Cancer Con

Reporter: Mark Gibson

The tale of Lisa, David and Craig. A con woman and two men whose mistake was to fall in love with her.

David Mackay was married to Lisa for 5 years. Married to a woman who pretended to be dying of vaginal cancer. Two years ago, David publicly supported his then wife but didn't know he'd been conned as had Lisa's own two children. Now, the ex-husband is speaking out.

Lisa shaved her head, made pleas for help in newspapers, magazines and on the internet.

"She would be sick in the bucket and say, oh I'm sorry I haven't been able to do this today I'm too sick, I've just come back from chemo."

David says after about a year, he became suspicious.

When police came knocking, the cruel hoax was finally exposed.

"There was a 2 week period before the first court date where I couldn't stand under the same roof. I couldn't look at her without feeling sick…I still feel the same way."

Lisa was released from jail last year.

Meet Craig, Lisa's boyfriend of nine months, who found out he'd been conned while watching Today Tonight last week.

"Everything that she's ever told me all of a sudden came rushing back to me and what I was watching on the television was happening to me, that's when it really hit home" says Craig.

Craig says Lisa fleeced him out of nearly $13,000.

A few months ago, Lisa sweet-talked her boyfriend into handing over his ATM card and PIN.

"It did not occur to me as to what was actually happening until the bank contacted me."

Then last week when our story went to air…

"She was gone, she'd packed a bag, and she was gone. Her daughter was gone. She's basically on the run again".

Brad Snell is the Shire President of Karratha where Lisa refined her scamming skills.

"When someone like this young Lisa really tries to rip off the community it's a very very sad state of affairs," says Brad.

For all the locals knew she was a young mother with 2 small children, dying of terminal cancer. As country towns do, they rallied around and opened their hearts and their wallets. They fell for Lisa's con job hook line and sinker.

Kindhearted residents handed over $50 000. Lions Club President Helen Hall says…

"We had no reason to suspect that she didn't have cancer given the letters that were shown and all that sort of thing, so we took it on face value. It's not as if you can go to her doctor and say has she got cancer?"

Now, she's out of jail, on parole and on the con again.

The Thompson family bought a kitten from Lisa and handed over $150. They had no idea they'd been had.

"She said it was all voluntary and all she got out of it was the joy of being able to help these kittens."

You see Lisa's been moonlighting as an animal foster carer using at least four different surnames. She's been selling cats and dogs, but instead of giving the money back to the volunteer group SAFE, Lisa the liar's been pocketing the cash.

According to her boyfriend, Lisa sold 150 cats at $150 each and 15 dogs at $300 each. That's another $27 000 she's scammed from those who need it.

The men who loved Lisa want to point out they had nothing to do with her wicked ways and they've got nothing to do with her now.

"I'm disgusted by what she's done. I apologise to all those people if I could make it right I would but I can't" says Dave.

"Be very, very careful because she comes across very, very innocent. She gains trust and then she will hurt you," says Craig.

If you've had an experience with Lisa please contact Today Tonight at