How To Deal With Scams – So much of our lives happens digitally these days, a fact which opens up enormous opportunities for networking, accessing goods and services, and connecting with others no matter where they are. However, the dark side of these benefits means that it is consequently much easier to scam individuals through digital methods. These scams can have disastrous effects for individuals across many levels, from financial to social to mental health. At Horizon Plymouth, we frequently see first-hand the impact of scams on individuals and seek to raise awareness about signs of potential scams in order to prevent such negative effects. Common scams include anything from stealing your personal identification to committing identity theft to extorting large or small sums of money from you. However, no matter whether you are the victim of a small scam or a more far-reaching scheme, the effects on your mental health can be incredibly hard to overcome.
Emotional impact of scams
Falling victim to a scam is not a reflection on you. Scams are designed to look exactly like real requests—even trained professionals occasionally have difficulty telling scams apart from legitimate posts. However, they can still have an enormous emotional impact, especially if there are financial, social, or legal consequences as a result of the scam. Often worsening these effects is the fact that the scammer is unable to be found and nothing can be done about the loss. Common emotional impacts that Horizon Plymouth counsellors see amongst scam and fraud victims include:
Seeking the services of a qualified counsellor such as those at Horizon Plymouth can help you to work through your feelings regarding scams and come to terms with what happened to you in order to move on in a much healthier manner.
The need to be aware
It can often be hard to spot a scam at first glance, as a good scam will be as believable as possible and closely resemble a real-life situation. As a general rule, any time you have to provide personal information or pay money for something, take a closer look at the scenario to see if there are any of the following red flags:
- Anyone claiming to be an authority or government figure asking you to pay money to resolve an apparent issue
- Asking for your personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or personal identification numbers
- Requesting money through wire transfers, prepaid gift cards, or other methods that are difficult to trace
- Claims that encourage you to act quickly to claim something such as a steep discount or a prize that seems too good to be true
If you suspect that something might be a scam, before continuing further, it is always worth phoning the organisation that the scammer claims to be with to check the validity of their claims. If you uncover a scam, reporting it to the proper authorities can help to reduce the incidence of scams for others.
If you or someone that you know has fallen victim to a scam and is suffering negative effects as a result, it might be a good idea to speak to a qualified professional counsellor at Horizon Plymouth. We can work to help you work through any feelings that you are dealing with before they cause a lasting negative influence on your mental health. Scams and the scammers who implement them are cruel and don’t care about the negative marks that they leave on their victims that they take advantage of. That’s where Horizon Plymouth comes in, to compassionately work with you towards a better future. Call today to schedule your initial consultation!