MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — A mother’s desperate plea, driving dozens of donations on GoFundMe, turns out to be a total dupe.
Someone claiming to be a mother of four in Mobile set up a, since deleted, GoFundMe page asking for donations to help bury her 2-year-old baby girl, who she claimed died after they were both “hit by stray bullets.”
The fundraiser raised nearly a thousand dollars.
It was published on May 16th.
Though it was detailed, the story just didn’t add up.
For one, Mobile police told FOX10 News they’re not investigating any case like the one described in the post.
It also mentioned that the baby’s funeral was this Friday, May 28th, at Cottage hill Baptist Church.
A parishioner who donated after coming across the account became suspicious and alerted the church Tuesday morning.
Church leaders say there’s no funeral planned.
“If this was legitimate we would know about it,” said Executive Pastor, Mike Breland.
The fundraiser also included two pictures, one of a child, the supposed victim, and another of a leg injury.
However, a simple reverse image search on Google revealed the photo of the injury actually came from an online medical journal’s article that was posted 7 years ago.
If you’d like to see the article, you can click here, but beware there are some disturbing images included in it.
GoFundMe took down the fundraiser soon after FOX10 News sent them an email about the suspicious account.
A spokesperson telling us all 40 donors who contributed were refunded and the organizer has been banned from the platform.
“A GoFundMe doesn’t require any proof of anything before they post it for you, you know, so I think it’s an open door for this type of fraud.”
GoFundMe tells FOX10 News that fraudulent fundraisers on their site are rare.
Full statement from GoFundMe:
“I can confirm that we removed the fundraiser all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe have been fully refunded. GoFundMe always fully protects donors, which is why we have a comprehensive refund policy in place. The organizer has also been banned from using the GoFundMe platform for any future fundraisers.
Fundraisers with misuse are very rare, and we take all complaints very seriously. If a misuse of funds takes place on GoFundMe, donors are protected and their donations are refunded. Our team works with law enforcement to report issues and assists them in investigations.
It’s important to know that the platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means funds are guaranteed to go to the right place or donors will get a refund. Here is additional information on the GoFundMe Guarantee: gofundme.com/guarantee-refund-policy.”
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.