Consumer Column

Attorney General Jeff Landry Working with GoFundMe to Ensure Flood Donations Count

BATON ROUGE, LA - Assistance organizations have started to boom following the disastrous flood in South Louisiana, with GoFundMe already hosting nearly 2,000 campaigns that have raised approximately $1.2M. Attorney General Jeff Landry is working to ensure charitable donations to help flood victims truly go to the intended causes.

"The generosity and outpouring of support from fellow Louisiana residents and businesses have been amazing and humbling," said General Landry. "Our office is doing all we can to ensure relief donations actually support those affected by the flooding."

In that light, the Louisiana Department of Justice has teamed with GoFundMe to add additional fraud protections. While GoFundMe already tracks a number of different data points to look for possible triggers and has mechanisms in place to require funds be distributed to intended beneficiaries, new communication streams have been established so red flag notifications are immediate. Additionally, GoFundMe will make every effort to refund anyone who does not get the funds as well as refund owners who believe the funds were not properly distributed.

"We urge the GoFundMe community to continue to support the tens of thousands of folks impacted by the devastating floods. We will continue to work closely with the Attorney General and the GoFundMe campaign organizers to ensure the families receive the help they need," said Daniel Gordon, GoFundMe's Head of Trust and Safety.

"Louisiana is experiencing monumental devastation and tragedy," added General Landry. "We are grateful for the efforts of GoFundMe to make sure donations benefit our struggling neighbors—not fraudulent individuals or organizations."

General Landry also offered the following tips to those who wish to make a GoFundMe donation:

• Only donate to the campaigns for people you know and trust.
• If, when contacting the organizer directly on the campaign page, you do not get response or the response raises questions - report your concerns to General Landry's Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889 or click "Report Campaign" directly on the GoFundMe campaign page.
• Note that some pages may lack a beneficiary name as campaign organizers could be in the process of adding the beneficiary directly to the page.
• If a potential recipient does not want a campaign set up or continued on his/her behalf, he/she can notify GoFundMe and the account will be closed.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.