Redditor nuhuh_she_doest did not react strongly to seeing their sister’s shaved head since nothing she has done in the past raised alarm.
But when the Original Poster (OP) discovered the sister’s new look was a part of a fraudulent scheme, they felt compelled to expose her deceptive plot.
The OP visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA if I tell people not to donate to my sister’s cancer go-fund-me.”
“Throwaway since my family knows my username.”
“Backstory: When I was a kid, a family we knew had a daughter with Leukemia. She had chemo, lost her hair and got an exception to the school’s no-hat policy so she could cover her head.”
“Everyone at the school was supportive and there were a couple of fund-raiser things that other parents organized for their benefit. I heard she went into remission and really didn’t think much about her after I left home to go to college.”
“Fast forward, I’m at college and living in a different city than my family. Sister had graduated high school but I guess didn’t want to go to college and still lives with my (now divorced) mom.”
“Last Christmas I came home for a visit, and was surprised to see that my sister had shaved her head. Well, not super surprised because she likes to create drama and has done plenty of things like that before. So I just pretended like I didn’t notice anything.”
“Mom, sis and I went out for dinner one night. Sat in a booth, a little kid in the next booth poked her head over and said ‘Why don’t you have any hair?’ Her parents immediately grabbed her, but my sister said it was ok, and then went on to explain that people who are being treated for cancer lose all of their hair because of chemo.”
“The kid’s parents apologized and offered to buy our dinner. Then the kid pipes up again ‘Why do you still have eyebows?’ (meaning eyebrows). The parents apologize again and gtfo, but not before they pay for our food.”
“Meanwhile, mom is pretending she hasn’t heard any of this. So I ask my sister if she has cancer and she starts going on about how she wants to support people with cancer. But when I point blank asked her if she herself has cancer, the answer was no.”
“That night, she shaved off her eyebrows.”
“OK, she can shave off her hair if she wants, I don’t care. But yesterday, I was chatting on Discord with an old friend from my hometown and he asked me how my sister was doing. I gave some snarky answer, my friend came back with ‘how can you be so mean when she has cancer?'”
“Apparently she has been telling people that she has cancer and asking for donations to her go fund me. I told him that can’t be true, he sent me a link to the go fund me. She raised about $500 so far.”
“I called my mom, she confirmed that my sister does not have cancer, but she does talk about it all the time. I guess my mom just ignores it somehow. I don’t want people in my hometown getting scammed, so WIBTA if told everyone not to donate?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors were furious over the OP’s sister faking cancer to defraud her friends and neighbors.
Many of the comments called for justice.
“NTA – and please report to gofundme!” – cactusmorgan
“And the police. Fraud is a crime.” – See46
“NTA. Your sister is scamming people. I think she might even be charged with fraud, depending on if someone pursues it.”
“If she wants to ‘support’ people with cancer, donate to a well-rated charity organization. Don’t lie on gofundme.” – music_lover273
Few falsely suggested the sister was suffering from Munchhausen syndrome by proxy – a mental illness in which a person inflicts self-harm to convince themselves they are mentally or physically ill.
Since the OP’s sister did not threaten her own health and just shaved her head to deceive others, people said her behavior was an example of “malingering.”
“Unlikely, factitious disorder does not involve pursuit of personal gain in the form of $$$. So this is more likely malingering.” – chi_lawyer
“Op is NTA but going to the police at this point is a little too far. Until money actually exchanges hands and doesn’t get returned no harm no fowl. We could all stand to have a little more compassion.”
“There is something that has gone wrong for the sister, which needs money and attention. If the mother is refusing to do anything maybe she is part of the problem?”
“It’s clear that the sister needs more healthy solutions than Munchausen. One of the big problems now is that once you start there is no safe way to stop that doesn’t involve everyone hating you and making the problem worse.”
“Definitely, report the go fund me, but don’t call the cops. The police will make things worse, where only a therapist can make it better right now, maybe.” – simply_a_bear
“Report to GoFundMe, confront sister, tell her she is not just supporting those who have cancer, she is misleading people to make them believe she has cancer. That’s just f’ked up.”
“She’s toying with people’s emotion and making a mockery of the actual hardships people with cancer go through. It’s not a joke, people die. People’s lives are turned upside down because of the financial burden.”
“Try to convince her to seek professional help, and FOLLOW UP WITH IT. Because mother obviously won’t. If you see she continues the charade, report her to the police, but let her know before hand that you will do this. NTA at all.” – tylerm442
“OP needs to have a conversation with mom too. The fact that mom isn’t saying or doing anything speaks volumes here. Definitely report the fundraiser to GoFundMe ASAP and confront sister and mom.” – TheRedBanshee
“Money has already changed hands and this thread is speculating heavily with concluding she had a mental health disorder as opposed to garden variety selfishness, greed, and/or being a pathological liar.”
“My suggestion would be to immediately report this to GoFundMe. Then OP should let her sister know she has been reported. Then tell her the next step is to call the cops unless the sister 1) makes reparations with her fraud victims including an apology and 2) seeks therapy.”
“If the sister is legitimately mentally ill, here’s her chance to step up and get help for her problem so she doesn’t victimize people again.” – readingwindow
The OP responded with an update after reading through some of the responses.
“After I posted and people started saying she could go to jail, I got scared for her. She is a total a**hole, but she’s still my sister. I figured my dad should know about this too, so I called him.”
“The sh*t really hit the fan. My sister had told him that she would be starting college this month so he sent her some money to go towards tuition & books, same as he does for me. (He’s not rich and he can’t cover the whole cost, but he does help.)”
“He was furious and said he was going to call her right away. I don’t know what was said between them, but the GoFundMe has been taken down.”
“As far as I know, she isn’t going to college, that was just a story to get dad to send money. Shes does some kind of volunteer work, but does not have a regular job.”
“She got laid off from her job at a coffee shop when everything had to close for the pandemic, the shop has now re-opened but they have not re-hired her.”
Overall, Redditors remained furious over the sister’s deception that was potentially diverting funds away from those who are truly suffering.