When Scammers Prey On The Kindness Of Strangers
In times of need, many are willing to lend a helping hand, but there are also those who are willing to take advantage of this kindness.
Kate McLure, Mark D'Amico and Johnny Bobbitt
Kate McLure and Mark D'Amico made headlines in 2017, for the apparent good deed of setting up a GoFundMe page for homeless man Johnny Bobbitt, after claiming he had donated his last $20 after she ran out of petrol.
More than $400,000 was raised for Bobbitt, who said he was a veteran, after their story went viral, but their kindness looked to have been faked after it was revealed Bobbitt had not seen any of the money.
But in another twist, the whole story is alleged to have been faked.
The couple and Bobbitt have now been charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for allegedly faking the entire story -- including Bobbitt being a veteran.
Belle Gibson was the darling of the health world after her app The Whole Pantry was endorsed by Apple in 2015.
Gibson claimed she had terminal cancer but had cured it with diet and alternative therapies, and said she had donated $300,000 to charity from the proceeds of her cookbook.
But her empire came crashing down when it was revealed she had lied about having cancer and about the donations.
After extreme backlash and the loss of her social media support base, Gibson admitted to fabricating her medical history on Channel 9's 60 Minutes.
In 2016, Consumer Affairs Victoria took legal action against Gibson, and she was fined $416,000 for making the false claims about her charity donations.
She is yet to pay the fine and authorities are currently attempting to charge her for contempt of court.
Former Hockeyroo Kate Hubble claimed she was undergoing cancer treatment while working for cancer charity for Redkite in 2017.
She provided medical documents that the immunotherapy made her prone to fainting and she would have to work at home after each treatment.
She also claimed more than $1300 in sick leave.
Her lies were revealed when Redkite's HR department contacted the doctors on her forms, but they had never heard of her.
Hubble was fined $2600 and given a good behaviour bond.
Joyce Msokeri was jailed for four-and-a-half years for scamming the fund set up for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Msokeri claimed her husband was one of the 72 people to have died in the fire, and had food, clothing and accommodation donated in the aftermath.
She had received more than £19,000 ($33,000 AUD) before she was caught, and prosecutors believe she could have claimed up to £200,000 ($350,000 AUD) if she had not been stopped.
During her trial it was revealed she was not married and did not live in the Tower.
David Alvey scammed almost $24 million USD ($33,000,000 AUD) from a federal education benefits program set up for veterans in the aftermath of 9/11.
Alvey advertised educational courses to veterans under the scheme, and claimed they were enrolling in accredited courses at New Jersey's Caldwell University.
However the courses were actually online correspondence courses that were subcontracted from an unaccredited company.
In June 2018, Alvey was jailed for five years for the fraud.