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Disturbing twist in 'nanny scam'

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Crystal doesn't want you to know her real name but she does want you to know her story and how she was ripped off for thousands of dollars. (Source: 3TV) Crystal doesn't want you to know her real name but she does want you to know her story and how she was ripped off for thousands of dollars. (Source: 3TV)
MoneyGram clearly states on its website, "do not send money to someone you do not know." (Source: 3TV) MoneyGram clearly states on its website, "do not send money to someone you do not know." (Source: 3TV)
The photo the scammer sent Crystal apparently was lifted from an Internet news article indicating members of this family were actually victims of a Texas flood and were deceased. (Source: 3TV) The photo the scammer sent Crystal apparently was lifted from an Internet news article indicating members of this family were actually victims of a Texas flood and were deceased. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

"I probably should have listened to my mother."

Moms generally know best and as a result of not listening to hers, Crystal is paying the price. She doesn't want you to know her real name but she does want you to know her story and how she was ripped off for thousands of dollars.

"It’s going to keep withdrawing from my account and I won’t have any money and my bills won't get paid," she said.

Crystal was actually hoping to make some money and posted her resume on a reputable job-hunting website called Indeed. Com. It didn't take long for her to get a job offer.

"That was a baby sitting job; it was baby sitter, nanny," she said.

A nanny job sounded pretty good and Crystal accepted the offer. The woman who reportedly hired her claimed to be from Chicago. In addition to a picture she sent of herself and her family, she also sent Crystal emails saying that she was planning to move everyone to Arizona and that's why she needed a nanny.

[RELATED: College student taken in 'nanny scam']

The woman said she needed Crystal to purchase a motorized wheelchair and have it ready for one of her disabled kids when they got to Arizona. She overnighted Crystal a check for a lot of money.

"It was like $3,897.26; where she got the cents from I’m not sure," Crystal said,

Crystal deposited all that money, nearly $4,000, into her bank account just like she was told to. After the deposit, Crystal was supposed to use MoneyGram to wire $2,500 and another $250 to cover the chair and cost of delivery. Crystal admits it sounded a little weird.

"The first one was supposed to represent the payment for the wheelchair," she said. "The second one was to ensure that it was going to be delivered. "

MoneyGram clearly states on its website, "Do not send money to someone you do not know." 

Crystal said her mom told her the same thing. But she wired the money anyway.

That was a mistake because a few days later, Crystal's bank realized the check was fake. By then, though, she had already wired all the money as instructed, meaning she was on the hook for what she wired.

"My bank account is overdrawn and has all types of fees on it because of this bounced check," she said.

It's a common scam but after 3 On Your Side got involved, we discovered something we were not expecting.

Remember that photograph of the woman and her family the scammer sent Crystal? 3 On Your Side was able to trace the photo and discovered it was lifted from an Internet news article indicating members of this family were actually victims of a Texas flood and were deceased. In other words, the scammer cut and pasted the picture of a family tragedy and is using it to con people like Crystal.

"You always try to give people the benefit of the doubt; not everybody's bad, but nowadays you just can't do that," Crystal said.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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