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How to Spot Fake GoFundMe Accounts
Sites like “GoFraudMe.com” can help you find fraudulent GoFundMe accounts. The site teaches you how to notice red flags and spot fake accounts.
- Accounts that provide very few details.
- Specific details about the organizer’s connection to the victim or family.
- Multiple images including one that also includes the organizer.
- The best option is when the organizer posts a video. Use reverse image search websites like TinEyeand Google Images to see if their image shows up somewhere else.
- Organizers who have new social media accounts or less than 40 “friends.” Scammers often set up fake accounts.
- Organizers who won’t respond to direct messages or provide vague answers to your specific questions.
What is GoFundMe’s stance on this?
- “Donator Beware!” GoFundMe does not guarantee that accounts are valid because hundreds of thousands are created every month.
- GoFundMe started a “GoFundMe Guarantee” to refund up to $1,000 to donors that request it for campaigns that GoFundMe found fraudulent.
- GoFundMe can hold campaign funds if they suspect the account may be fraudulent.
- Report suspicious accounts. Do not abuse this to flag someone you don't like, or a cause you disagree with.
There are many other online fundraising sites including DonorBox, Fundly, Donately, GoGetFunding, FundRazr, and PayPal. Before contributing to these sites, find out who is behind the crowdfunding request, search the website for their cause and reviews. Check how the organizer or beneficiary is connected to the fundraiser. Find out if your donation will be tax deductible. Always use a secure credit card to donate funds.
Read the Disaster Relief and Charity Scams consumer alert to find more information on how to avoid charity scams and donate safely.