On Friday, a Burlington woman named Cynthia Lynn Smith was accused of scamming backers on GoFundMe by faking a rare neurological disease known as Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy.
Authorities confirmed that Smith went as far as acting out symptoms to convince family and friends to help her start a crowdfunding campaign that was dedicated for treatment.
Smith managed to raise over $125,000 during her campaign, which took place between November and March. Then, a local Canadian reporter raised concerns about how legit her illness was. Police then revealed that she was never diagnosed or treated for the disease.
Revealing their thoughts about the situation, the organizer of the Facebook page dedicated to supporting Smith wrote:
“I just wanted to let you know that the detectives are still investigating the validity of Cindy’s CIDP. I know we all have questions, myself included, but unfortunately its completely in the detectives hands at this time. I don’t have any other information or answers and will continue to update you as I am able. thank you so much for your continued patience.”
Det.-Sgt. Troy Izlakar revealed:
According to Toronto Sun, GoFundMe’s Kelsea Little stated that the case was “unfortunate” and that the campaign has since been removed from the platform as the case goes before court. She also shared that GoFundMe hosts millions of campaigns, and unfortunately not feasible for the platform to investigate all campaign organizer claims.
Little added that GoFundMe is cooperating with police as they investigate every complain of fraudulent activity:
“In the rare event that we do find fraudulent activity on an account, we have the power to remove the account and ban the user from ever signing up again.”
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