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Crime

Police: Cancer patient scammed by woman claiming to be cancer survivor

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison woman who is battling cancer was scammed by to a woman pretending to be a cancer survivor, according to a release from Madison police.

The victim told police she met Jessica Vlasseman, 40, in May through an acquaintance and got closer to the woman, who claimed she was a cancer survivor. Vlasseman said her name was Helena Scott, that she just moved to the area from Texas and that she was having trouble with her live-in boyfriend. She said she needed a hotel room for the night and convinced the victim to let her use her credit card to book a room at a hotel on West Washington Avenue with the promise to pay her back.

Police contacted the victim more than two months later, after they said they found Vlasseman had assumed the victim’s identity and taken up residence at the hotel. She continued to bill everything to the victim’s credit card, police say.

Police were called when hotel staff became suspicious.

Police said Vlasseman has been connected to numerous frauds and scams in the past, including one a couple of years ago where they said she bilked brides in Wisconsin and in other states out of money by claiming to be a renowned makeup artist who was running a company called My Queen of Diamonds.

Police said the victim will not have to pay for the hotel bill.

Vlasseman was arrested on suspicion of identity theft and fraud on an innkeeper.


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