MISSION, Kan. – The last time FOX4 Problem Solvers spoke to Linda Collier she had been scammed out of $500 by a locksmith and wanted to help others not make the same mistake.
But after Collier’s story aired on FOX4, several viewers came forward wanting to help her.
“I don’t want to give my name, but I would like to send her money,” one woman wrote. “Can you help me?”
Another person was similarly moved by Collier’s story – an elderly woman whose bank account was nearly emptied by a scammer.
Collier, 69, told Problem Solvers she had hired a locksmith to help her get into her car after locking her keys inside. The locksmith – who never gave his name or address and would not answer the phone when Problem Solvers tried calling – told her she would also need a new key.
That made no sense to Collier since her own key was still in the ignition, but she said she was too intimidated to argue.
The locksmith first tried to charge her $1,000 for the job (about 10 times the normal amount) but then dropped the price to $500 once he realized she didn’t have enough in her bank account to cover the larger transaction.
Collier, who lives primarily on income from a modest Social Security check, was devastated.
“I felt like he took such advantage of me because I’m an older woman,” she said as tears rolled down her face. “I’m sorry, but it cost me $500.”
Two anonymous viewers mailed FOX4 money orders for a total of $600 – money we quickly gave to a very grateful Collier. She was, once again, moved to tears.
“Thank you, I’m just so proud of Kansas City and the people that would reach out and help a stranger they don’t even know,” she said. “I mean God bless everybody, God bless you for doing this. “
Meanwhile, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office is still looking into Collier’s case. It’s one of nearly a dozen locksmith scams that Problem Solvers has reported on in the last 12 months.