Mississippi woman worries website preys on special needs children – FOX13 News Memphis


MEMPHIS, TN. – A mother of a four-year-old autistic boy from Panola County fears her information has been stolen from a website that claims to help children with special needs.

“It disgusted me,” said the young mother, who asked not to be named. “I definitely wouldn’t keep quiet.”

She asked FOX13 to hide her identity because she said she was concerned her information was being stolen in the scam.

“If this is a scam, it’s really sick,” said Daniel Irwin, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. “Using special needs children as a trick is a whole other level of scum.”

Legitimate website?

The website, aaronff.org, claims to be owned by the Aaron Family Foundation. ProPublica.org released several tax documents linked to the foundation, but a person who answered the phone number listed on the documents claimed not to represent the foundation.

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“It sounded like it would make sense,” the Mississippi mom said. “The website looks legit.”

The website claims to provide financial assistance to families with special needs children. However, the “affiliates” listed on this particular website do not appear to be legitimate. Scammers may even have snapped photos from the Health Share of Oregon website.

“From what we can see, they used four photos of board members and came up with names,” a spokesman for Health Share of Oregon told FOX13.

In reviewing the site with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, FOX13 noticed questionable details. The phone number area code was in Boston, but the physical address was in California. Bayview Avenue exists in Belvedere, California, but 156 Baybiew Ave does not.

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“As far as we know, it doesn’t appear to be legitimate,” Irwin said. “Remember. These scams are not necessarily designed to get your money. This would aim to get your personal information.”

Fear of identity theft

Mississippi mom fears her information has been compromised After applying online, she was told to provide a bank statement, proof of income and a driver’s license to receive an additional $2,000 a month.

“It just didn’t add up,” she said. “It did not fit.”

After being told she needed to download external software, she demanded to speak to someone on the phone. The young mother said the person on the other end sounded like a robot.

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“I hung up right away,” she says. “I deleted the app they were supposed to download for me. I deleted all emails.”

While she finally decided to close that bank account, the mother said she remains deeply concerned that a scammer would target a special needs family.

“We have nothing to lose, but you prey on special needs children and their mothers?” she asked. “It disgusted me because I really had plans for that money for my kid.”


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