Police say woman's story of ill child may be scam
Posted November 17, 2015
Wake Forest, N.C. — A woman going around the Triangle is sharing a sad story, and people hearing it have given the woman a lot of money. But now her story has spread on social media, and police say it may be a scam.
Kathleen Jackson has a strong faith and a generous heart, so when she met someone in a Walmart in Wake Forest who appeared to be in need, she listened.
"She told me that she has three little girls and that her husband left her as soon as the third one was born because the baby had stomach cancer," Jackson said Tuesday.
The woman told Jackson she needed money for a prescription.
"I went to the ATM, handed her a $100 bill," Jackson said. "I hugged her. I told her that God does love her, and I thanked her for letting me bless her by giving her the money for her baby."
Jackson then shared the story with friends, who later sent her a Facebook link with countless stories from other people who gave the same woman money at gas stations and other businesses across the Triangle.
Shawn Welch said he was suspicious when a woman at a Garner gas station told him she was waiting for her ex-husband to bring her money.
"My youngest daughter has a sickness, and she's real sick, and I need that money," Welch said the woman told him. "Kind of seemed like she was in distress of some sort."
Instead of giving her money, he decided to follow her, noting that she told him she was heading to work in Cary but then headed in the opposite direction. When she wound up in a nearby parking lot, he said, she spotted him following her in his truck and drove off.
Capt. Matt May of the Wake Forest Police Department said the woman may be lying, but it's not necessarily illegal.
"People are actually offering to give her money without her soliciting," May said, adding that people "should just be really cautious about who you give money too and where that money is actually going."
WRAL News tried to contact the woman in Clayton, but she wasn't home.
Jackson said she will continue to give to people in need but maybe not as freely next time.
"That's what makes me angry. It makes people gun-shy of giving," she said.