*GoFundMe is closely monitoring campaigns created for those impacted by the Ottawa Tornadoes and guarantees that all money goes to the right place. GoFundMe has confirmed that there has been no misuse on the platform as related to the Ottawa Tornadoes.
Following the violent tornados that ripped through parts of Ontario and Quebec last week, people in both provinces are in need of help to rebuild. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to set up a GoFundMe page, doesn't it? Devastated families might not be the only ones thinking that, Canadians are being warned that scammers might be too.
Canadians who wish to donate to tornado relief efforts should be on the lookout for fake campaign pages online. While there are legitimate ones out there aimed at helping communities through this horrible time, there are other ones aimed at ripping you off.
Parts of Ontario face the threat of severe weather again this week, including thunderstorms and an isolated tornado risk.— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) September 24, 2018
Meteorologist @erinwenckstern times out the #ONstorm risk ⬇ with more details here: https://t.co/I6oWNc3NC4 pic.twitter.com/28jheBydMH
Adrienne Gonzalez, an investigator of charity scams for a website called GoFraudMe spoke to Ottawa Morning. She said fraudulent campaigns pop up regularly following natural disasters.
If you're using the GoFundMe platform and want to ensure your donations are going to the right place, the site offers the following tips:
- If you think a campaign might be a little suspicious you can reach out to the website or the campaign organizer directly by clicking the envelope next to the organizer's name.
- If you do come to the conclusion a page is fishy, you can report the campaign directly to GoFundMe by clicking “Report Campaign”.
- You can find all verified campaigns related to the storm here: https://www.gofundme.com/cause/ottawa-tornadoes
You can also donate in other ways by calling The Red Cross at 1-800-418-1111 or access their fundraiser online. If you've got any household items you'd like to donate you can also reach out to the Salvation Army.
Be smart and savvy, the internet can be a scary place.