SURFSIDE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services says you need to be careful if you’re trying to donate money to help victims of the deadly Condo Collapse in Surfside.
The Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, said on Thursday scammers have been creating fake GoFundMe websites to trick people into donating money to them, rather than to actual organizations that are trying to help the victims.
“It’s disgusting,” said Patronis. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s right up there with looting after a hurricane.”
Besides the reports of fake charity websites, Patronis said he’s also seen plenty of people come together to help out in the condo collapse.
“I’ve seen our Urban Search & Rescue teams put their lives on the line to save people, I’ve seen countless acts of kindness with people that live in this community in supporting our first responders, and I’ve seen a community come together to pray and support one another in this tragedy.”
If you’ve been a victim of a scam, or believe a website you saw could be a scam, report it to the Fraud Free Florida website.
Some actual organizations you should consider making donations to include:
- The Shul of Bal Harbour fundraiser
- The Skylake Synagogue, which must be mailed to 1850 NE 183rd St., North Miami Beach, FL 33179. Their donations will then be sent to the Shul of Bal Harbour. The synagogue is also asking for items such as sweatshirts, phone chargers, drinks, blankets, pillows, and snacks.
- GoFundMe fundraisers that have been verified by the website