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Rights, Roles, and Responsibilities: A Handbook for Fraud Victims Participating in the Federal Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
39 pages
This handbook provides guidance to victims of fraud whose cases are processed in the Federal criminal justice system, so as to help them cope with the effects of their victimization, understand their options for participation in case processing, avail themselves of victim services, and protect themselves from fraud in the future.
The introductory chapter defines fraud as "when a person or business intentionally deceives another with promises of goods, services, or financial benefits that do not exist, were never intended to be provided, or were misrepresented." It also outlines some common types of fraud and notes when a fraud crime comes under Federal jurisdiction. A section of the handbook discusses the emotional impact of fraud victimization, including a sense of self-blame; anger at the offender; embarrassment among family, friends, and colleagues; and anger at various public agencies for not providing protection from fraud. The stress of participation in the criminal justice system is also noted. An overview of Federal services available to fraud victims encompasses referrals to medical, financial, or social services; security information and referrals; assistance with employers and creditors; and various assistance related to criminal justice case processing. Other topics discussed are the nature of the Federal criminal justice system, the rights of a Federal crime victim, the addressing of credit problems due to the victimization, and protecting oneself against fraud. The report concludes with suggestions for documenting financial losses.

Date Published: January 1, 1998