Investigators continue to search for missing Massachusetts mother Ana Walshe, whose husband is in custody on charges of misleading the investigation.
The Cohasset Police Department has issued a warning to beware of scams after seeing reports that there is a fundraiser purporting to help support the Walshe’s three young children.
The kids are currently in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and there is little public information about their situation.
The Cohasset Police Department said it would be hesitant to donate to any fundraising campaigns at this time as the case unfolds.
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The department’s Public Information Officer Justin Shrair made a statement Thursday.
“Cohasset Police has not been informed or nor are we aware of any official fundraising accounts to support the children of Ana Walshe,” he said. “We’re asking the public to really do their research when donating to different causes. Folks can report possible fraud to their local police department and they can also report it to the FTC.”
Scammers do play off of newsworthy events to try to get money from people, so be cautious in any situation like this. Don’t let your emotions lead you to make a quick decision to donate.
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The FBI warns that charity fraud scams can come in many forms: emails, social media posts, crowdfunding platforms, cold calls, etc. Always use caution and do your research before you donate.
If you see a crowdfunding link, make sure it’s legitimate.
GoFundMe advises people to read through the fundraiser, and make sure you know the answers the following questions:
- How is the organizer related to the intended recipient of the donations?
- What is the purpose of the fundraiser and how will the funds be used?
- Are direct family and friends making donations and leaving words of encouragement?
- Is the intended recipient in control of the withdrawals? If not, is there a clear path for the funds to reach them?
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, message the organizer directly to ask for more details before you send your money.
If someone is pushing you to donate through cash, cash app, gift card, virtual currency or a wire transfer, is it likely a scam.