If there is any surer way to guarantee that karma will come back around to kill you than faking a cancer diagnosis, we'd love to hear it. Or better yet, the four people in one month who have now allegedly faked the Big C in Canada would love to hear it, because they're apparently big fans of spitting in karma's face.
British Columbia's The Provincereports today that Tina Michele Sammons, a 37-year-old woman from Victoria, is being charged with fraud after she allegedly told everyone who would listen that she had severe brain cancer and needed money to fight it. Lots of money. About $300,000, to be exact.
She got the money, but apparently never had the cancer.
She's now the fourth Canuck in one month to be charged with fraud after claiming to have cancer when he or she didn't.
So what is it about the Great White North and the fall season that makes people want to crank up the deception meter to terminal-illness status? Perhaps it's the country's tip-top health-care system that promises to actually take care of cancer patients, whether they are bank execs with money or janitors with chronic gout.
Greg Dubord, a cognitive-behavior therapist at the University of Toronto, didn't offer any hard answers as to Canada's particular boom in cancer fraudsters when he talked to the Province, other than to say the scam is the new trend in white-collar crime:
"I imagine a fair bit of money can be made from faking cancer. It's the fraud du jour. We had Nigerian email scams, Madoff-like pyramid schemes, now faking cancer. They're all dark ways of making money."
So is selling crack and sucking off truck drivers at the roadside rest stop, but neither of them are freaking out their own friends and families with tales of impending death.