Family of car crash victim worries thousands robbed in online fundraiser

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A Winnipeg family is concerned about online donations made to help with their son’s funeral expenses.

David Bunguke, 17, died after a car accident on October 18.

His family said the community came together after his death, sharing many condolences and supporting two online fundraisers.

John Bunguke, David’s father, said a GoFundMe page, which raised almost $7,000, was started by one of his son’s friends.

The other GoFundMe page, which raised nearly $12,000, was started by someone he didn’t know but assumed was another friend.

“But that person was not in contact with the family, that’s why we started to doubt that GoFundMe, maybe it was a fake,” Bunguke said.

Bunguke said he noticed the recipient’s name changed after the fundraiser ended.

“It’s a big fraud to make money from someone’s death and it’s very shocking,” he said. “The family is very shocked.”

CTV News contacted the page’s creator via the website’s message function, but received no response.

GoFundMe said fraudulent fundraisers are rare, but it is investigating the situation.

“I can confirm that our Trust and Safety team is investigating and has contacted the organizer for further information,” a GoFundMe spokesperson said in an email to CTV News.

“It’s important to know that the platform is backed by the GoFundMe Donation Guarantee, which protects donors and their generosity. We guarantee a full refund of donations in the rare event that something goes wrong.”

GoFundMe said donors who don’t want to wait for the investigation can request a refund online.

As Bunguke waits to see what happens with the crowdsourcing company, he plans to contact the police.

He worries that people aren’t as willing to help others in similar situations because of incidents like this.

“People, they won’t continue to help each other through this kind of, uh, fundraising to help themselves,” Bunguke said.

Bunguke said he saw the kindness of the community and felt very loved by those who contributed to the campaigns.

CTV News has contacted police but has not yet received a response.

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