DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After the deadly West Texas mass shooting on Saturday that claimed seven innocent lives, multiple crowdfunding campaigns were created for victims and their families.
The Better Business Bureau Serving North Central Texas warns some of them are fake.
“We see fake pages on all the crowdfunding sites after there’s any kind of disaster,” Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for the Better Business Bureau Serving North Central Texas Phylissia Clark said.
Clark said it’s important to do your research before you donate.
“Reach out to the organizer and ask simple questions like, ‘Can you prove to me or give me some type of validation that you are actually related to the family’?” she said. “It’s super difficult to be able to tell whether or not a crowdfunding appeal is a real one or if it’s just someone taking advantage of a disaster or something horrible that has happened. You definitely have to slow down which is the first and biggest thing we want to tell everybody. You can definitely reach out to whoever runs the website to see whether or not that particular appeal that you’re thinking of giving to has been verified.”
When it comes to the West Texas tragedy specifically, GoFundMe, one of the most popular fundraising platforms, now has several safeguard in place:
*A Trust and Safety team is reviewing all related campaigns.
*Technical tools are being used to verify the identities of campaign organizers and beneficiaries.
*Before any money is transferred – banking information is verified.
If you feel you have been scammed, it’s a good idea to report it to both the crowdfunding website and the BBB.
You can report to the BBB by clicking here.
The BBB meets with local law enforcement once a month, letting them know what campaigns appear to be fake.