HOW TO HANDLE THE AFTERMATH OF A FRAUD:

12 STEPS TO GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK ON TRACKTM

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  1. The Toughest: STOP BLAMING YOURSELF AND PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS - ON THE PERSON WHO CONNED YOU!

  2. Don't beat yourself up.  Say this out loud as many times a day and for as many days as it takes to stop feeling miserable: "Okay, I made a mistake.  Now, let's move on."  Yes, this really does work.

  3. Do not allow yourself to be casually judged.  If anyone tries to make you feel guilty or foolish (as if you don't feel bad enough), either walk away or tell them flat out that they are in no position to judge you.  If the person who has been assigned to your case tries to make you feel stupid, ask to speak with someone else or ask to speak to a supervisor.  Remember this: swindlers 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.               Back to top

  4. Give yourself time to grieve.  It's your right - you have been robbed of more than money or possessions, you have been robbed of your self-confidence and your self-esteem.  That kind of loss is not to be taken lightly. 

  5. Remember this at all times: YOU ARE A VICTIM.  The swindlers who involved you in their schemes are professionals.  It is their life's work and they study their craft day and night.  Their sole purpose is to transfer money from your pocket to theirs, and they are very, very good at it.  They are intelligent and as well-educated in their line of work as any doctor or lawyer is in his or her respective profession.  They are often under-estimated and like it that way because it makes their job easier.

  6. Get on with your life!  No easy thing, but make some headway each day.  Give yourself a goal and head for it ruthlessly.

  7. Find someone to talk to who has no ax to grind.  When you do open up, be completely honest.  If you continue to hide this or that, it will all haunt you.  If you did something stupid, admit it.  Go through all the "if only's."  IT'S OKAY!

  8. There is no such thing as a little con.  All swindles hurt, some more than others.  It is not for anyone else to judge how much a swindle has hurt you.  Do not allow yourself to be belittled.  You were the one on the front lines, and absolutely no one can judge how they would have reacted under the same conditions.           Back to top

  9. Don't rack your brain trying to figure out why your "friend" did this to you - he or she did it because that's what swindlers do.  Their minds do not operate in the same way yours and mine do.  You can't peek in there and try to make sense of their behavior because you are trying to analyze the behavior of a criminal mind using a sane, moral mind as a base platform.  You might as well try to psych out a Martian.

  10. Never live in the Past.  Flashbacks happen.  Nothing you can do about it.  But the more time you spend re-living the events of the scam, the more you will find yourself stuck there.  This doesn't do you any good at all.  As a matter of fact, it prevents you from realizing what life is offering you NOW.  Live in the Present, do not anticipate the Future.  Plan for it, yes.  But that's all.  The Present is happening now, deal with it.

  11. TIME takes time.  Understand that a case file can remain open for years and years before the criminal is caught or the case may finally end up in the dead case file.  This is especially true if there is a lack of information or if the grounds for indictment are very weak.  If you depend on the authorities to put an end to the criminal's career before you feel vindicated, you may very well end up with an emotional door hanging open, banging in the wind.  Forget it.  Once you have given all the information you have to the authorities, that's your  vindication, that's your closure..  It has to be.  If the crook is caught, that's just icing on the cake.      Back to top

  12. Learn to laugh again, with yourself but not at yourself!  The sooner you do this, the sooner you will heal.  Avoid rehashing the stupid mistakes to make them laughable.  If you do, you will reinforce the shame, the humiliation you are feeling.  You will only prolong the healing period.  People always listen to their own voices before they listen to the voices of others.  Tell yourself often enough that you are a stupid dolt, and you will sincerely believe it no matter what anyone says to the contrary. There is no need to prolong your misery beyond what is reasonable.  

 

None of the these steps is easy.  I ought to know.  It took me years to get over having been the target of a swindle, and it shouldn't have.  I still think nasty words when I remember the impact my belief in the swindlers had on other innocent people who trusted my word enough to invest their hard-earned dollars, but now it's in the proper perspective.  Life does go on.  Decide now: where are you going from here?  What is the first thing you have to do to get there?  What are you waiting for?   DO IT!


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