Crowdfunding is the name for  the process by which people raise funds on websites such as GoFundMe for various projects from movies and books to the development of new businesses.  Unfortunately, as I have been warning you about since 2012, the potential for crowdfunding scams is tremendous.   On February 19th an AMBER Alert was issued in Tennessee for a missing 15 month old child, Evelyn Boswell.  Shortly thereafter a GoFundMe page was set up for her, but unfortunately, it was set up by a scammer.  The site has been taken down, but not before some people had made contributions.

TIPS

One of the good aspects of GoFundMe is its guarantee that if scams like this are discovered, GoFundMe will refund all donations made to the scammers. Here is a link to GoFundMe’s guarantee. https://support.gofundme.com/hc/en-us/articles/203604704-The-GoFundMe-Guarantee

In addition, GoFundMe also provides tips for people trying to distinguish scams from legitimate requests for donation, which describe things you should consider before making a donation such as whether or not the intended beneficiary of the donations is in control of the withdrawals and if not, if there is a clear path for the funds to reach him or her. For a full list of the things you should consider before making a GoFundMe donation, click on this link. https://support.gofundme.com/hc/en-us/articles/115015913668-How-to-Determine-if-a-GoFundMe-is-Safe-to-Donate-To

GoFundMe does a good job of trying to keep its site free of scams, but of course, they will never be perfect. Fortunately, due to their guarantee policy, no one making a donation should feel there is a danger of losing their money to a discovered scam.

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