North Carolina Woman Receives a $20,000 Check After Getting Scammed and Willingly Returned It
Tenita Batt's identity had been stolen by clever criminals who used her name and email to submit a landlord application to the Texas Rent Relief Program.
Most people would think they hit the jackpot if they opened their mailboxes and found a $20,000 check.
But Tenita Batts knew better. Even though the check was real and her name was printed on it, she was being scammed.
“It said from Texas Rent Relief Fund in the amount of $20,000,” she said.
Tenita’s identity had been stolen by clever criminals who used her name and email to submit a landlord application to the Texas Rent Relief Program.
The pandemic program provided $1 billion to help Texans pay their rent and for landlords to collect their money.
The problem? Tenita Batts lives in North Carolina and has never stepped a foot in the state of Texas.
She then says she received text messages from someone claiming Tenita was their landlord, and asked her to send the $20,000 check to them.
"I’m like, ‘look, I don't know how you got my name, I don't know how you got my number. But you have stolen my identity,’" she said. “He's like, ‘Come on, come on, just send the check back to me. It doesn't have to be like this.’”
But Tenita wasn’t fooled. And despite being a health care worker working 12 to 16-hour shifts during the pandemic, Tenita returned the money.
She then had to scour her credit reports and run checks on her social security number in order to make sure her identity isn’t stolen again.
And even though a $20,000 cash windfall would have been nice, Tenita knows she did the right thing.
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