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Officials Issue Warning Of Scammers Trying To Profit From School Shooting

Officials Issue Warning Of Scammers Trying To Profit From School Shooting

A total of 21 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in Uvalde, Texas

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued a warning to members of the public over scammers who may be trying to profit from the school shooting in Uvalde.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised across numerous fundraisers in the wake of the Uvalde shooting, which saw 19 children and two teachers lose their lives when a shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School on 18 May.

Though many of the fundraisers are genuine, Paxton released a statement last week to encourage those giving donations to exercise caution when handing over the money and to make sure it is going to the right place.

The attorney general acknowledged Texans are 'anxious to do whatever they can to alleviate the suffering', but added: "Unfortunately, there are some individuals who may try to take advantage of tragedy to perpetrate scams. We caution all charitable givers to be aware and informed."

Any scammers thinking about using the shooting as an excuse to try and dupe members of the public were also warned that the Texas Attorney General would 'not tolerate anyone taking advantage of the goodwill and large-heartedness of our fellow Texans'.

"Texans who wish to give money or services to assist their fellow Texans impacted by the Uvalde tragedy should take steps to ensure that their charitable dollars are going to the intended recipients and to legitimate causes," the statement added.

Tributes and donations have been pouring in following the shooting.

Anyone looking to give donations has been advised not to wire money, or to confirm financial or personal information before sending money. The Attorney General recommended that donors give through legitimate charitable funding platforms such as GoFundMe, and to utilise charity watchdog group CharityWatch to help make informed choices about donations.

The statement added: "Do not trust a name or phone number. Scammers often use fake names and phone numbers to disguise their identity and area code."

On the same day as the warning was issued, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the creation of a one-stop webpage for the OneStar Foundation for donations to support the victims' families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.

The charity will give 100 percent of donations to the Robb School Memorial Fund and will be used to pay for healthcare expenses, flights and travel for families and loved ones, funeral expenses, and long-term needs to support the community's recovery.

Commenting on the creation of the webpage, Abbott said: “Donations of any amount to the OneStar Foundation webpage will go a long way in letting these grief-stricken families, teachers, and loved ones know that they are not alone as they begin the long and difficult process of piecing their lives back together. The true spirit of the Lone Star State is Texans helping Texans, and we must continue supporting those working to heal in the weeks and months ahead.”

Donations for the Robb School Memorial Fund can be given on a one-time or monthly basis. 

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Texas, Crime, Charity, Money, US News