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Recognizing common online fraud schemes and suspicious emails

Most fundraisers are started with good intentions, but we want to help you recognize and report common online schemes so that you can protect yourself.

How can I avoid fraud schemes?

  • Only sign in to GoFundMe accounts via GoFundMe’s official website. Customers should always look for the green lock showing the site is securely encrypted
  • Keep in mind, GoFundMe will never contact our customers through the fundraiser contact form to request contact, identification, or other personal information
  • GoFundMe will never ask you to pay in order to be included in GoFundMe's relief initiatives. For more information regarding possible grant qualifications, please follow this link.
  • Take extra precaution in opening suspicious emails or links, especially urgent requests or promises of additional donations
  • Don't use the links in an email, instant message, or chat to get to any web page if you suspect the message might be fake or the sender untrustworthy

For additional tips on how to keep your account secure, or if you believe your account has been compromised, please visit our Help Center article titled “Account security”.

What if I’ve come across something suspicious? 

If you ever suspect that someone is impersonating GoFundMe or an employee of GoFundMe, please contact us to verify the authenticity of the message. 

If you have received any suspicious correspondence regarding your GoFundMe fundraiser, please do not respond; instead, forward it to abuse@gofundme.com. We also encourage you to reset your GoFundMe and payment account passwords any time you receive a suspicious email. 

Types of online fraud schemes

Offers for GoFundMe positions:

If you see a GoFundMe opening advertised on social media, you can always verify the job opportunity by visiting Careers at GoFundMe. While real employees are encouraged to post about job openings on social media,  be careful of posts that require you to directly message the individual, and do not include the link to our Careers page, because these are often not affiliated with legitimate job offers from GoFundMe.

Offers related to your GoFundMe fundraiser:

If someone you don’t know is offering something that sounds too good to be true, proceed with caution. Some examples include offers to:

  • Run your fundraiser (especially for payment)
  • Withdraw a fundraiser's donations on your behalf 
  • Guarantee reaching your fundraiser goal in exchange for a service fee
  • Offer a large donation to your fundraiser if you pay a transfer fee

If you receive suspicious messages or offers, please email abuse@gofundme.com for further review or verification.

Phishing

Phishing is an attempt to get personal information (such as a username, password, or financial information) by pretending to be a website or person. 

Phishing behavior on GoFundMe includes contacting organizers through their fundraisers and posing as a legitimate donor, organization, or even as a GoFundMe employee.

Sweetheart/romance scams and catfishing:

A sweetheart or romance scam involves building trust by pretending to be romantically interested in someone and then using that trust to commit fraud. Some fraudulent activity can include stealing a victim's money, bank and credit card information, or even their identity.

Often used with romance scams, catfishing is when an individual uses a fake identity in order to trick a victim. 

When talking online to someone you don’t personally know, do your best to verify their identity and never send money to someone without 100% confidence in their identity or story.

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