A New Hampshire man says he is “astounded” by GoFundMe’s lack of communication after he reported fraudulent use of his wife’s debit card to make a donation to a 34-month-old GoFundMe campaign he’d never heard of.
This all started a few days ago when Kimball Packard checked his wife’s debit card statement as he does regularly and saw a charge in the amount of $109 to WePay.
He says there was also an authorization with no dollar amount for iTunes, which neither he nor his wife have installed on their devices. He immediately assumed someone had gotten their grubby little hands on the card information, and called the bank to report the fraud as well as cancel the compromised card.
On November 30, he emailed WePay, and received a response that day pointing him to the campaign which showed a $109 donation from his wife Neyas as well as countless others in similar amounts over a period of several days.
WePay customer service wrote:
It looks like that payment was a donation to the “make a difference… the struggle” campaign through GoFundMe.
You can find a link to the campaign here:
If you still do not recognize this charge or feel it was unauthorized, please contact GoFundMe through their website at:
Mr Packard did as WePay suggested, however says the most he received from GoFundMe was a generic boilerplate response:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our Trust & Safety team will be investigating the page and taking appropriate action. Please note that:
1. We will not be able to disclose any details about an ongoing investigation.
2. Personal disputes between two parties will be ignored and should be settled with law enforcement.
3. Your personal information will be kept confidential from the Campaign Organizer.
In addition to the report you have submitted to us, we encourage you to contact law enforcement officials in your area if you believe this user is committing fraud or breaking the law in any way.
Our team will respond if we have any further questions. While every report will be reviewed, we cannot respond to every complaint.
The campaign remained up, and was still logging donations in similar, oddly specific amounts.
Seeing that others were likely being victimized, he attempted to reach GoFundMe via email again on both the 2nd and 3rd, receiving nothing but the generic response once more. He also sent a series of tweets which were — you guessed it — ignored.
Dec 1 @gofundme http://gofundme.com/6mhujsis charging 100+ “donations”, to card #’s they have scammed. campaign supposedly 34 mo old. DO SOMETHING
Dec 1 @gofundme you have a scam account fraudulently charging credit cards, you do nothing, I reported it to police, bank
Dec 2: @gofundme you STILL have a scam account fraudulently charging credit cards, you do nothing, I reported it to police
We happened to see a post from him yesterday in a GoFundMe campaign-sharing Facebook group, at which point we reached out to him for more information. The campaign was still active when we archived it at 5:12pm our time Saturday evening. At 5:22pm, we posted the campaign to our Facebook page. Within less than hour, it had disappeared from the GoFundMe site. Coincidence, perhaps.
Mr Packard says he’s disappointed by the total radio silence from GoFundMe. “I’ve found social media to be pretty effective for getting major company’s attention in the past,” he said, pointing to quick resolutions from companies like AT&T, United Airlines, and Southwest using social media to reach them. “GoFundMe had no response, and I saw that new charges continued to be processed on that account. They have no way of reaching them by phone, and now, 4 days later, have yet to follow up with me on the problem.”
He is still waiting for his bank’s fraud department to make a decision about refunding the fraudulent charge.
To add insult to injury, he says he’s actually a former GoFundMe campaign organizer himself. “Two years ago, I did a campaign for a sick friend, and had two people request a return of their money,” he told us. “It was handled quickly by GoFundMe, so I know it is possible.”
He says their lack of response has been “astounding,” and vowed never to use the platform in the future.
As for the campaign receiving those phony donations? It was dormant for over two years until the fake money started trickling in; the last seemingly legitimate donation came in 32 months ago. It’s unknown if the campaign organizer is involved in any way with the fake charges; the more likely scenario is that scammers were simply testing out stolen cards. $1,333 from 11 separate donations was collected by the campaign before it was removed late yesterday.
We’ll be sure to let you know if GoFundMe gets around to acknowledging Mr Packard.