An official GoFundMe account has already raised more than $1.5 million for the victims and their families.
However, with scammers looking to take advantage of people’s generosity, many want to know where their money is actually going, and whether any fees are attached to their donation.
From the Pulse nightclub shooting to the massacre in Las Vegas, these days, GoFundMe pages are the official way to donate to a relief effort.
The same goes in the aftermath of the tragedy in Parkland, Fl.
Navigating the often treacherous waters of choosing a legitimate charity can be overwhelming.
In fact, the Broward County Sheriff recently tweeted: “there have been several fraudulent @GoFundMe accounts. Here is the official page where you can help victims and their families...”
Set up by the Broward Education Foundation, it has already surpassed $1.7 million.
“People need to check if there is a GoFundMe page or any crowdfunding page that they are dealing in fact with the one that has been set up by officials,” said Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau.
Even though this account is legitimate, there are still fees. A GoFundMe spokesperson said 2.9 percent is taken on top of $0.30 from each donation to ensure the platform is safe and secure. The fee is from industry standard payment processing.
“We are reviewing every campaign created related to the shooting in Florida...we have removed campaigns with no direct, personal connection to the victims or the families...we guarantee all funds raised go to the victims and their families,” GoFundMe said.
“Con artists know no limits. They don’t discriminate from people who are old or young. It doesn’t matter what race you are. They’ll just go after anybody,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz also recommends donors ask questions about how their money will be used.
So far, the Broward Education Foundation would only say “donations raised here will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families, as well as the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas community.”
“There’s no rush because if the money is needed today it will be needed just as much tomorrow,” Schwartz said.
An update on the Las Vegas relief efforts-- Nearly $12 million has been raised on the official GoFundMe page.
While the Las Vegas victims fund is still determining exactly how to divvy that money up, they plan to start distributions next month.
If you’d like more information on how to vet a particular charity, click here.
Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.