As we have already established, highly-publicized, tragic events are a magnet for cockroaches who make “a living” (haha that’s not a job you human herpes) off of scamming good-hearted people. The Manchester Arena bombing is, of course, no exception. In fact, the greater the tragedy, the greater the likelihood of some serious scamming.
In the hours following the bombing, one Twitter user discovered her photo had been used for a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign for a fictional girl named Polly. @biebersgrande wasn’t even at the show that night.
It was quickly removed from the platform.
We emailed GoFundMe to find out what they’re doing to protect donors from fraud relating to Manchester campaigns, however they ignored us as they always do. Thanks, guys, really appreciate that, totes professional.
They did, however, get back to The Press York and had the following to say:
“Since the attacks on Monday, we’ve had people monitoring related campaigns around the clock. The overwhelming majority of campaigns which have been started have been started with the very best intentions by kind people trying to do their bit for others.
Note: GoFundMe already claims to monitor campaigns around the clock, disaster or not. From their blog: “[O]ur team of specialists proactively monitor GoFundMe campaigns with a number of tools, including proprietary screening technology. They work around the clock to ensure that campaigns on our platform are carefully scrutinized for their validity.”
Back to The Press:
“In situations like this one GoFundMe engages our emergency procedure – vetting every single campaign to check that they’re safe for donors to give to.
“We do this by contacting organisers, making sure they are who they say they are and that they have a clear way of getting the money to the intended recipient.
So, they’re clearly capable of doing that. Good to know.
“If they’re not clear on that, we’ll help them make that connection, but they won’t be able to withdraw any donations.
“If we can’t make that clear, the account will be suspended.
“If we spot any suspicious activity on GoFundMe we immediately suspend the campaign and contact the campaign organiser. This has happened just a handful of times this week.”
Relax, you guys, it happened “just a handful” of times this week.
We found 435 campaigns for “Manchester Arena” (surely many are unrelated and simply show up due to use of those terms in the campaign language) — among them, several purporting to benefit the homeless heroes who rushed to aid the injured. One is an exact copy of an existing campaign, down to the spelling errors.
Anyhoo, the usual warning applies: exercise extreme caution in donating to any campaigns related to a tragedy such as this one, yadda yadda. If you have any doubts, use the sanctioned Just Giving campaign organized by the Manchester Evening News, partnered with the British Red Cross. Donations raised by that campaign will be used to establish the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, administered by the Manchester City Council and British Red Cross.