Scammers target dying Hamilton mother
Fake Facebook profile exploits breast cancerHARRY PEARL
A Hamilton mother who stopped receiving treatment for her terminal cancer so she could give birth to her child has described her anger with scammers that have tried to cash in on her ill health.
Jennifer Doolabh, who fell pregnant for a third time after being diagnosed with breast cancer, gave birth to Matthias - which means God's gift in Hebrew - on December 23.
The baby was delivered at 34 weeks gestation and is now out of the incubator, but CT scans taken immediately after his birth revealed Mrs Doolabh's cancer had spread while treatment had stopped - and she is now enduring another bout of chemotherapy.
Her story, which first appeared in the Waikato Times in December, provoked an outpouring of well wishes and donations for Mrs Doolabh and her family.
But it has also attracted the vulturous attention of people trying to exploit her circumstances.
A fake Facebook profile has been established by scammers who are trying to solicit donations.
Mrs Doolabh said she was not happy when she found out about the page yesterday - especially as it was the second fake profile her family has had to deal with.
"It wasn't until my friend told me that they had added her and asked her for money to help them.
"I just thought it was so rude - it's not us."
Neither she nor her husband, Aneal, has ever asked for money despite frequent offers, she said.
The page uses Mrs Doolabh's previous surname, Jenn Rupe, and features a profile photo of her with her 5-year-old daughter Bailey.
She said the scammers have taken photos from her own page, including wedding photos, and tried to pass them off as their own.
Her husband had reported the page to Facebook and Mrs Doolabh said she was trying to let people know it was not her.
Last night, she posted on her official Facebook page:
"Just to let you all know there is a FAKE profile of someone pretending to be me and asking for donations/money etc - This is definitely something I would not do [sic]."
She warned her Facebook friends not to accept a friend request from the hoax profile.
The scam has prompted an angry reaction from her Facebook followers.
Louise Sanderson said: "How disgusting someone could do that! Do they not think you have enough on your plate?"
Another post from Alice Martin read: "May God punish them . . . you stay focused Jenn, your a wonderful and beautiful woman and mom.[sic]"
Mrs Doolabh started chemotherapy again on Wednesday and said the treatment went well.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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