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Go-Fund-Me Charity: How to Avoid Getting Scammed

Though there is insurance against cyber fraud and other forms of theft, when it comes to crowdfunding or charities, the coverage generally does not apply.

If you read about a homeless man in PA being helped by good Samaritans from NJ, it’s bound to touch you even to the point of donating to a Go-Fund-Me page.

But a recent lawsuit about the mismanagement of funds has raised questions about integrity of the campaign and other crowdfunding like it.

While reaching into our pockets to help the less fortunate is certainly an act to be praised, it is our responsibility to make sure our donations are used legitimately.

Here are some related tips offered by the official Go-Fund-Me page.

  • Before donating, ask yourself:

    What is the relationship between the recipient and the campaign coordinator?

    What is the reason for the charity drive and how will the money you donate be utilized?

    Are close relatives and friends contributing, as well as posting comments of support? 

    Will the proposed recipient manage withdrawal of the monies?  If someone else is managing the account, how will the donations reach the intended recipient?

  • If you are not comfortable with any of the answers to the above, click the envelope icon near the organizer’s name to post your concern and reach out for more info.

  • If doubts about the authenticity of the campaign remain, think about these important issues:

    Are there deliberately false pieces of info on the page? 

    Are the funds promptly used for the intended or are they being withheld?

    Does the storyline seem untrue or an imitation of someone else’s narrative?

    Is the fund coordinator breaking any of the officially listed terms or conditions?

If you have misgivings about a Go-Fund-Me page after this review, follow-up by reporting it to the authorities. If you have already donated and believe there is something amiss about the campaign you may be able to get your money back through the GoFundMe guarantee.

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Summary: What better form of charity than helping someone down on his or her luck? Unfortunately, when it comes to crowdfunding and other forms of charity campaigns there are times when scammers take advantage of the public’s good heartedness. Prime Insurance gives pointers on smart giving here.


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