Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert about crowdsourcing charity scams. These scams often use a disaster or fake personal tragedy story to exploit people’s good intentions. Earlier this week, a suspicious crowdsourcing solicitation quickly raised nearly $1,000 from generous Floridians before being flagged as a potential scam. After Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division began looking into the potential scam, the crowdsourcing platform removed the page and is holding contributions.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Crowdsourcing charity scams are designed to exploit the generous nature of well-intentioned donors. It is truly amazing how many generous people stand ready to give of their resources to help their fellow Floridians, but before giving, donors should take steps to make sure contributions will be used for the stated cause.”
Attorney General Moody is offering the following tips to help donors spot and avoid crowdsourcing charity scams:
- Research the webpage creator’s background and reviews before donating;
- Check to see if the platform offers protections to donors should a campaign be found fraudulent;
- Determine what percentage of any funds raised will go to the charity and what percentage goes to the platform; and
- Search to see if there are any identical or extremely similar campaigns. It is possible that a scam artist copies a legitimate campaign to fraudulently attract donors.
Anyone with concerns about a crowdsourcing charity can report those concerns to the Florida Attorney General’s Office online at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.