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Woman applies for assi­stance, gets sexually harassed

Single mother gets “dis­gusting” texts from man claiming to work for Health and Human Services Commission

SAN ANTONIO - A local single mother got more than she bargained for when she recently applied for state assistance for her children.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said someone claiming to be with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission sent her text messages implying she could get more money if she provided sexual favors.

"He started to insinuate things that were out of the norm for a social worker," the woman said.

The woman said she started getting the inappropriate texts from a man who claimed to work for Health and Human Services shortly after she applied for assistance at an office located in Schertz.

"A week later, I start getting calls from a gentleman saying he worked for Human Services and that he had gone online and found a grant for my children and myself," the woman said.

The caller also said he worked for a rich man on the side that could give her an additional $6,500 - she just needed to send him a picture to confirm her identity.

The woman agreed and soon got a strange text message in reply.

"He said, 'I got it, ok maybe we can help each other out if you catch my drift,'" the woman said.

When the woman asked the man to clarify he sent another message talking about getting together and relaxing with some sex toys.

When the woman went back to the office to report the bizarre behavior, she said the workers inside were less than helpful.

"They said that it couldn't have happened at their office. That maybe I didn't log out, but still it happened in their office," the woman said.

Stephanie Goodman, a spokesperson for the commission said the man does not work for them and they don't know how he obtained the woman's personal information.

Goodman said while larger offices have been providing computers for over a year to let applicants file for benefits online, smaller offices like the one in Schertz only recently installed the computers.

Goodman said it's possible the woman may not have logged out of her session properly at the office, giving the next user access to her information.

Goodman also said larger offices have staff members that make sure users log out before leaving and several signs are posted. Smaller offices don't have enough staff to provide the same assistance to applicants, but signs are posted reminding users to make sure they log out after completing their session.

"Regardless if I logged out, they should have a safer system where we're providing all our personal information," the woman said.

Schertz police are now trying to track down the man who obtained the woman's personal information.

Meanwhile, the woman is left to live in fear.

"I don't sleep at night, wondering what is he doing with my information," the woman said.

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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