How did a woman fake terminal cancer and scam her friends out of $30,000?
‘She is a fraud and a master manipulator’
Prosecutors are considering charges for a woman who pretended to have stage-four cancer and swindled her friends out of more than $30,000.
Candace Streng was exposed for having a fake GoFundMe in which she fraudulently claimed to have terminal breast cancer to solicit donations. For almost a year, friends in her town of Brighton, Michigan and strangers from around the world rushed to give money to her page. She raised $31,325 before she was publicly exposed this week.
Brighton Police told babe how they had sent a report to prosecutors, who are considering punishment. They will determine if Streng should be charged.
It is not yet clear how Streng was exposed for her hoax. A post from one of her friends suggests Streng "personally informed" her that she lied about her illness.
But for a long time, they believed her. Streng uploaded her GoFundMe in April 2017, and her claims that she was desperately sick with cancer elicited sympathy from her community.
She said a drug costing $6,000 per month was "among the last options remaining for treatment with hope of remission."
Posting on her page in the third-person, Streng wrote: "Candace has been a tremendous power for positivity and kindness in the community for many years and has helped so many in their times of need. Now, it's Candace who needs the help. Let's show her the same love she has shown so many of us over the years."
Friends rallied, organizing paid charity events in her name like the "Candace Kicks Cancer Fundraiser," which cost $15 for entry and encouraged participants to bid in raffles and an auction.
"Good luck everyone!" posted a friend. "And thanks to all for the generous donations. I hope she gets enough to take the stress off at least the financial part of her treatments."
Local reporters even interviewed Candace about her fake struggles, quoting her on how a new drug was her "last chance" of recovery.
Streng described how an invasive ductal carcinoma was "spreading like wildfire" through her body.
"I'm doing my best every day and practicing self-compassion and mindfulness," she told the Detroit Free Press.
In late January, Streng came clean with one of her friends who helped fundraise for her.
Caryn Ann posted on Facebook:
"Sadly, and with regret I was personally informed by her that she is not a fighter, not a survivor and not trust worthy. She is however a fraud and a master manipulator. Please know that she still does need help, however it’s not the kind of help we were all led to believe that she needed. My heart is breaking, my anger is raging, my trust is broken, my faith is lost."
Streng's friends told babe how they would not speak to the media until legal proceedings had been resolved.
Attempts to reach Streng were unsuccessful.
Do you know anyone who faked cancer? Contact [email protected]