Ebola Scam

Ebola Scam

Wichita Falls, TX - The North Central Texas Better Business Bureau wants to warn people of the Ebola Scam.

Just ask any Texoman their thoughts on the Ebola virus and you will likely get this answer.

"It's just a very, very scary situation," said Charlene Butts, a resident of Wichita Falls. "I work in the public and I'm even afraid sometimes to be at my job, because you don't know who's coming and going, and what they have."

Butts said she has been keeping a close eye on the deadly disease, and so have con artists.

Monica Horton, President of the Better Business Bureau of North Central Texas told Newschannel 6 anytime there is a big news story in the headlines affecting people, scammers look to capitalize.

"They'll twist and spin it to steal money, relate it to what's going on," said Horton. "The day after nurse Amber Vinson was identified as having the virus a Go Fund Me site was put up the very next day."

Go Fund Me is an online website for personal fundraising. The BBB told Newschannel 6 the account created was to raise money for Amber Vinson, the Dallas nurse who is now being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. However, the page was not authorized Vinson or created by the nurse's family.

Once discovered, the BBB said the page was terminated, but more than 100 Go Fund Me pages raising money for various Ebola campaigns still exist on the site.

"It doesn't surprise me that somebody is trying to cash in on this," said Butts.

Horton said in disasters and humanitarian crisis, like the spread of Ebola, people often want to help right away. She said before people do, they need to step back and do your homework about the organization or charity you would like to support.

"Ask them about their financials. Ask them to send you something that outlines their fundraising practices. Ask them what percentage of the profits goes to the programs," said Horton.

If you would like to report any scams to the Better Business Bureau, you can contact them at (940) 691-1172.

2107 Kemp Blvd, Wichita Falls, TX 76309

Newschannel 6, Jimmie Johnson