The holiday season is one of giving, but unfortunately, some folks in Tooele County, Utah, are spending it disappointed that they were taken advantage of by strangers.
Both Bryan De Laney and Michelle Sutton were allegedly scammed by a woman named Whitney, whose sad story moved them to help a family supposedly in need.
Bryan, who moonlights as Santa Claus, saw Whitney’s post on a public Facebook page. She wrote that she was trying to make Christmas happen for two boys who recently moved to the county after losing their father in the Las Vegas massacre.
He took pity on the family, and he and Whitney sent messages back and forth for about a month before he purchased toys for the boys.
“I bought two tricycles, two action figures from the Kong movie, two little dump trucks full of LEGOs, two outfits each with a pair of shoes, a little art easel and some Hot Wheels cars,” he said.
He spent about $392 on the gifts alone. He then dropped them off on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas, he tried contacting the mom to see if he could see photos of the kids opening their presents, but much to his surprise, she had blocked him. That’s when he realized that he had been scammed.
Michelle says that she fell for the same scam, and spent over $200 on gifts for the boys.
But this unfortunate experience isn’t enough to discourage Bryan from donating time, money, and toys to those who need it the most! He says that next time, he’ll just be more careful.
Please SHARE if you think that, despite this mishap, people like Bryan and Michelle are the ones who make the season of giving great!