TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Crowdsourcing charity scams are on the rise in Florida. Using websites like GoFundMe, KickStarter and others, impostors are using fake stories of personal tragedy or taking advantage of natural disasters like hurricanes to rip off well-meaning Floridians.
Earlier this week, one suspicious account raised nearly one thousand dollars in less than a week, before being flagged. That money is now being held, while the Attorney General’s office looks into the potential hoax.
Crowdsourcing scams can be difficult to detect, since almost anyone can set up a donation page. Attorney General Ashley Moody says Floridians need to use common sense and do their research before making any donations online.
“If people are willing to give of their hard-earned money to support a cause, we don’t want to discourage that," said Moody. "But, we do want people to be vigilant about making sure their donations and generosity are going to a merited cause.”
Moody says consumers should check out what protections and fraud investigation policies a specific crowdsourcing website has, prior to making donations.
Anyone who feels they’ve discovered a fraudulent crowdsourcing page can contact the attorney general’s hotline at 1-866–9–NO-SCAM.