Australian woman jailed for scamming money by pretending to have cancer

Hanna far left

Hanna far left

A Melbourne woman who scammed more than $40,000 from her family friends after claiming she was dying of cancer has been jailed for three months.

Her parents had received donations from their friends, a court was told.

Reflecting on this, you can probably sympathise why Hanna Dickenson's parents rallied around their cancer-stricken daughter, raising thousands of dollars from friends, family and neighbours to cover the cost of life-saving medical treatment overseas. Instead, Dickenson's lifestyle of drugs, alcohol and trips to Thailand and Europe exposed her plea for money as a scam.

Dickenson had pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to seven charges of obtaining property by deception.

He added: 'People's desire to assist and social trust has been breached.

Dickenson told her parents she was severely ill with leiomyosarcoma, and not responding to treatments at Epworth and Peter MacCallum hospitals.

"Ms Dickenson has engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature", he stated. Another person gave money on four separate occasions. "These are the people who have worked hard and dug into their own pockets".

Dickenson's scam was only discovered when a donor saw pictures of her on Facebook and raised suspicions with the police.

Comparisons were made between Dickenson's crime and that of health blogger Belle Gibson, who was fined $410,000 previous year after falsely claiming to have survived brain cancer.

The 24-year-old who is a real estate agent was punished to three months in jail and given a 12-month Community Corrections Order under which she will require to do 150 hours of community work and also undergo treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.

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