Fraudsters Take Advantage of Small Town Kindness Near Fort Mac

RCMP Say Darryl Rondeau did not flee the wildfire and never lived in Fort McMurray

Anybody remember a lady who went by the name of Tania Head? Claiming to be a 9-11 survivor, her elaborate hoax went on so far as becoming President of the World Trade Survivors’ Network. That is until it was discovered she was in Barcelona at the time of the attacks!

There’s something truly vile about taking advantage of people’s sympathies during a time of crisis, and a Victoria couple has done just that…

Arriving in the town of Claresholm, Alberta shortly after the Fort McMurray evacuation, Darryl Rondeau and his common-law wife Jamie claimed they had left with “fire on their tail” and just 30-minutes to depart. The town of only 3,500 people responded in droves, proving new clothes and even a place to live for the couple.


With a feeling something wasn’t right, Family and Community Support Services filed a complaint with the RCMP. Upon further investigation, Darryl was charged with one count of fraud under $5,000, but more charges may be laid as the investigation continues.

While Claresholm Councillor Jamie Cutler said that the couples actions were “disheartening or discouraging,” he doesn’t think it will change this small town’s good-hearted approach.

Tthe lesson to all? RCMP Sgt. Larocque referenced the Canadian Red Cross, saying “Sometimes it’s best to trust those organizations.”