As we have said and will continue to say until such time as every potential donor hears us, the aftermath of a calamitous event is a breeding ground for unscrupulous GoFundMe scammers. Something about the publicity and urgent desire of donors to give creates a firestorm, and as such, Louisiana State Attorney General Jeff Landry is making it clear GoFuckery in the wake of his state’s recent and devastating flooding will not be tolerated.
“The generosity and outpouring of support from fellow Louisiana residents and businesses have been amazing and humbling,” said General Landry. “Our office is doing all we can to ensure relief donations actually support those affected by the flooding.”
In that light, the Louisiana Department of Justice has teamed with GoFundMe to add additional fraud protections. While GoFundMe already tracks a number of different data points to look for possible triggers and has mechanisms in place to require funds be distributed to intended beneficiaries, new communication streams have been established so red flag notifications are immediate. Additionally, GoFundMe will make every effort to refund anyone who does not get the funds as well as refund owners who believe the funds were not properly distributed.
I love how they’re already talking about refunds. It’s ‘rare’ and they ‘track a number of different data points,’ but you know, just in case that system happens to fail disastrously as it is sometimes wont to do, they’ll at least give you your money back. Such reassurance, much safety, wow.
AG Landry says you should contact the campaign organizer yourself if you have any questions or concerns about the legitimacy of their campaign; should they ignore you or their answers be dodgy, you may contact his office’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889. He added that his office is “grateful for the efforts of GoFundMe to make sure donations benefit our struggling neighbors—not fraudulent individuals or organizations.”
Read more: Attorney General working with GoFundMe to ensure donations count [KNOE]