Sheriff’s office warns public to be wary of fake charities after Rochester Hills shooting

OAKLAND COUNTY – Over the weekend, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard warned residents to be wary of potential phony Go Fund Me pages that have been created in the wake of a shooting that took place in Rochester Hills on Saturday.

As of Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s office has validated two legitimate Go Fund Me pages. Links to those Go Fund Me efforts are available on the OCSO Facebook page.

According to Bouchard, the sheriff’s office has not confirmed the authenticity of any other charity or Go Fund Me effort collecting donations to support the victims of Saturday’s shooting.

“These bottom-feeding scumbags are preying off this tragedy,” Bouchard said. “They have already shown their character. We are unaware of any legitimate charity collecting donations for these families. I encourage anyone interested in donating to check with the sheriff’s office first. If there are legitimate sites, we will let the public know.”

According to police, one Go Fund Me is collecting funds on behalf of a man named Kyle J. Thompson, his pregnant wife and children, claiming to be a victim of the shooting. Police state that neither Thompson nor his family were victims in the shooting but that the Go Fund Me has raised more than $15,000 as of June 16.

Update, June 20: According to a spokesperson from Go Fund Me, the fundraiser for Kyle J. Thompson has been removed and donors were refunded.

“Our hearts go out to the Rochester Hills community and to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy. At GoFundMe, being a safe and trusted place to give and receive help is our top priority,” the spokesperson said. “GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and those who seek to take advantage of the generosity of the community. We have removed the fundraiser from the platform, none of the funds were released to the fundraiser organizer, and all donors have been refunded. We will cooperate with law enforcement investigations of those accused of wrongdoing.”

— Megan Kelley

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