Padilla faith restored

Published 02/02 2013 05:21PM

Updated 02/04 2013 09:47AM

RANTOUL -- A couple says their faith in people is restored, after they were scammed out of $100,000. It happened in August.

The scammers posed as their grandson asking for help. Before they knew it, they had given away thousands.

Their real grandson lives in Paris, and is doing all he can to pay them back. He set up an online fundraiser because he's so far from home. In the past few months he raised almost $7,000.

It's a drop in the bucket compared to what they lost. But to Chuck and Nancy Padilla, it means everything.

"All we can do is hope and pray. Just take one day at a time," Nancy Padilla said.

The Padilla's are in a much better place than last summer. That's when the phone rang from an unknown caller.

A scammer posed as their grandson and told them he was in a Mexican jail and needed money to get out. Over the course of a few weeks, they gave the stranger their life savings.

"I keep chastising myself for being stupid but that's the way life is," Chuck Padilla said.

Since their story aired in November, complete strangers have sent gifts and showed up at their doorstep. They've gotten $2,000 in donations from people all over the country. Their grandson got people from France, Sweden and all the way to Japan to donate online.

"Oh, I'd give him a hug and tell him how much I love him and how much we appreciate what he did," Nancy Padilla said.

It hasn't been easy for the Padilla's. But they have the support of everyone around them and they say that heals the broken.

"Just thankful. We have a close family. I'm gonna cry here. We have a very close family."

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