Reyna Garcia was very excited when she believed doctor Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had responded directly to one of her messages to give her health advice.
Garcia says the “kind” doctor had suddenly begun asking her for personal information, which is when she stopped and decided to contact Telemundo 52 Responde.
“I was looking for a doctor and I say Dr. Fauci’s page,” Garcia said.
Garcia says she suffers from health complications which is why she tried looking for a trustworthy doctor.
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She searched through social media which is how she found the alleged page that belonged to Fauci.
“I’m going to send him a message and see if he replies,” Garcia said.
She was surprised when she actually got a reply.
“I even told him ‘doctor, how humble of you, thank you for responding,’” she added.
The alleged doctor Fauci soon began asking Garcia if she knew about a federal grant that she could receive.
“He said it was help because I am injured, a help from the government, economic help,” Garcia said.
Of course the woman was interested, and she told him she was.
Garcia felt comfortable because she believed she was getting medical advice from the popular doctor.
“He said ‘look, I know someone from the government, he’s the one in charge of all this, and I can contact him,’” Garcia said.
Excitedly, Garcia asked for more information.
She says the alleged doctor then told her “don’t say anything about this to anyone, until your case is approved.”
That’s when the alleged doctor told Garcia she qualified to receive the money.
“He sent me a message and said he would send a $60,000 check,” Garcia said.
But what came next is what made the women suspect something was wrong.
Garcia says the alleged doctor then asked “send me your address, bank account and address of the airport nearest to you.”
“And I said ‘airport for what? What does the airport have to do with the money?’” Garcia said to him.
Garcia was well aware of scams that try to rob people of their personal information.
The alleged doctor Anthony Fauci turned out to be a scam.
“I was scared because they have my phone number. I had to change my number,” Garcia said.
Fortunately, she never gave the fake doctor any of her personal information and was able to tell her story to warn others of the dangers of scams like this.
Still, Garcia says she will not give up until she one day speaks to the real Anthony Fauci.
“I am looking for you, I don’t know how but I will meet you,” Garcia said.
There are many scams on the internet, and if you’re looking for medical advice, it’s best to seek it from verified websites.
This story first appeared on NBCLA's sister station, Telemundo 52. Click here to read this story in Spanish.