MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -- A husband who is already helping his wife battle health complications says someone posed as her favorite country music star and tried to take advantage of her.
The effect Trace Adkins' music has on Sandy Johnson is obvious: you can see it in the way she moves to his songs, and hear it in the way she knows every word.
What you can't see, though, are the years of battles with her health Johnson has fought, with her husband Kevin by her side. In a way, she said Adkins has been there, too. She showed FOX59 a framed photo of the singer, which she said gave her comfort.
"It’s like he’s just sitting and looking at me," Johnson said. "That (photo) has spent more time in the hospital than it probably has at home."
Johnson's love for the country singer is why her husband Kevin contacted FOX59 in the first place. He said someone took advantage of that love, and his wife's vulnerability, by posing as Adkins.
"I almost lost my wife and then somebody comes along and builds hopes up and then drops her like a lead brick," Kevin Johnson said.
It began with a Facebook conversation. Sandy Johnson started talking to an account called "I love Trace Adkins." The person on the other end claimed to be the country singer, saying "I always make sure I squeeze out time from my tight schedule to show appreciation for my loyal fans."
The person asked about Johnson's health, and how she was doing. She said she knew Adkins had a couple shows coming up in northern Indiana, so it made sense when he said he could get her a VIP pass or a meet and greet. But then, it went further.
"The second day got a little bit more personal. The third day was when the money came out," Johnson said.
The person said he wanted to donate Johnson a truck, saying "I personally would be giving you a Ford truck of mine, due to your condition." The catch was that Johnson would need to pay a "token fee" of $200 to a charity.
That's when Johnson said she realized the person on the other end was not her beloved Trace Adkins.
"I care a lot about his music and to sit and try to exploit someone just because you can, why? Why are you doing this?" Johnson said.
FOX59 did some research and found that scammers impersonating country music stars have been around for years. The Johnson said they wanted people to know this is happening.
"We don't want other people getting ripped off," Kevin Johnson said.
The whole thing was a hard pill to swallow for Sandy, who said she was embarrassed but that her love for Adkins never wavered, and his music will still motivate her to fight every day, even if it's not easy.
"I just felt stupid that I got caught up," Johnson said. "I know it wasn’t Trace but it did hurt that someone would exploit me."
FOX59 reached out to a team representing Adkins, but did not hear back. If you suspect a scam like this one, you should report it to the Indiana Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau.