What if no one ever finds out that you used another person’s identity? What if fraudulent activity allowed you to get ahead? Is it really a big deal?
If authorities catch on to you, some significant consequences could come your way. While a good defense might mitigate some of these, the repercussions of your actions on those you defrauded could last several years.
Identifying the emotional consequences
Fraudulent activity can take on several forms including mail fraud, identity theft, internet fraud and driver’s license fraud. According to USA.gov, you could face fraud charges if you or the company you work for use another person’s financial information without authorization.
One consequence of fraud for victims is damage to their credit scores. Your actions could also make victims have to use substantial resources to restore order to their finances. The emotional impact could include feelings of distrust, betrayal and failure. Stress could cause medical problems and impact personal relationships as well.
Living with the physical consequences
While your victims spend time trying to get back on their feet, you could face significant consequences of your own. Depending on the severity of the fraud you committed, you might spend time in prison and have to pay costly fines. You may have requirements to pay restitution to your victims which could take many years to satisfy. Feelings of guilt or regret might plague you for a long time.
Recognizing the severity of fraud is imperative to your decision to discontinue fraudulent practices. With adequate support and resolve to improve your habits, you can rebuild your integrity and the trust of others and still live a successful life.