Viewers help woman victimized by loan scam

Posted at 6:42 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 21:15:58-05

A local woman who lost all her money to an internet loan scam is going to have a Merry Christmas after all.

41 Action News first reported Joyce Wallace's story Tuesday.

She didn't ask for help, but 41 Action News viewers responded anyway.

"Thank you all, all of you," Wallace said.

She was overcome with gratitude at the generosity of people she had never met.

"I'm so full of joy," said Wallace.

When 41 Action News first spoke to Wallace, she was crying tears of sadness instead of joy.

READ| Blue Springs woman falls victim to internet scam

She had applied for a $1000 loan online. The company sent her three $200 checks and had her send the money back to them.

They told her it was to build up her credit.

But when the company checks turned out to be worthless, she lost all her money, was $400 in the hole and was facing a bleak holiday season.

"No Christmas, my lights aren't paid, my gas isn't paid, my water isn't paid," Wallace told 41 Action News viewers on Tuesday.

"I hate to see anyone taken advantage of at any time, but at Christmas, I felt so sorry that she had applied for a loan, she was trying to keep herself going and then someone takes advantage of her," said A.W. Pickel.

"You have to live day to day sometimes," said Tom Good. "I'm a little more fortunate than that, so I knew I could help," he said.

Instead of getting the $1000 loan she wanted, Pickel, the president and CEO of mortgage company LeaderOne Financial Corporation and three other employees gave Wallace a gift of $1000, a Christmas card signed by company employees, three coffee containers and a $100 gift card.

Good, a Marine Corps League member who also works on "Toys for Tots", also gave Wallace a check for $1000.

"You guys are angels, all of you, every single one of you," Wallace told her benefactors.

Other 41 Action News viewers also asked how they could help Wallace.

One wrote in an e-mail, "She is a total stranger to me, but in the spirit of Christmas, enough said."

Even the California man victimized by a similar scam and whose name was on one of the bad checks sent to Wallace offered his help.

Now instead of being broke and facing an uncertain future, Wallace said, "I'm going shopping."

In addition to the gifts Wallace received at her home in person, other 41 Action News viewers sent her another $500, ironically, through an internet account.

Pickel is also helping Wallace move to new home in Independence.


Andy Alcock can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter