Scammers hold family of cancer battler to ransom

Scammers hold family of cancer battler to ransom

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Levi Tracey battled cancer over twelve years, and beat it twice.

Scammers have targeted the Tracey family who are trying to grieve the loss of their beloved Levi.

Nineteen-year-old Levi Tracey passed away last week after his third epic battle with cancer. His story touched hearts around the world and his tribute page has thousands of followers.

Since his passing, online scammers have been trying to cash in on the tragedy by creating lookalike memorial pages set up specifically for fundraising.

“They also personally reached out to a number of our friends and family members and asked them for donations,” Levi’s dad, Mark Tracey said.

“Levi’s official fundraising page was set up by a good family friend – Deb Butler. We’re really appreciative of the support we’ve had, but we’ve never reached out and asked for it.”

Mark said his wife, Nikki, had also been harassed to donate to the fake memorial pages by the scammers.

After some back and forth between the scammers and the family it ended in an ultimatum.

“Eventually they asked for $12,000 to make it stop,” Mark said.

“He passed on Tuesday, and this all started on Wednesday – so it’s been a rough week.”

Mark said the family had reported the pages through official Facebook channels and had received a generic message back that the pages “didn’t breach community standards”.

They have also reported the scam to police.

“We’re just trying to process the week, and grieve and plan a funeral. It’s tough,” Mark said.

The two pages that were identified as fakes – ‘.Lifeline for Levi’ and ‘Lifeline.For.Levi’ – are no longer visible on Facebook – a win for now.

But the family has urged people to remain vigilant.

Mark said while they appreciate any donations made to them to help them through this incredibly tough time, a more fitting gift for Levi’s legacy would be the donation of blood products.

“Levi was having multiple products a day, but right towards the end it was quite hectic,” he said.

“There were two particular days where he had eight or nine bags of different products, and that’s got to come from somewhere.

“And Levi’s just one of many people going through that type of situation. We just need everyone who’s able to take the time to help someone else, to save a loved one – because we understand firsthand how important that stuff is.”

Levi will be remembered at a memorial service this Friday, surrounded by a sea of purple.