GoFundMe scam or fundraiser?

By Jason Archer
November 2, 2018

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to raise money for an event or purpose. Recently a couple took advantage of the situation.

One night, around last Thanksgiving, a homeless veteran, Johnny Bobbitt, had the courtesy to give his last 20 dollars to a couple that ran out of gas in Philadelphia. Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico decided to launch the online fundraiser for the man that helped them in their time of need. The GoFundMe page raised over $400,000 dollars.

Picture from GoFundMe

Bobbitt has come out saying he did not receive all of the money. The couple responded to the claim by having their attorney tell reporters that Bobbitt struggled with drug addiction and he spent $25,000 of the pages earnings on drugs, overdue bills and sending money to his family.

“It’s very disheartening to see people take advantage of the situation by taking money from someone that has very little,” Kyle Tucker, a sophomore education major, said.

Bobbitt is now suing McClure and D’amico. GoFundMe has promised that Bobbitt will receive all the money that was raised for him.

The stakes increased when the couple’s home was raided by police. Johnny Bobbitt’s attorney said, “They went on a shopping spree.” Police found a brand new BMW, a Louis Vuitton bag, Chanel Sunglasses, a new iPhone 10.

Page created to raise money for a 18 year old boy who was involved in a very bad car crash

Amir Moon, a sophomore elementary education major, had a GoFundMe page made in his honor to help with college expenses.

“The campaign helped me because I wouldn’t have the funds to be able to attend college. The campaign raised enough money for me to go to school for two years and not have to stress about my out of pocket cost,” Moon said.

So how do we know whether a campaign is a scam or not? This isn’t the first time a fake GoFundMe page has been made. GoFundMe’s two biggest suggestions when looking at whether a page is credible or not is looking at the organizer’s intent or seeing who has control of the withdrawals.

Maddy Wojton, a junior early childhood education major, took part on a page by donating to a page about her family member that didn’t have enough money for their wedding.

“This site truly changes lives for the better and it is sad to see people have to suffer negatively,” Wojton said.

Rhys Vaughn, a sophomore business management, took part in a campaign that dealt with the Headstrong foundation.

“The point of the site is to raise money for a good cause not for my own benefit,” Vaughn said,

GoFundMe is a site that has truly changed lives for the better and unfortunately for the worst as well.

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Jason Archer

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