Madison woman battling cancer scammed out of $8,000 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison woman battling cancer scammed out of $8,000

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Jessica Vlasseman Jessica Vlasseman

MADISON (WKOW) -- Police say a Madison woman who is battling cancer had her identity stolen by a known scam-artist.

Madison police are requesting 40-year-old Jessica A. Vlasseman be charged with identity theft and fraud on an innkeeper, after she racked up more than $8,000 worth of charges at a Madison hotel.

The victim, who is in her 30's, met Vlasseman in May through an acquaintance and developed a quick kinship after believing Vlasseman was a cancer survivor, which is what Vlasseman claimed.

Vlasseman also told the victim she was having troubles with a boyfriend and wanted to get a hotel for a night. Vlasseman convinced the victim to let her use the victim's credit card to book a room at Hyatt Place at 333 W. Washington Ave. Vlasseman promised to repay the cost of a night's stay.

At the time, the victim thought the suspect's name was "Helena Scott," and that "Helena" had just moved here from Texas.

More than two-months later, "Helena"  took up residence at the hotel and assumed the victim's identity. She continued to bill everything to the victim's credit card. Hotel staff became suspicious and contacted the police.

An investigation revealed Vlasseman's true identity, and found she has been connected to a number of other frauds and scams in the past.

The investigating officer told the victim the hotel bill of $8,000 will not be hers to pay. Police say Vlasseman has been arrested and will be responsible for paying the bill.

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