If you are currently in crisis, please call the 988 hotline.

If your mental or emotional health have been impacted following your scam experience, you are not alone. Almost 50 percent of people who have been targeted by a scam reported losing confidence or peace of mind following a scam attempt, according to BBB research. Remember, feeling this way is entirely normal. But it’s also important to remember that this is not your fault. There are steps you can take to feel better.


STEP #1: Take Immediate Action (Prevent Further Impact)

If your mental or emotional health have been impacted, the following steps are offered to help you take your power back.

  1. Talk to a non-judgmental and supportive person such as a friend, family member, clergy, mental health counselor, or support hotline. Our one-pager provides suggestions on how to choose the right person to speak with.
  2. If you are struggling to get back on track, consider talking to a professional.
  3. Beware of scammers offering credit repair services, which are bogus, expensive promises to solve your credit issues. Learn more about these scams.  


STEP #2: Warn Others (Report a Scam)

Good job on taking the first steps to control the situation. We recommend taking a few moments to report the scam, which can help us fight fraud. Please consider reporting the incident you encountered to BBB Scam Tracker, our prevention and reporting platform. Reporting the scam to the proper channels can help law enforcement shut down scam operations that prey on others. BBB shares all scam reports with the FTC, and we publish key information from the reports, enabling the public to determine if they are being targeted. Learn more about BBB Scam Tracker.


STEP #3: Take Important Next Steps to Recover

Thank you for reporting the scam! We’ve outlined some additional steps you can take to protect your mental and emotional well-being:

  • Consider joining a support group.
    • Choose a group that is established, trustworthy, and private.
    • Call 2-1-1 to find low- or no-cost assistance in your community.
  • Practice “self-care.”
    • Make time for activities that are soothing or enjoyable for you.
    • Examples: yoga, meditation, listening to music, talking to friends, or going for a walk in nature or around your neighborhood. Any safe activity that makes you feel good can be self-care.
    • As people have different preferences for self-care, click here for an extended list that could give you some ideas for yourself.
  • Monitor your mental health by simply assessing how you’re doing and continuing to practice self-care.


STEP #4: Avoid Future Scams (Learn How)

Learning how to protect yourself can feel empowering. Research indicates that knowledge about scams and scam tactics can help people spot and avoid scams that will inevitably target them. The unfortunate truth is that scammers will always try to steal data, money, and important information from people, and that even when scammers are caught, others will replace them. The best defense, then, is to understand what a scam looks like and how to smartly respond.  Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning more about scam types and tactics. Visit BBB’s Scam Prevention Guide.


More Resources

General resources

Canadian residents

Active-duty military personnel, spouses and veterans

If you are struggling in other ways, consider reading the following guides:


If you are currently in crisis, please call the 988 hotline.