Residents in Utah give Christmas to family, then learn mother’s sad story was a lie

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah --  When a man saw a post on Facebook seeking donations for two children who lost their father in the Las Vegas shooting, he couldn't resist the urge to do his part and help.

According to Fox13, Bryan De Laney, who also moonlights as Santa, said he has experienced losses this year, so he wanted to do something to help those in need.

De Laney added, "and over the years we’ve experienced some pretty severe loss, so I thought we needed to help the kids and wife out."

The post on the Tooele County 411 page came from a woman named Whitney, according to the station. The post said she was trying to make Christmas happen for the boys who recently moved to Tooele after losing their father.

De Laney responded to Whitney’s post and after conversing with her, bought nearly $400 worth of clothing and toys she said the boys needed.

“I bought two tricycles, two action figures from the Kong movie, two little dump trucks full of Legos, 2 outfits each with a pair of shoes, a little art easel and some Hot Wheels cars,” De Laney said.

De Laney, who works as a Santa Claus at holiday gatherings, delivered the items to Whitney on Christmas Eve, according to the station,

“I was actually Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and they scammed me,” De Laney said. “They took the stuff thinking it was going to go to two little kids who needed it.”

He realized he had fallen victim to a scam on Christmas Day when he tried reaching out to Whitney on Facebook, but realized she blocked him from contacting her.