To make ends meet for her family of five, Michelle Blood placed an online offering a babysitting service.
A married couple, Allen and Stacy Bruce, would answer her ad. They claimed to be relocating back to Chicago from Greece and needed someone to watch their kids in the process.
"He would fly the kids to Texas because they weren't home anyway. And I would watch the kids five days a week and fly the kids back on the weekend if necessary," Michelle says.
The couple spent weeks online getting to know Michelle and her experience working with children.
Michelle even googled the couple's name and the Chicago address they were moving to and didn't find anything unusual.
Then last week a $4,800 check was sent to Michelle and arrangements were made to meet the couple's kids in Chicago.
"He sent me the airline ticket of where his kids were flying in and everything. We booked the flight, we got the hotel, we got the rent a car, we got everything together it was all ready to go," Michelle explains.
She says her bank verified the check twice. After using the money to arrange her travel, and transfer $2,000 to get the couple's furniture shipped, she would learn the check was in fact bogus.
"I called the bank and they're like it was a fraud check, you have to have the money paid in 30 days or it goes to collections," she recalls.
On top of that, the scammer had the nerve to send another email saying his "only sister" was suddenly in a "serious car accident" and Michelle needed to "transfer $1,600" to their doctor in Nigeria.
With negative $4,000 in the bank Michelle says these scammers really stole Christmas from her kids.
"I honestly don't know how it's going to happen. But it won't be the Christmas they want." "He was good!," says Michelle about the scammer. "He was really good!"
Even though Michelle says her bank verified the check was good, the bank can still hold them responsible for the money. Michelle has already reported the scam to Tyler police and the FBI.