A Westerville, New Jersey, woman, Darcie Lutz, created a Facebook page to support a mother living in Utica, Ohio, whose four-year-old son had, she said, been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. However, the mother, Emily Creno-King, is now accused of faking her son’s illness to solicit money.
Lutz met Creno-King in an online support group for intracranial hypertension, a rare disease that gives those afflicted brain tumor-like symptoms. After Creno-King shared her son’s illness with the group, Lutz felt like she had to do something and created the Facebook page. However, one of Lutz’s friends who was also introduced to Creno-King had suspicions about the case and told Lutz, and soon a tip had been given to police officials. The case is currently under investigation, though a local children’s hospital has confirmed that Creno-King’s son is not sick.
“Looking back, we all had a question or two about something, but we never imagined that it would be like this,” Lutz said. “We thought we knew somebody and we obviously didn’t… It was a big blow because I had let people know about this and to find out it’s not true, it’s hard to get that trust back again.”
It’s important for Facebook users to always carefully examine a cause or charity online before making a donation. Unfortunately, scams often take advantage of emotional issues like cancer or national tragedies, and while it’s natural for your first instinct to be to help with cases like this, it can’t hurt to do your homework first.