Internet Crusaders Wrongly Attack Legit Fundraiser

21-year-old supposed scammer harassed via Reddit
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2011 2:53 PM CST
Screen shot of Maya Gilsey.   (

(Newser) – Reddit users are a bit red in the face after launching a crusade against an alleged scammer—who turned out to be a real 21-year-old college student fundraising for cancer. The student, who is shaving her head to raise money for children's treatments, had too many apparent red flags, including a personal PayPal account and a habit of deleting posts, Gawker reports. "It's obviously a huge scam," one user told fellow Redditors. "Can we all please band together and call this person on their shit and make them go away."

Users went on a tear, reporting St. Lawrence University senior Maya Gilsey to police and harassing her via email, Facebook, and AIM. Gilsey finally convinced the attack leader to call it off. "It was a little discouraging today because I'm shaving my head tomorrow," she tells Gawker. "I was getting pumped up. Now this sucks." Silver lining: More publicity for her cause, and the hospital she's donating to in Syracuse now has an official link for her.

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