February 27, 2019 | Tips, Tricks and Member Safety. Share this article:
Don’t Get Caught in a Crowdfunding Scam
Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter are packed with eager entrepreneurs and desperately needy individuals alike. But they’re also packed with scammers.
Don’t let the scammers ruin it for everyone else! Here’s how to check a campaign for legitimacy:
- Whether it’s a heartbreaking story or a brilliant business venture you want to support, carefully research the campaign’s creator. Google their name to see what the internet has to say about them. Look up their street address to verify they’re using their real name and check whether they’ve done any crowdfunding campaigns in the past.|
- If you’re looking at a charity campaign, your next step is to take emotion out of the picture. Study the campaign with pure logic. Does the story really make sense? If you still think it’s legitimate, you can choose to donate to the cause. Or, you can take your caution one step further by contacting the campaign’s creator and asking for verification of their cause. If they refuse to answer your questions, opt out.
- If you’re looking at a crowdfunding campaign for a new business idea, ask yourself if the project is realistic. Many business ideas sound incredible until you realize that they are only possible in a fantasy world.
While some crowdfunding platforms will refund your money if a cause turns out to be a scam, most will keep a portion for themselves, so plan to get back every penny if you’re caught in a scam.