When GoFundMe Goes Wrong

Babbitt, McClure, and D’Amico: the culprits involved in the 2018 GoFundMe scandal

Babbitt, McClure, and D’Amico: the culprits involved in the 2018 GoFundMe scandal

Emmylou Wilkes, Staff Reporter

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Everyone has heard of GoFundMe, the fundraising platform in which people from all over the world can raise money for different causes. Some people create GoFundMe pages to help raise money for a sick family member in need of treatment or to be able to buy themselves a new house in times of financial struggle. Junior Hallie Ward said, “While I’ve never actually done it, I know people that GoFundMe has really helped. They have been able to work through struggles because others were trusting enough to donate.” Some, on the other hand, create a page for themselves, their boyfriend, and a homeless man to scam people into giving them money to pay for expensive trips and casino nights.

In 2018, a heartwarming story came out about a homeless man who spent his last $20 to buy gas for a woman whose car broke down on the side of the highway. In return for the man’s kind action, Kate McClure, the woman he helped, set up a GoFundMe for him. The story quickly went viral and thousands of people gave money to the page for the veteran to be able to afford food and a stable living arrangement. For months, this was all there was to the story, until the man, Johnny Bobbitt, attempted to sue McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, for taking his money and spending it for their own purposes. Some sources now concur that Bobbitt was conspiring with the couple the entire time and that the only victims involved were the ones who donated.

As of now, all three individuals are facing charges of second-degree theft by deception, according to CNN. No matter what McClure’s actual intent was with the money, those who donated were still tricked into sending money to a cause that never was. All $400,000 worth of money sent to Bobbitt and the couple has since been refunded by GoFundMe to those who so kindly donated.

Moral of the story, make sure the money you are donating to any online organization is really going to the cause it addresses. For those who are worried about whether the page they are donating to is safe, no matter the site, read this article to make for sure. Safe spending!