Another tragedy, another warning to avoid unscrupulous shitbags taking advantage of the situation to line their pockets.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett released a statement yesterday cautioning Tennesseans to give with caution to causes purporting to help out with devastating wildfires ripping through Gatlinburg.
“Tennesseans are among the most generous people in our country and I know that we will support our fellow Tennesseans in their hour of need. Please be diligent in giving to only reputable organizations so that we can best assist the people of Gatlinburg and Sevier County,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Do not be pressured into giving cash donations to people that you don’t know. Unfortunately, during disasters there are scam artists who prey on our generosity. However, I still encourage Tennesseans to be generous but smart about contributions so that we maximize recovery efforts.”
Secretary of State Director of Communications Adam Ghassemi spoke out further, outlining risks we are all too familiar with around these parts.
“People can make a business out of this,” he said. “They wait until a disaster happens, then roll in and collect money claiming that they are victims of the disaster.”
GoFundMe campaigns are not regulated by the state — nor, really, by GoFundMe for that matter — so donors should exercise extreme caution in giving to these types of efforts.
Now, we’re not saying this is a scam, but this guy can’t even spell Gatlinburg. Jeez, Randy.
Now, we’re not saying all of these are scams either, but none of their Facebook profiles are verified, they can’t spell Gatlinburg either, and only one of them claims to be in Tennessee (our horsey friend above).
Then there’s this. Seems legit, you guys.
And this coincidence:
We found over 700 campaigns near Gatlinburg, TN (spelled correctly), so the usual advice of be careful who you give your hard-earned money to applies here.
Meanwhile, anyone with concerns about fraudulent fundraising activity can contact the Tennessee Secretary of State Division of Charitable Solicitations at 615-741-2555 or 1-800-861-7393.