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          PLAYING Why Two Victims Of A 2016 Wildfire Are Claiming A Local Woman Is A Scam Artist

          Why Two Victims Of A 2016 Wildfire Are Claiming A Local Woman Is A Scam Artist


          January 24, 2018

          In November 2016, some 14,000 residents of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains were forced to evacuate when a wildfire tore through the region. Over a dozen people were killed, upward of 130 injured, and an estimated 2,400 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

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          Darlene says she lost her home, her business, and vehicles in the fire. She and Vicky, another victim of the wildfire, say they joined an online survivor’s support group run by Melinda. The pair is now accusing her soliciting donations on social media and pocketing money they claim she didn’t need.

          “Melinda didn’t lose anything and she still kept this money and took donations,“ claims Darlene, adding, “It aggravates me that she is trying to gain from this tragedy when she didn’t even lose anything.”

          “She’s used people’s pain and grief to her own advantage,” claims Vicky, saying that the online donation page raised more than $600. She says the money Melinda collected should have gone to families who actually lost their homes.

          Melinda denies Darlene and Vicky’s allegations. She says she wasn’t the one who set up the fundraiser and insists she did nothing wrong by accepting the money. Why does she claim she now fears for her life? Tune in to Friday’s Dr. Phil.

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          Wildfire Survivor Denies Accusations She Created A Fraudulent Fundraiser For Herself

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