In early September, the Help For Elle Facebook page was set up to raise funds for "Elle" (a pseudonym), who had allegedly been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The post claimed Elle had been told by doctors she had three years to live. Images were then uploaded to the page of Elle with her family, shaving her head.
Donation tins were passed around the community.
Fundraisers and functions were started.
Cupcakes were donated and auctioned off to "raise funds for treatment."
And a GoFundMen (that has since been deleted) was created to raise funds.
The page also posted running updates of Elle's condition:
On Oct. 31, an update was posted revealing the page admin had been informed that Elle had never had cancer and it was all fraudulent.
A few days later, there was an update on recovering the funds.
I didn't know Elle and her partner and I was [only] in contact with them via inbox on Facebook ... with having grandparents who had cancer, when I saw her story I just wanted to help.
It also appears Elle's husband, John Heagney, was unaware she did not have cancer.
Dozens of angry commenters have also bombarded the fundraising Facebook page.
I asked everyone who donated [about] money and only one person wanted their donation back; the rest of the community are happy to see it go to the cancer kids at Westmead Hospital Sydney.
New South Wales police issued the following statement to BuzzFeed News on the matter:
Police are investigating the allegations.
The woman was not arrested by police last week.
Inquiries into the matter are continuing.
Anyone with information about the issue is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.