FOP warns against fundraising scams for fallen officers

WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) – In just four days, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 has raised over $400,000 to help support the families of fallen officers Morelli and Joering.

But, there are scammers out there preying on the community’s grief and generosity.

“Unfortunately, that has been followed up with some fraudulent GoFundMe accounts that are attempting to raise money for themselves in the name of those families,” said communications consultant for the FOP Matt Dole.

He said there is only one legitimate GoFundMe site that they’re using to collect donations. Dole said if you’re donating online make sure the URL is correct: https://www.gofundme.com/FOPLodge9HelpFund. Or you can go to their Facebook Page or website to find the link.

If you’re not sure, you can always call the FOP for help or mail them a check.

“GoFundMe’s committed to shutting down fraudulent sites,” said Dole. “They’re committed to identifying those fraudulent sites and then making sure that the money given for the purposes of going to the Westerville families eventually get into our account or a separate account through GoFundMe that will make it to the families.”

Dole said if you’re organizing a fundraiser for the officers, call the FOP so they can let others know it’s legitimate.

“People can expect to see sites that look legitimate. Unfortunately, anybody can go on GoFundMe in 30 seconds and create a campaign and say it’s official,” said Dole. “So, people have to be careful and check into it.”

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said there has been an ongoing phone call scam of people asking for money for fallen officers. The AG’s office said always be cautious of these calls and ask for documentation of where your money will be going before donating.

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