Fake cancer scam: inmates feel hurt and betrayed - KMSP-TV

Fake cancer scam: inmates feel hurt and betrayed

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Kelly Wasko Kelly Wasko
PHOENIX -

A Gilbert woman accused of faking cancer to get donation money is being accused of scamming inmates she spent time with in jail.

The inmates say they feel hurt and betrayed.

They say Kelly Wasko told them sob stories and befriended them, all in an effort to scam them out of everything from envelopes to food.

One inmate was about to bond her out of jail until they got online and found out why she was really in jail.

Two of Wasko's cellmates say when they got out of jail, they got online and were shocked to find out what Wasko was really in jail for.

One of the inmates was about to bond her out of jail when they realized she had been lying to them the whole time.

"I'm in shock. What do I believe? I'm still in shock," said Margarita Zaragoza, Wasko's cellmate.

Zaragoza says she was cellmates with 41-year-old Wasko in the Estrella jail for three months.

She thought of her like a sister.

"She's a sweet person and I wouldn't look at her like she would do something like this," said Zaragoza.

But when she was released last week, she says she got online and discovered a string of lies.

[She said she was in jail because] she took a check from charity, Salvation Army, $1,500," said Zaragoza.

In fact, Wasko is in jail because police say she faked cancer, solicited donations from family and friends online, collecting more than $12,000.

Investigators say her cancer claims were bogus.

"She never takes pills, never takes medicine. She's healthy," said Zaragoza.

Once behind bars, inmates say Wasko befriended them telling them sob stories and making promises in an effort to get envelopes stamps and even food.

Behind bars, Wasko allegedly told Janice Anderson, her former cellmate, she had multiple sclerosis.

Zaragoza says she was about to bond her out of jail, using her car as collateral.

Wasko promised to pay her back.

"I called the bondsmen. I've done everything I can do but then I find out this is...so what, she's going to lie to me the whole time?" said Zaragoza. "All her friends turned their back on her, I see why."

Wasko pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

FOX 10 reached out to Wasko, who's still in jail, along with her attorney. He declined to comment.

Follow this story:

PD: Woman fakes cancer to get donations

Ariz. woman in cancer scheme pleads not guilty

 

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