DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Several Decatur families are asking for their money back after saying they were scammed by a Facebook vendor Easter morning.
Candra Phillips is a busy Decatur mom. So she was happy to hire a woman offering to sell candy-stuffed Easter eggs.
“My kid was in and out of the hospital so I didn’t really have time to do all this stuff. So I was trying to pre-plan everything to make sure my kids had a good Easter. And then she just never showed up,” Phillips told WAND News.
She was planning to have 13 kids over for an Easter Egg hunt. Phillips messaged the seller for weeks, even meeting in person to go over the details and pay $240.
“I met here at the Save A Lot, so I assumed it was legit. But obviously it wasn’t. I doesn’t matter if you meet them in person or not *crying* they can still take off,” Phillips expalained.
She confirmed the address just four days before Easter, but that morning, no one showed up.
“All day long I’m looking out the door to see hopefully colorful eggs in the yard, and there were never any all day long,” Phillips said.
Phillips’ mother said she ended up taking the last dollars in her pocket to buy Easter candy for her grandchildren.
“I had $40 in my purse. So I took $35 and went down to the store and got them something, because I wasn’t going to let them go without,” Collette Thomas told WAND News.
Sgt. Roger Pope with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office said these types of scams happen more often than you think.
“Normally these people are pulling money out of their bank account, and we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of dollars people lose,” Pope explained.
The detective told WAND News payment is key. He suggested using a credit card, or secure app like Paypal and avoiding paying with cash or gift cards.
“People are going to their bank, pulling money out, buying gift cards, scratching the back off the gift card, giving it to someone over the phone- the numbers. And there’s just no way to trace it back,” Pope said.
He recommended if someone is making a purchase online, use a space like Decatur Police’s E-Commerce Safe Trade Zone or meet in a public park.
WAND News also spoke with another Macon County family who paid for 50 eggs that were never delivered.
WAND News reached out to the Facebook profile associated with the advertisement, Alley Nicole Robison. She said there were issues with some orders, but she is planning to refund the four or five families who paid, but did not receive eggs Easter morning.
Copyright 2022. WAND TV. All rights reserved.