TOPEKA (KSNT) — In light of questions KSNT News has received about the legitimacy of a ‘Go Fund Me’ account set up for Bree Emery, the driver involved in a head on collision on Highway 24 Monday afternoon, KSNT News dug a little deeper to find out what you should know before making a donation to any online fundraiser.
“People are good, but you really have to be aware of potential road bumps and scams,” said Dawn Knudtson, Emery’s step-sister.
Knudtson says she’s donated to online fundraisers like the one for her step-sister before, and sometimes she worries others aren’t careful enough.
“Do your research, it may take two hours, two days but it’s worth it in the end to make sure the money is going to get where it needs to go in the fashion it needs to get there,” said Knudtson.
KSNT News reached out to ‘Go Fund Me’ directly to explore their policies on preventing fraudulent accounts.
No one could be reached by phone, but through email, Public Relations Manager Kelsea Little explains, “It’s extremely important that all potential donors only donate to the people they know and trust. The only way to be 100 percent sure of the details behind a campaign is to personally know the campaign organizer.”
Dawn Knudtson agrees and even thinks that advice should be taken on step further.
“Use your local resources to make sure this is done the right way, for the right reason, with the right people involved,” said Knudtson.
If you’re having second thoughts about a donation you’ve made, ‘Go fund me’ says all you have to do is file an official fraud complaint for a full refund of your money.
Although some fraud monitoring does take place, ultimately KSNT News has learned it comes down to you. If you have any concerns about donating to an online fundraiser, ‘Go Fund Me’ says it’s best to err on the side of caution and refrain from contributing.
‘Go Fund Me’ has more advice for potential donors available here.