Group warning of fake GoFundMe page(s) for Scherlen family - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Group warning of fake GoFundMe page(s) for Scherlen family

Officials are warning the public of scams involving officer Scherlen's family.

Crowd Sourcing pages are huge nowadays, but APD and the better business bureau are asking the public to be cautious when donating, as it seems people are taking advantage of a family in mourning.

It's quite simple. You create a page, tell people your cause, and they can donate until you reach your "goal."

But today, officials are warning people to be cautious when donating to the Scherlen family, as people are making fake pages.

After seeing our story, go-fund-me reached out to us to tell us they are working on resolving the issue, and assured us Jessica Scherlen will be receiving any money raised in the family's name.

"In general, it is an offense, probably under the theft statute in the state of Texas," says Randall County District Attorney James Farren.

While Farren cannot speak on behalf of everyone, he tells us if it can be proven there was malicious intent in a case like this, they would prosecute.

"If we can prove all the elements including the mental culpability...the plan or the scheme to defraud people by not doing with the money whatever was promised, then we can certainly prosecute the case and we certainly will in Randall County," says Farren.

GoFundMe does offer a disclaimer, saying "with hundreds-of-thousands of campaigns, it's not feasible for GoFundMe to investigate the claims stated by each Campaign Organizer." 

And like APD and the BBB, they ask to only donate to people you trust.

"Trust, but verify. It's always nice to be trusting, it's nice to help other people, but make sure your money's going somewhere where it really will be used in a way that you're being promised."

There is a legitimate trust fund set up for officer Scherlen's family. You can go to any Amarillo National Bank to donate.

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