Tributes from around the country poured in when Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle tragically died earlier this month, after revealing in a heartbreaking post that he had decided to end his cancer treatment to enjoy his final moments with his family.
But as his wife Briony Lyle and children grieve his death, sick scammers are attempting to exploit it by setting up fake fundraising accounts and circulating them on social media, encouraging fans to donate money.
A worried Briony released an emotional warning to mourners, urging them to take care when donating. She wrote on the golfer’s Instagram page: “Yet another Insta account has appeared to take advantage of Jarrod’s death. I apologise for the nuisance.”
According to the Herald Sun, the fake accounts currently known about were shut down after 24 hours. Anyone who comes across one is urged to report it to the social media network they spot it on.
The accounts appeared on both Facebook and Instagram, with one fake Instagram page called “jarrodchallenge” doing the rounds.
Meanwhile, one of the fake pages even sent a message out, pretending to be Briony herself, saying: “All we need now is your support, love and prayer. I can’t imagine myself as a widow but here I am one already.”
Challenge CEO David Rogers, who was good friends with Jarrod, has slammed the low-life scammers. According to Nine News, he said: “It’s just really sickening, so we were disgusted and we just wanted to make people aware of it.”
Meanwhile the golfer’s former coach Sandy Jamieson reportedly added: “I’m not even going to waste time thinking about them, they don’t deserve it.”
Jarrod, 36, passed away earlier this month surrounded by his family. Golf Australia issued a statement from his wife Briony at the time, explaining that Lyle had lost his cancer battle.
“It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us. He passed away peacefully at 8.20pm last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close friends,” she wrote.
She explained that his six-year-old daughter Lusi and two-year-old daughter Gemma were filled with grief and must now live their lives without the greatest father they could have asked for.
“At the same time, we have been blessed and overwhelmed with the messages and actions of support from around the world and feel comforted that Jarrod was able to happily impact so many people throughout his life. Our humble thanks to you all.”
Briony said that her husband was overwhelmed by the kind and generous acts the world had shown him in his final days and even wanted to provide a message to everyone who reached out during his battle.
So after 127 days of living in Melbourne in and around the hospital today I got the clearance to head back home to Torquay. It’s a day that I was never sure would come but could not be happier. Thankyou apartment 208. Now it’s time to be a full time dad and husband again. Thanks for all the messages of support over this journey.
“He asked that I provide a simple message: ‘Thanks for your support, it meant the world. My time was short, but if I’ve helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn’t wasted’.
“We will hold an intimate and private family service in the coming days. There will be a public memorial service at The Sands in Torquay at a date to be announced later.”
She also explained that her husband wanted donations to be made to charity Challenge, in place of gifts and flowers.
Lyle had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia three times. He battled and beat the cancer in 1998 and in 2012, but sadly in July last year, the cancer returned for a third time. This time, his body wasn’t able to fight off the disease.