Multiple fake accounts have been set up to raise donations for a Malaysian woman who has been battling a rare form of cancer
Mandy Lee's dreams of becoming a successful doctor were cut short when she was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014.
In the past six years, she went through multiple cycles of chemotherapy but none of the drugs worked. In 2016, the 27-year-old was given only two months to live.
And in November last year, Lee was told that her cancer had spread even further to her lungs and heart.
Despite how grim the situation felt, Lee fought through and was proud to have "outlived her expiry date"
Refusing to give up, she has been seeking treatment from integrative oncologists who can target cancer using immunotherapy treatments. According to her, the oncology team believes that there is an 80% to 90% chance that a full recovery is possible.
However, the treatments that are being done in Thailand, as they are unavailable in Malaysia, cost a fortune.
This prompted Lee to set up a fundraising page on Give.Asia.
Unfortunately, since February, scammers have created fake Facebook pages and websites using Lee's pictures and cancer story to scam the public for donations
In February, fake Facebook pages and webpages under the name 'Kimberly' shared Lee's photos along with her cancer story.
"I was in Bangkok undergoing treatments and had to pause my treatments and fly home the very next day. I couldn't do much as it was the weekend and only managed to get everything (close my bank account, get the page taken down, etc) sorted on Thursday. Then fly back to Bangkok to resume my treatments," Lee explained to SAYS.
Recently on 6 June, another fake post appeared.
"My friend stumbled upon a sponsored post by a person named Mandy Teoh [posing] as me, asking for donations for cancer treatments. It was already circulating by that time. This time they even blocked me from the very beginning, I wasn't able to open the Facebook page.
"They've also created a webpage, which looked similar to the previous one except that they now used my latest pictures. Despite adding watermark to my pictures, they edited it and used it to their advantage. Because of the whole coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, I won't be able to return home this time around, and my mum had to help me with the paperwork including the police report."
Lee told SAYS that they made a police report on 6 June regarding the most recent incident
They have also reached out to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in hopes that they will be able to take down the pages.
SAYS has seen a copy of both police reports made in February and June.
On top of having to battle cancer, these additional worries have made things difficult for her.
"Seeing them use these pictures again made me really upset. If they only knew how much I went through. I was terminally ill at that time, fighting for my life. I went through so much, I almost lost my life dealing not only with cancer but severe complications including sepsis."
"The hardships were incredibly tough, and to see them use that to get people's attention for their own benefit hurts like no other. I feel incredibly sorry for the compassionate donors who only had good intentions to help but succumbed to their evil tricks. Me feeling helpless and heartbroken would be an understatement. To see all of this repeat again is breaking my spirit."
If you would like to read Lee's full story, this is her only fundraising page.