HOUSTON-- From go fund me, to go fraud me, crowdfunding is becoming the modern-day panhandling of the digital age.
The site has become home to gamblers trying to recoup losses, to rappers trying to get out of debt.
It’s hard to tell the real from the fake these days.
Take MD Anderson cancer patient Shanta Jackson, who is raising funds to help cover pricey medical treatments.
"It was set up by my daughter when I got sick and I could no longer work, so we turned to GoFundMe page and it helped quite a bit,” said Jackson.
So how do you spot a GoFundMe scam?
Although it’s nearly impossible The Houston Police Department can offer a few helpful tips.
"We recommend that you know, or know someone that knows the person who is requesting the money, or the cause for which it is being requested,” Chris Lohse with the HPD Financial Crimes Unit said.
Officers also advise staying away from pages that don't have much information about the cause and saving the photo from the campaign and upload it to google images. This will allow you to search everywhere the photo has
What to do if you get scammed?
If you happen to fall victim call the cops and notify the website. GoFundMe promises to refund your donation if your funds don’t get to the intended recipient and beneficiaries. If for whatever reason you don’t receive
the funds from the campaign organizer, GoFundMe donates the difference.
Crowdfunding has become an easy place for scammers so police are asking everyone to be aware.
"Sure, it's easy. there's a degree of anonymity when they're raising funds online, especially if the story is in the media, pulls at people's heart strings. We have a very giving community. People want to give, they wanna help. They just need to do all they can to ensure they're giving to the right person,” Lohse said.
For more information on Shanta Jackson's visit https://www.gofundme.com/