A couple has been charged for allegedly creating a fake GoFundMe page to scam money from strangers.
Martin and Jolene LaFrance, from Port Byron, New York, allegedly set up the crowdfunding page claiming they needed money for medical expenses for their sick son.
They allegedly claimed the 10-year-old had been diagnosed with cancer and received thousands of dollars in donations from concerned members of the public.
The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office said the couple was arrested after a four month investigation and charged them with one count each of scheme to defraud in the first degree and endangering the welfare of child.
Sheriff David Gould said the investigation revealed the page requesting donations was a result of online solicitation as they received several thousand dollars in donations.
Police discovered the child had never been diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition allegedly claimed on the GoFundMe page.
The page has since been taken down and GoFundMe released a statement to ABC News on Tuesday, saying the couple violated the organisation’s terms of service and donors would be refunded.
“It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back,” the statement said.
“Additionally, we are working with law enforcement on their investigation.”