Crowdsourced funding opportunities via Kickstarter, Patreon, and GoFundMe have removed many structural roadblocks for people to access capital quickly and conveniently. But they’ve also lowered the barrier to entry for many very old scams. So how do you tell the difference between a great cause or project to contribute to and a digital confidence scam? What’s outright fraudulent, and what’s just a company with poor organizational skills? Let us take a look at pitfalls on two crowdfunding platforms.GoFundMe
Gofundme.com primarily serves personal projects and donation pages, or other campaigns that otherwise don’t fit the more common commercial model found on Kickstarter. Funding requests cover a wide range of needs, from community sports groups to disaster relief, to education and medical care (for US users). It sounds like a great use of crowdfunding, but when it comes to fraud, things start to get a little iffy. Here’s what GoFundMe’s terms of service (ToS) have to say about its giving campaigns.