I have been That Reporter, who looked into the supposedly-desperately-needed fundraiser and went…waitaminute. I was fifteen minutes away from publishing one “poor X” story when I got a tip that clued me in to something like $40,000 worth of graft. Thank god for that tip. Yes, I feel for the two other news sites that fell for it, but oh well. Medical fraud is popular because medical records are generally speaking highly confidential, but you should at least be able to speak to one doctor or nurse. If the patient won’t give their names, or permission to speak to them, that’s a tell.
WATCH ABOVE: Video for Cindy Smith’s fraudulent online fundraising campaign
TORONTO — The video on Cindy Smith’s online fundraiser paints a picture of a woman suffering from a debilitating neurological disease that had robbed her of her sight and speech, forcing her to seek financial help from the public to keep up with rising medical costs in order to stay alive.
But little did the 553 supporters who raised more than $125,000 online for Smith know, police were unable to find any evidence she had been diagnosed with or received treatment for the rare disorder she claimed to be struggling with.
For the past three years, the Burlington, Ont. woman said she was suffering from Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, a rare neurological disorder that causes gradual weakness and impaired sensory function in the arms and legs, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
A GoFundMe online fundraiser that was started in Smith’s name in November 2014 that raised $126,594 and was seeking…
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