Woman Who ‘Faked Cancer’ And Scammed People Out Of £40,000 Is Charged

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Cancer is a heartbreaking disease for all involved. A once fit and healthy person becomes debilitated by this terrible illness and their loved ones have to stand by and watch.

So the thought of someone pretending to have cancer is completely incomprehensible to me. But that’s allegedly what one woman in Queensland has done.

Lucy Wieland, a 27-year-old from Townsville, has appeared in court today (October 18), charged with fraudulently raising money on a fundraising page on which she told people she had terminal cancer.

According to ABC, Townsville Magistrates Court heard Wieland created an allegedly ‘fictional journey through stage five ovarian cancer treatment’.

She did this through her Instagram, where she told her 900+ followers about her diagnosis and led them through her ‘treatment process’.

In one such post, Wieland spoke about how she needed a walking stick to aid her movement, as the pain caused by her ‘terminal illness’ was too much to ignore.

View this post on Instagram

So it’s been 9 days of denial but this here’s my newest and pinkest accessory y’all. Exhaustion is becoming an issue for me and the pains that I used to push to the side and try my best to live with are becoming too much to ignore. So it’s the walking stick to the rescue. Of course this is definitely not an all the time thing, just for those really tricky days. Terminal illness brings some different and difficult moments with it, one of the hardest for me is the lack of independence. I don’t have much of it anymore and I have gotten to the point where most days when walking anywhere other than around the house Im now not only super slow but I have to have the support of someone’s arm. Which although on the bright side I could say I’m so blessed to have plenty of people who offer to help me, really highlights how dependent I am becoming on others. That ones a hard pill for me to swallow so, as much as I hate the idea of a walking stick I am thankful for the fact that it means I walk on my own two feet. 👏🏼 Always remember, if you are placing one foot in front of the other it is aways a step in the right direction. 💕 #nothankshoevariancancer #ovariancancer #cancer #lifewithcancer #cancerawareness #terminallife #keepgoing #cancersucks #butreally #pma #cpd #thisisreallife #walkingstick #independence #smallwins #accessoryoftheday #pink #monday #facethefear #sodamntired #napsfordays @cancermyfriend @cancer.haters @fcanceraus

A post shared by Lucy (@lu_wieland) on

Police have alleged Ms Wieland set up a fundraising page that raised $55,000 (approximately £41,000), after telling the community she could not cope with the financial burden caused by the illness.

Detective Inspector Chris Lawson addressed the crowd outside court, saying Wieland was arrested on Wednesday (October 17) after a month-long investigation.

He said:

Some people in the community identified some problems with the story and we conducted investigations to establish the veracity of the claims made by this woman.

It’s disheartening, I mean the real victims here are the people from the community that have heard the stories, have tried to assist as best they can and in some cases what little they have and given the money across in the honest belief they are trying to help people.

Wieland has not posted on her Instagram account in the past six days, the last image uploaded being one of two hands holding onto each other.

The caption said:

CONSTANT ˈkɒnst(ə)nt/adjective 1. Occurring continuously over a period of time. {unchangingly faithful and dependable.}

Comments on the post were initially supportive, with her followers wishing her well in her journey and sending her love.

However, since she appeared in court the only comments are those expressing their disgust at what she has allegedly done.

One person wrote:

DISGUSTING Adjective. 1. causing disgust; offensive to the physical, moral, or aesthetic taste.

Whilst another said:

Cannot believe you have done this. How did you get up everyday knowing you were ripping people off! People who genuinely wanted to help you!!! I hope you go to jail for a very long time, that way you will be able to think about what you have done!

Wieland has been granted bail, with Magistrate Steven Mosh saying that while it was ‘an extraordinary set of circumstances’, the 27-year-old had no criminal history therefore the risk to the community would be minimal.

Police prosecutor Rachel Todd opposed bail for Wieland, saying she had significantly breached the community’s trust. Ms Todd said a ‘large amount of effort and complexity’ had been put into the alleged ruse.

Wieland is due in court again in December.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]


Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).