I’ll be honest: I haven’t played Pokémon Go, nor do I plan to, but I’m not going out of my way to hate on people who are into it either. I’ll just be over here stocking my Tiny Tower if anyone needs me.
Knowing what I know about the internet’s insatiable desire for free money from strangers via the world’s most popular personal crowdfunding platform, however, I knew I’d find a gold mine of Pokémon Go fundraisers if I did a little digging. Oh, internet panhandlers, you never let me down.
What I learned from my research (by research I mean 3 minutes spent searching GoFundMe) is that people have been wandering through the pre-Pokémon world with really crappy phones. “Oh, the horror!” said this jaded writer who owns a 3-year-old $100 first gen Moto G. I love that damn phone. It has about as much space as the Leading Edge Model D computer I had as a kid but hey, it does the job.
I digress. Let’s meet our Pokémon GoFundMe campaigners.
Evan Kelly “has recently faced some hard times, watching everyone around him play Pokemon go,” according to his pal Joey who started a GoFundMe page seeking $350 to help a brother out. The only donation is $5 from Joey himself.
Then we have this bloke who wants £1000 to “travel the world and catch our favorite pokemon just like we dreamed we were doing when we were kids.” He must have a ton of airline miles if all he needs is a cool grand. He promises to use the funds to “document our travels, film and depict it, in a way that offers the world not only an understanding to the reality of next gen gaming but into the mind of those who are greatly appreciative of it.” So, basically, what all of my Facebook friends are blowing up my newsfeed with as we speak? Yeah, pass.
Alright, now this guy in Tennessee we actually feel a little sorry for. If my little Moto G can handle the game if I wanted it, he must be rocking some 2005 pink Razr shit.
Apparently, we also have Alex Ramirez who put up a now-removed GoFundMe campaign after he claimed to witness a murder or a body being dumped or something cray along those lines while playing Pokémon Go. The Daily Beast has a pretty good account of what went down with Ramirez — as well as an accounting of his GoFundMe take, which was over $5000 at the time they wrote their story. Here’s YouTuber BiblicalReaper calling the police department where the murder allegedly happened, though we’re still dying to know what Ramirez was raising money for. Bruh.
There is one apparent bright spot in this abyss of scamming and internet panhandling. A woman in Texas apparently rescued a puppy on her way to catch a Jigglypuff, and through GoFundMe was able to raise the funds to have the dog vetted. Aww, melt my cold black heart.
Stay safe out there, y’all, the scammers gotta catch ’em all.