Mom Accused of Faking Cancer to Collect Thousands in Donations, Urged People to Spread Hashtag: Police

The mother shared a video on social media claiming she had cancer

<p>Getty</p> A Woman Is Holding A Credit Card, Typing on A Laptop


A Woman Is Holding A Credit Card, Typing on A Laptop

An Australian mother of four has been charged with fraud after sharing a video on social media in which she pleads for donations while claiming to have cancer — which according to authorities, was a lie.

Tara Enoka, 35, was charged earlier this month, a spokesperson with the Western Australia Police Force tells PEOPLE. Authorities allege Tara Enoka gained roughly $37,000 in donations while lying about having the illness.

Authorities allege that Enoka, 35, was the beneficiary of a GoFundMe fundraiser which fooled donors into giving her money to battle a purported cancer diagnosis.

The GoFundMe page was allegedly set up by another man who “stated the fundraiser was to assist a woman who is known to him who had been diagnosed with a rare medical condition,” the spokesperson with the Western Australian Police Force says.

"At this time, there is no allegation the male person who created the fundraising account was aware the woman’s claims were not true," the police spokesperson adds.

In the video, which remains uploaded on YouTube, Enoka says: “I’ve never been the type of person that’s ever asked anyone for help. And in the past couple of weeks I’ve learned that it’s OK to ask for help.”

Choking back tears, Enoka then tells viewers that she was diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer. She then says the money being raised for her would be used for treatments that would “potentially save my life.”

Enoka tells viewers about her four children and shows photos of her with them, breaking down at the end of the minute-long video as she explains that she’s raising money “so that I can be here for my kids to watch them grow up” before a man comes into frame and hugs her.

She also implores users to spread the hashtag #StandWithTara.

On another YouTube page, Enoka describes herself as an aspiring boxer from Western Australia who is also a mother of four and says she’s “working full time in the community care sector.”

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The Western Australian Police Force spokesperson says Enoka received donations from more than 500 people in 16 different countries between March and September 2021. During that time, she transferred roughly $36,000 into her personal bank account.

It isn't immediately clear whether Enoka has entered a plea in response to the criminal charge. Enoka is due back in court in August.

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