There’s no tragedy scammers won’t take advantage of

There's no tragedy scammers won't take advantage of

By Greg Collier

A few weeks ago, there was a school shooting at a middle school in Idaho. The shooter was a sixth grade student who allegedly took a gun out of her backpack and began firing. Before she was subdued by a teacher, the shooter had struck three other students. Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but the victims of the shooting might have to deal with medical bills for years to come. Due to the enormous cost of healthcare in this country, fundraisers are often started to lessen the financial impact victims have to endure. For example, more people are said to use the fundraising platform GoFundMe for medical expenses than any other reason to raise funds. Unfortunately, this also allows any scammer to set up a fundraiser in a victim’s name even though the victim won’t see any of the money.

The Attorney General of Idaho has issued a warning about scam fundraisers that have popped up in the wake of the shooting. While the Attorney General has stated that there have been scams, he has not identified which particular scams are being used. However, it stands that there are scammers out there who have no qualms about diverting money that could go to help a shooting victim into their own pockets. Even if children had died at this shooting, we have no doubt that scammers would still have tried to take money from the victims’ families.

If you are looking to donate money on a situation like this, there are steps you can take to not only protect yourself but to also make sure the money goes to those who truly need it. If a GoFundMe has been set up, the best place to find the legitimate GoFundMe campaign is through local news websites. Local news stations do a good job of making sure the GoFundMe link used in their articles is the correct one. Don’t respond to any unsolicited requests for donations over the phone or through emails. And if you plan on giving to an already existing charity, you can use the Better Business Bureau’s to aid you in your research on the legitimacy of charities.