A Vince Gill fan in Massachusetts has fallen prey to an online scam so devastating that it drained her retirement and savings accounts and fractured her relationship with friends and family.

In a recent episode of the podcast Scammer Stories, a woman who identifies herself only as Jackie shares her story of trying to save her elderly mom from a scammer impersonating Gill. Jackie says that she even held an intervention to try to convince her mom it wasn't the real Vince Gill she was talking to.

After noticing her mother was acting strange during a Christmas vacation, Jackie went through her phone and discovered Google texts with someone claiming to be the country legend. A little more digging yielded further communication, and requests for some pretty alarming amounts of money.

"They had this sob story, which was his wife Amy Grant was divorcing him because he was being accused of raping some young girl in a hotel, and that this girl wanted $350,000, basically to keep quiet that this ever happened," Jackie explains.

"Try to tell me how you can believe that and then support that and send someone money to give to someone to keep them quiet," she went on to say. "None of this makes sense."

However, that's exactly what her mom did. After Jackie used her power of attorney to access her mother's finances, she discovered that multiple accounts had been essentially drained. Additionally, she learned that her mother had reached out to a friend to borrow money so she could make more "investments" in Gill.

Police, detectives, doctors and elder abuse organizations all got involved in the situation, but nothing anyone said could convince Jackie's mom that she was communicating with a scammer.

Jackie thought that perhaps a message from the real Gill might convince her mom that she'd been duped, but she says that her efforts to get in touch with his team were met with a "frustrating" lack of action.

"I've seen that there are plenty of celebrities out there that come forward...and said to their fans, 'I will not contact you. I will not ask you for money,'" she says. "...Once we had a little bit of time under our belts to figure out what was going on, I reached out to Vince Gill's PR person and I just said, 'My mother is involved in this scam. This person is using his name.

"'If there's some message you can put on his Facebook, his Instagram, to say, 'I'm not asking fans for money, I'm not contacting you,'" Jackie continued. "...It was radio silence. And I sent [that message] twice."

She claims that the protective service worker involved in her mother's case also contacted Gill's team. "They basically said, 'If she's dumb enough to do that, There's nothing we can do to help,'" Jackie states.

These days, Jackie controls her mother's finances and limits the amount of money that her mother is able to give to the scammer — but she points out that there's only so much she can control, and that scammers will often send their victims a new phone if concerned family members are limiting their ability to transfer money. She says her mom remains "100 percent brainwashed" by the scam.

Gill is not the only country star whose name and likeness has been used to swindle a fan out of money. A scammer claiming to be Darius Rucker also once tricked a fan into believing that they were in a romantic relationship.

Carena Liptak is an Associate Editor and staff writer at Taste of Country. She specializes in breaking country music news, interviews and lists. In particular, she’s got a soft spot for sad songs — check out her roundup of the 50 Saddest Country Songs of All Time!

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