Over the last few years, GoFundMe accounts have become extremely popular to assist people in times of crisis. It started out as a way for people to donate to a honeymoon fund for upcoming nuptials of a friend. Instead of buying a toaster as a wedding gift, you can go online and contribute to their hotel stay, airline flights etc.
Now GofundMe accounts are set up for everything from a catastrophic accident and even death of a person to someone needing tires for their car. GoFundMe accounts have delivered wonderful results of providing financial aid by contributions from family and friends to many, many people who have truly needed the relief in times of tragedy.
7 Ways to Identify GoFundMe Scams
Sadly, like everything else in our social media and internet world, there are people who take advantage of this wonderful idea of helping our loved ones. GoFundMe scammers can set up accounts for events that have not actually happened or they can be strangers looking at news articles and setting up GoFundMe accounts for incidents that have actually happened, but they have no affiliation with the victim and are collecting the money with no intention of the victim or their family receiving the funds.
While there is no foolproof way to ensure that you are contributing to a legitimate GoFundMe and that your donation will be received by the person you intend it to, but there are warning signs to be aware of to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of GoFundMe scams.
- GoFraudMe is a website that helps identify fraudulent GoFundMe accounts. Here are some red flags to look for to prevent you from falling for a scam.
- Look for specific details about the GoFundMe organizers connection to the family of the victim.
- Look for multiple images of the supposed victim and the organizer.
- Look for a video posted by the organizer.
- Do a reverse image search of the images posted on the GoFundMe page.
- See if the organizers Facebook page is brand new and how many friends they have.
- Contact the organizer directly or a friend to investigate further.
There are hundreds of thousands of GoFundMe accounts set up each month. GoFundMe says that they can not guarantee the validity of accounts, but they started a GoFundMeGuarantee last year and they will refund up to $1000 to a donor that requests it for a campaign that GoFundMe deems fraudulent. Report any suspicious account to GoFundMe by clicking “Report Campaign” under the campaign description and the account will be placed on hold while it is investigated. There are specific parameters for what constitutes fraud.
It is human nature for most of us to want to help someone in need. GoFundMe accounts are typically posted within 24 hours of the catastrophic incident that has taken place. If you are not familiar with the organizer, use these helpful tips listed above to ensure validity before you contribute your hard earned money to a despicable scammer who is taking advantage of people in need and the kindness of others. Please contact Social Catfish for assistance before you become a victim of a GoFundMe scam.
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