Inviting Fraud

Devastating Fort McMurray Fire Reminds Us to Avoid Pop-Up GoFundMe Pages

A fire is raging in Alberta as we speak, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes. As is expected, the situation makes easy pickings for tragedy scampaigners firing up questionable GoFundMe pages from the safety of their homes as residents of Fort McMurray evacuate. Welcome to our brave new world, folks, ain’t it grand?

Donors are being warned that until such time as an “official” campaign is organized, the only safe place to donate for the time being is through Canadian Red Cross. Anyone wishing to fundraise independently for them should use this portal. Beware any GoFundMe page that claims to be raising funds on the Canadian Red Cross’s behalf, as it’s anyone’s guess what will happen to that money.

Canadians being Canadians, they may be eager to help one another, but it’s important to make sure that help gets to the people you’re trying to help.

“Canada’s a country where we look out for our neighbors,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We are there for each other in difficult times.”

Speaking of, here’s another way to help. If you’re snuggled up safe and warm in your home in Edmonton, perhaps you have a room to spare for a displaced resident of Fort McMurray? Airbnb is waiving all service fees for those affected by the fire, just head here to find or list a room.

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It’s beyond sad that we even have to remind people during this terrible time to donate with care but such is the state of things these days.

Please be safe, everyone.