Woman who pretended to have cancer jailed for duping people into donating money for 'medical treatment'

An Australian woman has been jailed for three months after she scammed thousands of dollars by pretending to have cancer, the BBC reports.

Hanna Dickenson accepted £22,000 (approximately $31,000 U.S.) in donations after she told her parents that she needed vital medical treatment overseas.

Hanna Dickenson has been jailed for accepting thousands in donations by pretending she had cancer. (Photo: Facebook)
Hanna Dickenson has been jailed for accepting thousands in donations by pretending she had cancer. (Photo: Facebook)

Money poured in from friends, and the 24-year-old spent most of it on vacations and socializing with friends.

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court was told that one person donated nearly £5,500 (about $7,800 U.S.) after he was discharged from the hospital following his own cancer treatment.

Dickenson pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining property by deception at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. (Photo: Google)
Dickenson pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining property by deception at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. (Photo: Google)

Dickenson’s scam was only discovered when a donor saw pictures of her on Facebook and alerted police to the possibility of fraud.

Dickenson has now pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining property by deception.

Magistrate David Starvaggi said Dickenson had “engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature.”

“People’s desire to assist and social trust has been breached,” he added. “These are people who worked hard and dug into their own pockets.”

Dickenson’s lawyer, Beverley Lindsay, argued that her client should be spared jail because she had “turned her life around” and said that they would probably appeal the sentence.

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