The Non-Traditional Costs of Fraud

Authors: FINRA Investor Education Foundation and ARC

Publication: FINRA

Year: 2015

Focus Area: 2000 to Present, Aging, Impact of Fraud, Fraud Surveys

Relevance: Fraud’s effects linger and cause distress well after the scam is over. The emotional consequences are often worse than financial losses. This new research underscores the importance of the FINRA Foundation’s work with an array of national, state and local partners to help Americans avoid fraud, and assist consumers who have been defrauded.

Summary: The FINRA Foundation’s survey was administered online in August of 2014, and 600 self-reported fraud victims responded to the survey. Non-probability quota sampling was used to obtain the sample, and respondents were 25 years of age or older.

  • Nearly two thirds (65 percent) reported experiencing at least one type of non-financial cost to a serious degree.
  • The most commonly cited non-financial costs of fraud are severe stress (50 percent), anxiety (44 percent), difficulty sleeping (38 percent) and depression (35 percent).
  • Nearly half of fraud victims reported incurring indirect financial costs associated with the fraud, such as late fees, legal fees and bounced checks.
  • Twenty-nine percent of respondents reported incurring more than $1,000 in indirect costs, and 9 percent declared bankruptcy as a result of the fraud.

Author Abstract: None

Link to the full paper here.