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Woman arrested for scamming charities

Police say woman used fictitious children to get gifts and food

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WOODBINE, Ga. – The Camden County Sheriff's Office arrested Kayla Collins, 25 of St. Marys,was arrested after she allegedly tried to fraudulently obtain services from the CCSO Star of Hope Program -- a program that supports families in the community during the holiday season.

Police say Collins filled out paperwork asking for assistance for her 10 children and for an additional niece. The CCSO was aware of Collins' probable fraudulent activity before her call. Initially Collins said all the children were hers. Upon closer questioning about why the children had different last names, she said some of the children were not hers but she was running a children's shelter. Collins then changed her narrative again and said the children stayed with her because the parents could not care for them and the parents knew she was soliciting help from local charities on behalf of the children.

The story changed again when Collins stated that the parents had no knowledge of her activities but that she would give whatever she obtained to the parents for the children. Eventually Collins told the truth and stated that none of the children were hers and that in fact she had no children.

 Collins was also found to be posting photos of herself with children on social media sites soliciting help. Some of the children in the photos have not been identified but some lived in her neighborhood.

The Ware County Sheriff's Office is also investigating Collins for similar fraudulent activity in Waycross. Investigators spoke with Collins boyfriend to see if she was in possession of any items obtained fraudulently. He said she had food she had scammed from Caring Heart Ministries. The investigation continues and investigators have identified at least 11 potential victims locally.
Sheriff Jim Proctor said he was disheartened by the arrest. "Anyone heartless enough to rake from families genuinely in need should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Collins callous and selfish behavior is beyond reprehensible."

The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with knowledge of Collins' alleged illegal activities to them at 912-729-1442. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call 912-510-5163.