Today I suffered severe disappointment because I thought I was cheated some amount of money. I couldn't complain to anyone because I had no proof. And I suspect those who cheated me will also cheat other people. I want to avoid such disappointments in future and also I want to do the right thing.

What should be my response on getting cheated ? Should I forgive the thugs who stole my money ? Should I wish bad for them and report it to the police or the managers?

  • Forgiving them would not entail not reporting them to the police, especially if they might do it again. No need to get emotional and suffer. But if you have no proof there may be no point.
    – user14119
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 10:19

7 Answers 7


In Buddhism, the preferred practice is to cultivate wholesome or skillful states of mind in any situation.

In this scenario, you should not bear hatred or ill-will or anger or any such negative states of mind.

You can do this by cultivating compassion.

For example, ask "why did those people cheat others of their money?" Perhaps, they are desperate for money due to personal financial crisis? Or perhaps, their lack of understanding of the Dhamma leads them to act in ways that would lead them towards unfortunate future outcomes? In any case, those cheaters are suffering, and would continue to suffer due to their unwholesome mental states of having the intention to harm others.

Another way to view this is to consider that the cheaters are overwhelmed by negative states of mind, so much so that they are not able to see the right path clearly. It's like they are suffering from a disease of the mind. If you see it that way, you can also cultivate compassion towards them.

If your grandmother who is suffering from senile dementia speaks or behaves in a hurting way towards you, would you feel anger towards her? No. It's because you understand her condition and are compassionate towards her. Similarly, you can show understanding and compassion towards the mental condition of the cheaters.

However, this does not mean that you should let them do as they wish. You can still lodge a complaint with the police and follow the procedures laid out by the law. However, you shouldn't do this with hatred or anger or malice in your mind. Instead, you can do so out of compassion for other innocent people, wishing for them to not suffer from the malicious actions of the cheaters.

At the same time, it is also not wrong to consider getting your money back if that's possible.

If the people who cheated others are punished by the law, they might become repentant and change their ways. So, by informing the police, you are also acting in a compassionate way to help them change their negative way of life.

So, the main point here is that you can still lodge a complaint with the police, follow the procedures laid out by the law and try to get your money back. But the Buddhist way is to do so with wholesome states of mind like compassion and loving-kindness, rather than with anger, hatred and malice. When you understand that those who try to harm you and others are suffering in their mind, you can respond with a compassionate perspective.

This you can see from Dhammapada 1:

All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' (suffering) follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

And Dhammapada 124:

If there is no wound on the hand, one may handle poison; poison does not affect one who has no wound; there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.

  • 1
    Nice answer. I found Buddhist way the right way. As I forgave the cheaters with compassion I felt a strange satisfaction. I felt light and happy. Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:24

First, do not hold ill intentions. It may or may not be a case of cheating, there could be misconceptions.

Secondly, if you really got your money cheated, just report to the police or managers. Do it out of due diligent intentions, nothing more nothing less.


You can think like this;

""A disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not the only one who is owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator; who — whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir. To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and have their actions as their arbitrator. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.'

(excerpt from AN 5.57 "Subjects for Contemplation" https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.057.than.html)

Furthermore you can reflect on this;

‘I see no error made which I could not have made Myself’ * (i.e. given the same amount of delusion)

This is from http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Deliverance_of_Heart.pdf by Ven. Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda

Furthermore; Excerpt from Dhammapada: Twinned Verses (verses 3,4&5)

3“Me, she swore at”. “Me, he flogged”. “Me, defeated”. “Me, she robbed”. Those with hateful thoughts thus held, Hatred in those ones will never be quelled.

4 “Me, she swore at”. “Me, he flogged”. “Me, defeated”. “Me, she robbed”. Those who live such thoughts not held, Hatred in those ones is utterly quelled.

5 Never, in all of creation. Hatred by hatred has been pacified Through freedom from hatred does hatred subside: This law is of ageless duration.

And finally;

“Let them abuse me, beat me, kill me – I’ll have Mettā – Unconditional Mettā.” (Note: Repeat this formula non-stop in times of danger to your Mettā. Mettā = Universal Love) For a practical illustration, see Puṇṇovāda Sutta, M III 267. *** “Even were bandits savagely to sever you limb from limb with a two handled saw, he who entertained hate in his heart on that account would not be one who carried out my teachings.”

– Kakacūpama Sutta, M. I 21


Both forgive them &, if possible, report them.


How can i avoid the suffering after being cheated out of money???

Firstly money is impermanent, nothing last s forever and the money you were cheated of is just that.

Second wishing bad on someone who feels the need to steal could be considered as bad as stealing. You should nt wish bad on anyone. Instead see their act of stealing as an act of desperation born out of fear of somthing. It is sad that this person or persons are in such a dire situation that they would resort to theft, we should try to have compassion for such people as that theft will come back to haunt them at a later date, and when it happens they may be in a worse situation then yourself right now and they may really really be in a situation where they cannot not afford to lose that money and they might lose alot more than you aswell. Will you starve tonight because of it? What would you have spent that money on anyway has it been such a massive loss?

Thirdly, have you never ever stole anything in this life? Maybe this was karma s seed ripening from that time you stole if not in this life maybe a previous life. This maybe a karmic seed released from you, so by taking the right action and by having compassion for the cheaters, you may have just earn t yourself 1 step closer to enlightenment and u now know you have a tiny weeny bit less suffering to endure while carrying on your life s journey.

If I were you see it as a good thing, they took it from someone who can deal with being cheated from better than some other people may have taken it. You could say that telling the police is good for whomever cheated you as if they get caught and punished then they will stop stealing faster and thus create less negative karma for themselves in the long run. Not to mention by telling the police you may be helping anyone else in the future who may have the misfortune to be cheated by the same people.

It s a win win situation. You ve bore the brunt of a bad situation but with the right action you can help many people that could get caught up by the same person (s). But you can only tell the police then leave it up to them to carry out their job as they re supposed to. If the perpetrators never get caught then they will one day and it maybe over somthing bigger. So don t worry about it, tell the police and leave it there, or at least that's what I think would be the best course of action to take anyway.


If it is a large amount of money and if you feel that they would do it to other people as well, it is better to inform the police. However, it is very important to forgive and forget whether you go to the police or not because your inner peace is more important than anything else.


First and foremost, how did they steal? Was it by pick pocket, or cheating by deceiving you?

If it's a big amount, people can take action. Also inform others so that others are careful. Develop compassion.

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