Attorney General Roy Cooper released an alert to law enforcement on Tuesday to watch out for a crooked practice called crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding takes place when someone sets up a way for people to make donations, usually online, for causes such as helping someone cover hospital bills after an illness or accident. Although many calls may be legitimate, the press release said to be aware that hosting websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe which do not screen those who want to set up a fundraising operation.
These campaigns may be people who make up a fake or tragic story for the purpose of swindling others out of money. The tragic story may be real but the person raising the money is completely unknown to the victims and their families, stated the release.
Jonesville Police Chief Roger Reece warned the Jonesville public to be wary in general when they get telephone calls where someone is soliciting money. The chief said so far, crowdfunding has not been much of a problem in Jonesville as it has been in other places.
If a call is received where someone is soliciting money, Reece said, “be aware that it is legal and aware of what it is before sending any money.”
North Carolina law requires that a charity get permission before fundraising in someone’s name.
More information on crowdfunding may be found at the Better Business Bureau. Potential scams may be reported to the Attorney General’s office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov. To find tips on giving charity money, one may also visit www.ncdoj.gov.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.