Being a victim of fraud

Table of Contents for: Being a victim of fraud

Being a victim of fraud - a man fleeing and getting away with it.
Getting away with it. By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Being a victim of fraud is horrible and it wrecks lives.

Fraud can devastate individuals, families and businesses.
We can suddenly find ourselves being dropped into a debt that we will find hard to pay back, or our whole future financial stability is suddenly stolen from us.
Fraud can destroy or cripple businesses so that staff have to be laid off causing tremendous personal hardships, or the business owners suddenly find themselves in serious debt.

Be fraud aware

We can believe that we would never get caught by fraud but no-one is immune to it:

The Crime Survey of England and Wales reveal there were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in 2016-17.
However we think that fewer than 20 per cent of incidents of fraud are actually reported so the true figure may be much higher.

National Crime Agency [i]

Criminals harvest personal and financial information and use this information to commit fraud, so beware of giving anybody that information and do not reveal personal details on platforms like Facebook.
You may even believe that you are dealing with a well known reputable company, but it could be a fraudster impersonating that company.
One way is to never respond immediately to any email or telephone call, because we don’t know whether it is truly that company.

Try to contact any well known companies by doing an internet search and finding their details on their website and not by clicking on a link in an email.

A fraudster typing on a computer.
Fraudster at work [iii]

Being a victim of fraud makes us feel stupid and annoyed with ourselves

Yes we can spend all our time beating ourselves up and saying constantly ‘why did I do that?’
We can feel like a failure, and we’ve let our family down.

How to cope with feelings of failure

Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place;
for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Proverbs 24:15-16

We can fail and fall financially, but the Bible tells us that we will rise up again.
We need to continue to be right in all our dealings and the Lord will raise us up – perhaps not immediately, but he will at some point.

If the fraud came because we had not been righteous in our dealings, then we must seek forgiveness and commit ourselves to doing what is right.

Being a victim of fraud can make us bitter and frustrated

One of the problems with being a victim of fraud is that we can be consumed by the unfairness of the situation.
Hatred and bitterness can fill us – we feel so powerless.

What is the opposite force to this hatred and bitterness?

How to cope with bitterness

It is God’s constant flowing grace of his undeserving love.

Does that mean that we work up our ‘love’ for these people and forgive and forget them?
Well, forgiveness is more about freeing ourselves from the bitterness than just forgiving them.
By choosing to forgive them we break that hold they have on us and frees the Lord to deal with the fraudsters in his way.

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Hebrews 12:15

And yes, we do need to report the fraudsters to the authorities (report fraud here: [ii] ).

Being a victim of fraud can make us doubt God

Why did God allow us to be a victim of fraud?
It seems so unfair.
We could have been doing nothing wrong and suddenly ‘BANG!’ this comes crashing in upon us.

How to cope with our doubt

At the moment we cannot see any help coming from the Lord but obviously we can’t view it from a position in the future, where we probably could see things differently.
Perhaps we could say then; ‘wow, it could have been a lot worse’ or ‘yes, he did get me out of that hole!’

That’s where trust in him comes in – we need to cling to him.

Below are the words from Psalm 7 where David is fleeing from his enemies who want him dead.
It’s a very unfair situation and he tries to cling to God, to find refuge in him.

LORD my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
LORD my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands – if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe – then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.
Arise, LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies.
Awake, my God; decree justice.
Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high.
Let the LORD judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. 
God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.
If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. 
He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.
Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made.
The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.”

Psalm 7

[i] Fraud – National Crime Agency
[ii] Action Fraud
[iii] Photo credit Bibhuranjan
[iv] ‘Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute as of February 2020′ Statista