Woman used social engineering cancer tricks to collect $55,000 in Instagram

A woman accused of faking a positive cancer diagnosis to receive thousands of dollars in donations was responsible for a significant violation of the trust of hundreds of people, Australian law dictated. The Court in Townsville, Australia, determined that Lucy Victoria Wieland used an online blog and photographs to represent an alleged ovarian cancer treatment at stage five.

Police allege that Ms. Wieland told her followers of the “huge financial strain” that the disease had brought her, so she put online a donation page that raised nearly $55,000. His partner, a member of the Australian Defence Force, became their full-time caregiver, although it is unknown whether the individual was complicit in the fraud. Wieland also spoke on his blog about his plans to travel to Germany for new treatment.

Police Prosecutor Rachel Todd objected to the defendant’s bail, claiming that the community’s trust was “significantly violated.” Ms. Todd said a “great amount of effort and complexity” was invested to help Wieland with her alleged struggle. However, the judge in charge of the case granted Ms. Wieland bail, saying that while it was “an extraordinary set of circumstances”, the 27-year-old has no criminal record and the risk to the community would be minimal.

Wieland also had to hand over his passport to the police, and must report to court over the next few months.

Australian officials arrested Wieland last Wednesday after a month-long investigation by information provided to the police: “Some people in the community identified some problems with the story narrated by the defendant and conducted investigations to establish the veracity of their claims,” says an Australian police representative.

In this regard, a citizen deceived by Wieland stated, “It’s daunting, the real victims are the people in the community who listened to her and did their best to help her.”

Inspector Chris Lawson, on the other hand, mentions that the accusations against Wieland should be a warning to those who wish to donate online, as people trying to take advantage of their good intentions will never be lacking.