A Florida woman is in trouble with the law for posing as a leukemia-stricken young man and his younger brother on Facebook and duping teenaged girls into falling in love with them while raising sympathy for people with cancer.
The Miami Herald reports Cindy Choi, who owns a restaurant in Doral, Fla., is being accused of devising a scam in which she posed as Kevin San Roman, who lived in Spain and fought leukemia for three years and his younger brother, Lucas.
Police say Choi made a Facebook page to chronicle the brothers' imaginary lives. The page attracted hundreds of friends from the Miami area, and several teenagers talked with the pretend guys by text and phone and planned to meet them in person. They also claim Choi stalked some of the teens, pretending to be one of the young men and having seen them places.
Posting photos wasn't hard - they were stolen from around the Internet. The scam was only discovered after a teacher's daughter fell for the younger "brother," Lucas, and the teacher called the police.
The Facebook page has been taken down, but parents are plenty mad about the situation. Maria Masters, whose daughter got wrapped up in the scheme, called people like Choi "predators."
"These predators are using Facebook and getting away with it. Your kid may think they know someone, but if they haven't met them in person, they may not exist."
Masters said "Lucas" got her daughter, who is now 19, all wrapped up in the online relationship and spoke to her frequently on the telephone. However, she said time and again, something tragic would happen every time Lucas was to visit. The girl told him her mother was suspicious, and minutes later, a blog and the Facebook pages were gone.
Doral, Fla. detective Yvette Gomez wrote in an email to Lucas that Choi is a very "disturbed" woman.
And experts said Choi may have Munchausen disorder, which causes people to create fake illnesses to get attention.