On Thursday, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO ) and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis warned anyone looking to contribute to Surfside relief efforts to be cautious of imposter Surfside GoFundMe websites.
“In the wake of the condo collapse, bad actors will look to set up false charity sites in the hopes of using this tragedy for their own personal gain. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com,” the CFO’s office noted.
Since I’ve been at this collapse site, I’ve seen the best in humanity. 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,” Patronis said on Thursday.
“With all the good I’ve been witness to, however, we are starting to get reports of false GoFundMe websites that are stealing from this effort. It’s disgusting – and as far as I’m concerned – it’s right up there with looting after a hurricane. To people that want to help this effort, please make sure you’re putting your hard-earned money into a credible organization that will help the families that have been truly impacted by this collapse,” he added.
To report fraud or learn about ways to protect yourself from scams, visit FraudFreeFlorida.com.