The Wall Street Journal reports that crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe and YouCaring take very little accountability when it comes to protecting donators. Officials at the sites say they use screening processes to detect fake campaigns some donors are still deceived about where and how their contributions will be used
For example, a woman who raised funeral expenses for a neighborhood boy who was killed in a drunk driving accident kept half the donations for herself. Another incident had a young widow discover a fundraising campaign set up in the name of her deceased husband. It had been set up without her knowing and GoFundMe refused to take it down.
To save yourself from being scammed, Consumer Reports, has come up with ways to spot crowdfunding con artists.
- Check credentials: Anyone can make a page so be sure to do your research in regards to who set up the campaign
- Dig up some dirt on the campaign: has the fundraiser had any other successful projects? Do they have a professional online profile/expertise? If not, be weary of why they are trying to get you to donate.
- Be suspicious: Is the same person using multiple crowdfunding sites to raise money? If so, they may be attempting to raise as much money as possible from as many unsuspecting victims as possible.