confidential support.


Don’t know where to start?

Check out our 6 steps Get Sorted programme to get you on track.

Head to the 6 steps