Grandson gets world's attention for fundraiser

Published 12/28 2012 05:35PM

Updated 12/28 2012 06:22PM

RANTOUL -- Brian Padilla's grandparents were scammed out of $100,000 dollars. But friends, family even strangers are working to make this right.

It's a story that sparked a lot of buzz on our Facebook page.

We told you last month about Chuck and Nancy Padilla. They thought their grandson was in trouble and mailed him their life savings.

Turns out, it was a scam. But now their grandson is making sure they get some money back.

He set up an online fundraiser.
Brian Padilla started it a few weeks ago. Already it's gotten world-wide attention.

From the U.S. to Japan, all the way to Sweden people are donating.

Now Padilla is working to spread to word right here, in Central Illinois.
"I started to realize somebody had faked my identity." Brian Padilla said.

Brian Padilla's real-life nightmare started in August. A scammer called his grandparents and told them Padilla was in a Mexican jail.

"I said no, I'm not in Mexico." Padilla said.

It was too late. His grandparents had already sent more than $100,000.

"I was shocked, I was definitely shocked. It makes me really mad because people stole my identity to trick them." Padilla said.

Shock that was hard to stop. Padilla moved to France with his wife a few years ago. He started to rack his brain about what he could do to help, thousands of miles away.

"I just saw the power of community." Padilla said.

He started an online fundraiser. Padilla has already raised $2,500 and hopes to reach $10,000 in the next couple of weeks.

"I figured if I can even get a small amount of what they lost back, it's not'll never be enough. But at least I did my part." Padilla said.

Now he talks to his grandparents more often and started using a code to make sure this never happens again.

"We have a password so they know it's me." Padilla said.

Padilla wants to get his grandma and grandpa back on track- using his heart, the same way they did for him.

"My grandparents were always there for me, I just want to be there for them." Padilla said.

His grandparents have been keeping in touch with the FBI, but are at a standstill.

They still have no idea if they'll get any of that money back.


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