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Scam victim doesn’t want you to become one

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- An older Fort Wayne woman who fell victim to an internet scam reached out to us to share her story, saying she doesn't want it to happen to anyone else.

"I didn't know. I was just trying to make some extra money," Jeanine Godwin says.

Godwin is only able to work part time as a home health aide, so she was excited when she saw an ad on Facebook to make some extra cash by wrapping her car in a Budweiser logo.

"They said that they would send me a check and that I could keep $500 and then I had to send a money order on to Indianapolis to the decal man," she explains.

She deposited the check in her account at Fort Financial Credit Union, then did what the scammer asked -- sent money orders to an address in Indianapolis, supposedly to cover the cost of the wrap for her car.

That total was more than she had in her accounts before she deposited that check.

Godwin says she filed a police report but was told there was nothing officers could do.

Fort Financial contacted her a few days later to say that check that looked real came from a fake account, and she was on the hook for the entire amount she withdrew.

"I've got to pay back $2970. I don't have that. The bank was kind enough to give me a loan. But then again, I have to come up with $157 extra a month to pay for money I didn't get," she sobs.

She doesn't know how she'll come up with that every month until the loan is paid off in about a year and a half.

"When I get my income tax I can pay on some of it, but that hasn't came yet. Which, of course, I was going to use to do some house repairs, but I'm not going to be able to do that now," she says.

Godwin says she filed a police report but was told there was nothing officers could do.

"How can you live with yourself, taking advantage of an old lady who only works part time? You have totally ruined me. I have no money now, nothing to fall back on, and now I have to pay off your money," she says.

She wants her story to serve as a warning to others.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody else. It's devastated me. My bank statement, everything is zero. I had $1300 in my savings and it took me years to get that there," she says.

Godwin's advice? Don't trust anything you see on the internet.

She's even thinking about deleting her Facebook account.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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