Swindling the families of sick children

A WOMAN has been detained for swindling the families of sick children.

She would get in touch with associations of those affected by unusual illnesses and convince them to send her a picture of the sick child which she would then use to illustrate her leaflets in order to get money.

In total she did nine raffles and sold more than 32,000 tickets for a euro each.

National police detained the woman in Toledo where she was hiding at a friend’s house.

The woman would use social networking sites to contact the families and then convince them that she was a charity professional and would like to do a raffle to help them pay for the medical expenses of the child.

When she had the family’s trust she would then ask for photographs and medical documents – she would even give out the family’s phone numbers on her fake leaflets so that if someone who bought a ticket wanted to check on the veracity of the matter, they could.

The suspect had “solidarity accounts” into which people could make cash transfers to help the ill children; in one such account she had €2,000.

Investigations started in Vigo, Galicia, when some of the families of the sick children got in touch with the police to inform them of the case and to explain that, as the woman was dead, they could not stop their child’s image from being used on leaflets as they had nobody to contact. Police rapidly discovered that the woman was actually alive and well and hiding at a friend’s house in Toledo.

The suspect is being held on remand until her case can be heard by the provincial courts in Leon.

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