Close Search

Calls for a crackdown on fake crowdfunders

14 October 2019 at 5:20 pm
Maggie Coggan
One of Australia’s largest crowdfunding platforms is calling for the fundraising industry to fight scams together

Maggie Coggan | 14 October 2019 at 5:20 pm


Calls for a crackdown on fake crowdfunders
14 October 2019 at 5:20 pm

One of Australia’s largest crowdfunding platforms is calling for the fundraising industry to fight scams together

A lack of donor protections on crowdfunding websites could see a drop in charity trust levels, a major crowdfunding platform warns. 

The warning from GoFundMe comes after a fake page was set up by scammers on rival platform GoGetFunding, to raise money for the funeral of Ivan Susin, a Brazilian man who died after allegedly being punched outside a kebab shop on the Gold Coast.

On Sunday, Ivan’s sister, Joseane Susin, posted to Facebook warning friends and family to stay away from the fake fundraiser.  

The GoGetFunding page is still active and has received one $10 donation so far. 

Nicola Britton, GoFundMe Australian regional manager, said the online fundraising industry needed to step in immediately to stop scammers “running riot” on their sites.      

She said while GoFundMe had protocols in place to make sure fake pages were shut down quickly, this wasn’t the case for all platforms. 

“Family members are seeing these pages left up there for quite a while and there doesn’t seem to be the kind of system in place where you can report the pages and get them taken down quickly,” she told Pro Bono News. 

The scam comes weeks after the family of 11-year-old girl Abbey Forrest, who died in a road accident in Western Australia, fell victim to a similar scam on GoGetFunding. 

Fundraising pages were set up by a single user pretending to be two different Forrest family members. The pages received four donations totalling $170.   

A GoGetFunding spokeswoman told WA Today that the fundraisers had been taken down quickly, and the users had been deleted and banned from the site. 

Britton said while technology had opened up new opportunities for fundraising, the industry needed to come together to make sure donors were protected. 

“We can embrace technology to support personal and charitable fundraising, but my concern is that this isn’t protected and we don’t align as an industry,” she said.  

“The entire industry needs to step up to the mark to protect donors, otherwise all companies will be tarred with the same brush.”  

Pro Bono News reached out to GoGetFunding for comment but did not receive a response. 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Panel Discussion Webinar

Get more stories like this



  • ash rosshandler says:

    Seriously? What about this Go Fund Me fiasco? . This is why Good Company will only ever facilitate fundraising pages and events for vetted charities with DGR type 1 status so that all donors can be assured the funds will go to the right place.

    • John says:

      There are charities registered with ACNC that have DGR status and still run fundraising scams on Crowdfunding sites as well as elsewhere. Regulatory authorities are reluctant to do anything about this. I hope they are in a small minority, but often there’s nothing to stop a change of management or board majority from turning a reputable charity into a vehicle for scams. So I’m afraid your precaution, although wise and reasonable, is not enough.

Your email address will not be published.


Wasting our time – marginal seat voters have their say

David Crosbie

Thursday, 5th May 2022 at 8:31 am

ALP will streamline tangled fundraising laws in government

Jonathan Alley

Wednesday, 13th April 2022 at 3:04 pm

New natural disaster fundraising guidelines are here, but not everyone is happy

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 15th February 2022 at 7:59 am

Charities celebrate major fundraising reform win

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th December 2021 at 5:02 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

News for those with purpose.

Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Thank you - you have successfully subscribed.

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!