Local Police Investigating Fraud Case Surrounding Suicide Campaign

(Gillette, Wyo.) There's a word for online crowdfunding fraud. It's called a "scampaign." Wednesday, March 16th, a young woman contacted Gillette Police about a possible fundraising scam. She says a woman had been raising money for Trevor O'Brien's family through the charity site "Go Fund Me." The 22 year old knew that Trevor's family did not want that campaign to continue, and so informed the woman running it via Facebook Message to take it down. At the time of her warning, the page had over $1000 in funds raised. Then the campaign, and the page owner's personal Facebook page, all disappeared from the internet. She wasn't sure where the money or the woman running the Go Fund Me account had gone, and contacted police. They have an active investigation ongoing. The Federal Trade Commission has been trying to determine how they can regulate crowdfunding sites like Go Fund Me and Indiegogo. Last summer they settled their first court case against a man who had raised more than $122,000 on Kickstarter, then used the money to pay rent, bills, and skip town. The lawsuit was far from a victory, though. The man was ordered to repay the $122,000, but te judgement in his case was suspended when he was unable to pay back the cash. He was warned that he could no longer use crowdfunding sites. That sort of punishment is "little more than a slap on the wrist," according to Consumer Reports , who were unable to determine which of any of the sites are more prone to being abused. Facebook site Go Fraud Me was started as a way for people to alert each other to possible scams. But without reports to the FTC and the Wyoming Attorney General , there isn't much anyone can do on their own, as Go Fund Me and other sites have a history of not being very helpful in recovering money lost to fraudulent campaigns. #county17 #news *Photo h/t Heather Paque // Pitchengine Communities*