The only thing worse than pretending you have cancer for financial gain is pretending your child has cancer for financial gain. Sadly, that’s what Brianna Carnahan and Rodman Chin of Fairbanks, AK are accused of doing.
Brianna’s mother took to Facebook last Friday to set the record straight:
State Troopers were alerted of something fishy with the scampaign in March, and the investigation is ongoing. In the meantime, GoFundMe told The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that refunds are forthcoming to donors — IF they ask for them:
A spokesman for the website GoFundMe said Tuesday that the company will refund donors who contributed to a Fairbanks fund drive for a sick child and that is now suspected to be fraudulent.
The Mila Cheeks Cancer Recovery Fund drew $6,110 from 80 donors.
GoFundMe removed the fund drive from its website and is cooperating with an investigation by Alaska State Troopers, company spokesman Bobby Whithorne said.
This bit was of particular interest:
“There are unfortunate instances where people try to take advantage of others’ generosity,” Whithorne said in a prepared statement. “In the rare cases where fraud occurs, GoFundMe takes swift action to resolve the issue.”
Donors can request a refund by going to www.gofundme.com, clicking on the “Help” link at the top of the page and then clicking on the “Contact us” link.
“We’ll be sure to process it,” Whithorne said in an interview. “Any donor that requests a refund, we’ll refund it.” [emphasis mine]
What about the donors who don’t request a refund? What happens to the money they donated to the campaign? Inquiring minds would really like to know. Simply making the fundraiser disappear from the internet and generously offering to refund those who request a refund isn’t enough, GoFundMe. Come on now.
We’re guessing if GoFundMe was on the hook for every donation made to fraudulent campaigns, they might take fraud on their platform just a smidge more seriously.