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This is Phyllis Harfield from Manchester.
She runs a charity called the Helping Elves, which purports itself as a legitimate non-profit that distributes donated goods to needy families around Christmas time.
She became a sympathetic figure on December 15 when she claimed her house was broken into and $8,000 worth of donated toys were stolen. She also said she received threatening phone calls on Christmas and the day after, and has been harassed multiple times at the Dollar Store. The police have spent the last 5 months investigating her story, and it turns out she pulled a Jussie Smollett.
The most believable part of her story was that she regularly frequents the Dollar Store. She just forgot that they have cameras there, and when you file a police report of this nature they will actually investigate it.
Some people had become suspicious when she specifically asked for Visa and iTunes gift cards, along with other very expensive gifts.
She also runs a Bingo night event at MCC, which she claims raises money for “Veterans with PTSD.”
On top of that she has a profile on Care.com, advertising herself as “Phyllis’ cleaning service.”
In light of recent events I must advise anyone reading this that it would be unwise to hire her.
No word on whether her husband Gary was in on the fraud.
But from personal experience I find it hard to keep small secrets from my significant other. Pulling off an $8,000 insurance scam without your husband knowing would certainly be a difficult task to say the least.
I couldn’t find much more on her, although according to some commenters she’s had some issues with fire in the past.
And she allegedly once had to wear an ankle bracelet and stole from an elderly man under her care.
Either way, be careful who you donate to around Christmas time. Scammers prey on people with good intentions.
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