Heartbreaking stories about cancer often go viral on the internet and garner widespread support from well-wishers, but one mother disgustingly took advantage of strangers’ generosity using her children.
Mandy Hargraves, a 34-year-old mother from Georgia, decided to use her kids to play up the sympathy of the internet and gain hundreds in donations for her alleged stage 4 stomach cancer.
According to the Daily Beast, Hargraves began the con over two years ago and used her children as the primary tools for her charade. She initially wrote on Facebook, “With all of the bad news that I was hit with yesterday I will continue my life just like it never happened...I have two beautiful children that need me and I am determined to fight for my life for their sake.”
A “Mandy Strong” movement emerged from this after Hargraves posted a picture of her daughter wearing a shirt with the motto; soon, strangers also shared photos of themselves wearing the same shirt in solidarity.
Hargraves obtained $690 from a GoFundMe page, with one woman donating $100 and expressing that she was sending her thoughts and prayers.
Unfortunately, when authorities in the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office looked into Hargraves’s medical records, they could find no evidence that she had ever been diagnosed with cancer, taken CT or PET scans, or even had an oncology appointment.
Ultimately, Hargraves’s close friend who started the GoFundMe page on her behalf was forced to post that she had been duped.
“It is with a lot of prayer and soul searching that I am posting this update…I whole heartedly apologize to everyone that donated to this page. I believed when I started it that my ‘friend’ was dying and her family would need help…I will think twice before reaching out so quickly again. I should have listened to my gut instinct and my police officer instinct that I kept pushing to the side because all I kept thinking was ‘Who Does That.’ I guess I found out the hard way.”
It’s difficult to believe a mother would deceive her close family and friends so brazenly, but at the very least, she was caught in the act and exposed as the fraud she was.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Pictures of Money