GoFundMe plea is a fraud


URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s more like a GoFraudMe.

Officials in Urbana are urging people to disregard a fake GoFundMe page that’s being circulated via an email address that appears to be from the city.

The page is attempting to solicit donations for a three-year-old boy with a serious medical condition. The parents, the post says, are self-employed and don’t have insurance that covers all the costs associated with the boy, including a transfer to an Oregon hospital.

But Urbana’s city administrator Carol Mitten said the city would never send emails linking to a GoFundMe page — or ask for donations at all in this kind of situation.

“The city of Urbana does not officially sponsor fundraising of any kind for individuals, organizations or programs not directly affiliated with the city,” she said in a press release.

Urbana’s IT director Sanford Hess said the page is ultimately a cyberattack.

“It looks like a GoFundMe campaign sent from our domain and with our city’s name and logo,” he said in the release. “But, this is really a phish and the (fake) GoFundMe link goes to a PayPal account.”

Ultimately, officials said the sick child “does not exist.”

In the future, officials say people should question the legitimacy of any fundraising request that appears to be coming from the city of Urbana.

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