Elizabeth City police warn of fake crowdfunding campaigns

(Photo: WANE-TV)

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Elizabeth City Police Department is asking residents to be aware of fake crowdfunding campaigns.

Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe are used by families in need and small businesses that need help getting started. While many campaigns are legitimate, crowdfunding sites often don’t screen those who set up a fundraiser.

“Criminals may be using these sites to spread fake stories of tragedy or, worse, use real stories of tragedy to raise funds for which the victims aren’t aware,” police said in a Facebook post. “North Carolina law requires a charity get permission before they may raise funds in the name of someone.”

To avoid becoming a victim, only donate to people you know well or friends of friends. If you think you’ve found a crowdfunding scam, you can call the North Carolina attorney general’s office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov.