Hey sweetie. Come closer. Closer. Alright, come sit on my lap, let me tell you something.

Remember what I told you about not getting in creepy white vans with strangers purporting to have free candy? Ok, good. Do you also remember I told you to be careful donating to any GoFundMe campaign put up in the aftermath of a major event? No? *smacks you* WTF is wrong with you and how many times do I have to say this?! Just to be safe, ignore this entire category on GoFundMe and go straight to local charities/churches/the Red Cross/your own neighbors if you absolutely must give.

Alright, so today’s story comes by way of Montana, where the Roaring Lion wild fire is burning hard just outside of the Bitterroot National Forest. As human beings tend to do in times like this, generous individuals are trying their best to get resources to those affected. Sadly, the scammers are out like greedy little cockroaches trying to snap up the crumbs of that generosity.

The following campaign was only up for less than a day when it was removed, however we’re reporting on it because it’s important to remind everyone that these things do happen and you need to protect yourself.  And yes, of course we have an archived copy.

Someone using the name Brian Dunhem writes:

The Roaring Lion Fire is just three miles south of Hamilton, MT. At the time of this post it has devoured 2200 acres and several homes. Over 250 households have been evacuated and displaced. We desperately need funding for temporary supplies. We are housing 45 people on our ranch across the river from the fire, but we are running low on what we have on hand. We expect the number of people on our ranch to grow significantly.  We have already contacted a provider, and have gotten port-a-lets delivered but we are running out of necessary items like water, food, toiletries, and shelter. We would like to make a run to the Missoula Costco and stock up on these items.
Our goal is to provide some needed supplies so that the folks camping out on our ranch can ride this out and hopefully return to their homes.

That sounds terrible! And TBH, that also sounds incredibly legitimate. Your average person who doesn’t understand the risks of these kinds of campaigns might read that and think “oh those horrible people, let me help!” and sadly, that’s exactly what 11 of them did to the tune of $735. Thankfully, the window is still open for payments to be reversed so here’s hoping those kind people get their money back.

It seems not everyone fell for it. In comments left on the now-vaporized campaign, several individuals questioned its legitimacy. One said she called the Sheriff’s Emergency Coordination Office and was told they’d never heard of the guy.

We’ll note that not only is the GoFundMe campaign gone, so is the Brian Dunhem profile used to put it up. Although I’m disappointed people would do things like this, I’m a bit encouraged knowing the community is now more vigilant than ever and doing a great job of keeping on top of these morons.

Two down, thousands (tens of?) more to go!