CONSUMER ALERT: Don't be a victim of online fundraising scams - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

CONSUMER ALERT: Don't be a victim of online fundraising scams

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Sites like Go Fund Me seem like a great way to help... but can they be trusted? Sites like Go Fund Me seem like a great way to help... but can they be trusted?
KHQ.COM - -  On Wednesday KHQ received an email about an online fundraiser for the people killed in last month's triple homicide in Colbert. In those murders Spokane Fire Lt. Terry Canfield, his wife Lisa Canfield, and her son John Canfield, were shot to death, then their home was set on fire.

The email questioned fundraiser's legitimacy, so Patrick Erickson looked into it. The "Go Fund Me" account was posted two days ago and already nearly 40 had contributed bringing the total to more than $2,100.

Patrick contacted the woman who put the page together and she says her family has a connection to the Canfields.
While he found that this fundraising page appears to be legitimate, he found it can be difficult to tell what's real and what's not.

We asked Chelsea Maguire, with the Better Business Bureau, about online fundraising websites. Maguire says their office hasn't had many complaints, but adds anytime money is involved people always find a way to take advantage.

Maguire says there are three things you need to do to make sure your donations are getting to where you want them. The first is making sure the cause is legitimate, by learning all you can about it before donating. Next, know who is behind the fundraising and make sure they are connected to and working on behalf of the subject in need. Finally, do your research, keeping in mind that money may not be the best way you can help.

Maguire says just like anything, do your homework and never donate to any cause you aren't sure about.

As for the Colbert Go Fund Me account, the organizer is hoping to raise $15,000 by the end of the week. You can find more information about it by CLICKING HERE: http://bit.ly/1Qrs4nm


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