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FF 12 investigates after widespread online giveaway fails to deliver

Published: Nov. 22, 2019 at 7:25 PM CST
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An event billed as a "Secret Santa Giveaway" leaves people across Kansas concerned about a possible scam.

The good news: No one lost money. It started with a man running a Facebook page called "Today in Kansas Talk Show," claiming a wealthy businessman contacted him, wanting to give away a lot of money and prizes for the holidays.

The man running the page said all you had to do to be entered to win was to like his page and share it. The giveaway started and a lot of people won... nothing.

Ashley Davis is one of hundreds of people who say they tuned into live giveaways on the "Today in Kansas Talk Show." Davis says over a few nights, the number of winners grew. It grew to a point that the man who created the page recruited Ashley and others to serve on a committee to help keep up with the winners.

Davis agreed, even though this meant she was no longer eligible to win.

"I wanted something bigger than myself, to do something for others because I've been there," she says.

Davis says she wanted to be part of giving strangers a little financial boost for the holidays.

The (live announcements) were fun and captivating," says Nicole Elam who entered for her chance to win. "There were a whole bunch of people on them and people were winning and they were fun."

Elam's husband was in an accident earlier this year. He had a couple surgeries and Elam says times were tough. So, the prospect of winning some holiday cash was an exciting prospect. Her excitement rose when she won.

"I won a $500 gift card and a $20 gift card," Elam says. "We were really excited for $520. It's the holidays, anybody could use that kind of money."

Elam says she kept checking her mailbox, but never did receive the gift cards or anything connected with the giveaway.

"The people who were supposed to win from the prior week, that was supposed to be mailed out last week. (They) hadn't got anything, and people started calling (the man running the page) out," she says.

Then, the "Today in Kansas Talk Show" page was deleted. A new page popped up called "Scammed by Today in Kansas Talk Show Contest."

"When someone can make something that big up, it's just bizarre," Elam says. "These are just families that were in hard times and thought they were getting this money. There were some older people that were counting on that for bills and stuff and I feel bad for them because they were really counting on it. I feel very duped."

As it's not clear if the man who ran the "Today in Kansas Talk Show" Facebook page actually committed a crime, FactFinder 12, at this point, is not naming him. Several attempts to reach him haven't been answered.

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