30 Apr 2024 | Blog

Rebuilding your finances after falling victim to a scam


Just a year shy of retiring, Tess had everything lined up for a comfortable life post-employment. With $34,000 in savings, she was exploring where to invest for higher returns during a period of rising interest rates. Considering herself fairly knowledgeable about finances, Tess began to evaluate her investment alternatives.

Her interest was piqued by stories of substantial gains in cryptocurrency. Intrigued, Tess delved into researching various crypto companies and their offerings. After careful consideration, she made what she thought was a prudent investment choice—only to realise too late that it was a scam.

Hours after making her investment, the truth hit Tess hard. Devastated and feeling physically sick, she reached out to ScamWatch. As days passed, self-reproach grew intense. How had she fallen prey to such a clear deception?

Seeking help and emotional recovery

The scam left her not only financially but also emotionally devastated, feeling a profound sense of shame. Tess spent sleepless nights, berating herself for her mistake, withdrawing from social gatherings, and keeping her distress to herself.

Driven by desperation, Tess sought help from a counsellor and discovered that organisations like Beyond Blue, ScamWatch, and Lifeline could offer not only advice but also emotional support. Opening up about her ordeal was challenging, but her counsellor helped her see that scam victims span all demographics and that her feelings of embarrassment, while common, were not warranted.

Encouraged by her counsellor, Tess began to forgive herself and shared her experience with her daughter, Louise, who responded with kindness and understanding. Louise introduced Tess to Jarrod, a financial adviser experienced in helping scam victims regain their financial footing.

Financial strategy and moving forward

Jarrod recommended Tess take up a part-time job to rebuild her savings and keep her mind off the scam. He suggested roles that aligned with her interests, like pet-minding or dog-walking, and offered to help arrange the necessary insurance.

Jarrod also helped Tess differentiate between investing for retirement and for wealth creation. He explained that while her superannuation was geared towards providing a steady income in retirement, creating wealth involved accumulating assets to generate returns above her retirement needs.

Taking into account Tess’s risk tolerance, Jarrod structured a portfolio that not only aimed for growth but also considered tax efficiency. This strategy was also meant to help Tess build a legacy for Louise—a thought that gained importance after the financial vulnerability exposed by the scam.

Long-term recovery

The road to recovery was long and required sacrifices, but Tess grew more independent and resilient. She postponed her retirement to recover her financial losses and eventually, her side business, Tess’s Dog Minding and Walking Service, not only supplemented her income but also brought her joy well into her retirement years.

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial adviser to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Liked this article? Share it!

Start building your financial future today