Date
10 December 2016
When Luo Er (wearing mask) posted a touching article about his daugher's illness on social media, many netizens were touched and shared the story – until the truth emerged. Photo: WeChat
When Luo Er (wearing mask) posted a touching article about his daugher's illness on social media, many netizens were touched and shared the story – until the truth emerged. Photo: WeChat

Mainland dad admits fraud after raising funds for sick daughter

An apparently desperate father in mainland China tried to raise money for her five-year-old daughter who is diagnosed with leukemia, but his touching story has taken an ugly twist.

Luo Er, the father, pleaded to the internet community that a company has promised to donate one yuan each time an article that he has written about his daughter is shared, as a means to raise funds for treating his daughter’s illness, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Deeply touched by Luo’s love for his child as expressed in his beautifully crafted article, netizens went full blast to share the article on social media.

In a matter of days, the article was shared millions of times and tens of thousands of people have even made direct donations via Luo’s WeChat account.

According to Apple Daily, Luo has collected more than 2 million yuan (US$290,000) from the accumulated shares, while the Xiaotongren, the online financial company that has agreed to put up the funds, became a popular brand overnight.

The story was heading towards a fairy-tale ending until it was revealed on Wednesday that Luo is in fact the owner of three residential properties and two cars.

Some sources even pointed out that Luo’s daughter was insured and could have 70 percent of her medical bills reimbursed, and that the final medical bill for the girl would not exceed 20,000 yuan.

Cornered by reporters inside a Shenzhen hospital, Luo finally admitted that he does own three apartments, although two of the flats in Dongguan are still under mortgage.

He also admitted that her daughter does have medical insurance coverage.

It is believed that the entire scheme was a marketing gimmick for the online financial firm. It was an official of the firm who shared Luo’s article about the donation on WeChat.

Luo said he was willing to return the money to donors who think they had been deceived.

Many mainland netizens said there has been an increasing number of online scams abusing people’s kindheartedness, and such incidents should be blamed on the lack of a credible and trustworthy charity system.

Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Children’s Hospital confirmed that Luo’s daughter is suffering from a serious condition, Apple Daily said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter