BBB issues warnings after Indiana woman poses as cancer patient - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BBB issues warnings after Indiana woman poses as cancer patient for donations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say 29-year-old Santana Banta of Switzerland County, Ind., duped people into believing she was dying of cancer.

She allegedly claimed online that she needed help paying for medical bills that were racking up from treatment at James Graham Brown Cancer Center. 

The bogus story, police say, allowed Banta to cash in. Investigators tell WDRB she set up a GoFundMe page and accepted over $3,000. 

But a concerned citizen tipped off Indiana State Police.

Banta is now behind bars, but people who donated are feeling victimized. 

"It's not surprising," said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Louisville 

It isn't the first time the BBB has heard of this type of elaborate scheme, and it won't be the last. 

Here are three things you can do to avoid falling for a similar scam:

1. Resist Pressure.

"If the person really needs the money, or if the charity really needs the money, they'll take it today, tomorrow, or next week even," Smith-Hamblin said.

2. Do your homework. 

"Ask questions," she said. "Where the money's going? Who's getting the money? How it's getting used is a big one."

Google can help. If someone has been wronged before, there's a good chance they've tweeted, Facebooked, or blogged about it.

3. Offer anything but money.

"Maybe that's the best solution. Instead of giving money, help someone in another way," Smith-Hamblin said. "Give someone your time."

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