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Florida sheriff's office warns of scammers using story of child battling cancer

"Frauds and scams come in all shapes and sizes, but these ones are sure to tug on your heart strings"
Martin Co Sheriffs Office scam warning.png
Posted at 10:46 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 09:51:01-04

A sheriff's office in Florida is warning people about a different type of scam it said is "sweeping" across the state.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said groups of scammers have been using the story of a young girl battling cancer to solicit funds at various intersections.

The department shared pictures on its Facebook page that showed people wearing shirts and hats and holding signs that were asking for donations for a 4-year-old girl named Emilia that was diagnosed with brain cancer.

The sheriff's office said it learned there is actually a child named Emilia who is battling cancer and who has a Facebook page that allowed loved ones and friends to follow along with her battle.

"These individuals tried to capitalize on this young girl battling cancer, only to raise money for their own pockets. The posters, hats and t-shirts used in this scam were only made in an effort to solicit more money by tugging on the heart strings of our compassionate citizens," the sheriff's office said.

Authorities urged people to be cautious when donating to any soliciting along a roadway, especially if you can't identify the organization they're representing.

The sheriff's office said, "If you are looking for legitimate places to donate your money, do research on the organization before donating."

Authorities said that while what the group did was "thoughtless and unethical," it didn't violate any state laws that would result in an arrest. The group was trespassed from the intersection.