In the immediate aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a number of GoFundMe accounts surfaced claiming to point donations to victims and their families.
Today, citing “several” fraudulent accounts, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office pointed those wishing to make a donation in support of the victims and their families to a GoFundMe page established by the Broward Education Foundation. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says it is the “official” page.
The Broward Education Foundation identifies themselves as a 501(c)3 organization that is “the ONLY direct support organization solely dedicated to raising funds for Broward County Public Schools.”
They invoked “Superintendent Robert Runcie, the School Board of Broward County, Broward County Mayor Beam Furr and Commissioners, Broward Legislative Delegation and Broward County Public Schools family” in offering thoughts and prayers to the victims, saying donations “will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific shooting.”
With a goal of $700,000, the fundraiser has reached over $550,000 as of this writing.
GoFundMe says they are monitoring the fundraising platform for duplicate and imitation fundraising pleas using the mass shooting. In an interview on Fox News, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said “If you think you?re going to scam people during this tragedy, you?re not,” according to the Sun Sentinel.
The state of Florida plans to cover funeral costs for victims of the school shooting.