ORLANDO, Fla. - Scammers are taking advantage of the ICON Park tragedy by trying to defraud people who want to help the family of the teenager who fell off the Orlando FreeFall drop-tower.
The family of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson said some have created fake GoFundMe accounts, scamming people out of money supposedly to be used for funeral costs.
"People in the world today, they feel like they could just take from people," said Sampson’s cousin, Alvina Burch.
The family said some photographs used in the fake pages were not originals of Tyre Sampson but appeared to be altered images.
"We trying to be her voice and not have all this fraudulent… and have all this scamming stuff going on with her son’s name, with her name," said Burch.
GoFundMe sent FOX 35 a statement which read, in part, "Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy. Immediately following the news reports, our Trust and Safety team began monitoring the platform and removing any fundraisers not authorized by the family of Tyre Sampson. I can confirm that all fundraisers without a clear connection to the family were removed, and any donors have been refunded."
Experts say research who you’re donating to before donating.
"We should be very cautious about giving out our credit card number, certainly anything personal identifying until we dig a little deeper," said licensed psychologist Deborah Day.
GoFundMe said keep an eye out for accounts that break the law, lie about the organizer’s identity or their relationship to the recipient of the funds or post misleading statements.
Family says the fakes simply copied and pasted articles from other websites. "If you are not a part of someone’s family, and you ain’t get permission to create a GoFundMe account, do not go on Facebook putting together a GoFundMe account, and you didn’t get permission from the family."
Sampson’s mother has since created a GoFundMe page. On it, she wrote "Please do not donate to any other GoFundMe fundraisers. This is the only fundraiser that is legit!"