Parents Speak About Closure of False GoFundMe Using Late Daughter's Picture

Scottish six-year-old Darci Jackson passed away of cancer last year year. While planning her funeral, Amanda and Graeme Jackson discovered that their daughter's picture and name were being used on a scam GoFundMe page using Darci's name, story and picture. Both parents were horrified to discover the page, which they called "sick," according to the BBC.

"Scammers are going to scam, but to go to that low level and scam a dead child's page is unbelievable," Graeme Jackson told BBC Scotland's The Nine.

"You can't fathom that another person would do such as thing. It's absolutely vile," added Amanda Jackson.

"Going through the pain of losing your daughter is hard enough without someone setting up a fake page that you have then to deal with," said Graeme Jackson. Jackson also posted to his social media after the page was first discovered that "I wish I could catch this sicko."

GoFundMe was alerted to the scam page's existence and the page was deleted. IP evidence was turned over to the police and traced, but no suspect could be uncovered through the information provided. All donors to the scam account had their money refunded.

"If there were consequences to carrying out these kinds of things then it might make people stop and think about doing it. There is no deterrent at all," said Amanda Jackson.

"If you say we have about 75,000 campaigns a year, you are talking about maybe five confirmed cases of fraud each year, which is really quite low," said John Coventry, GoFundMe's European director, to the BBC.

"The thing about any financial technology products is people are constantly trying to beat the system and we are constantly trying to beat them," he added. "We put almost a third of our company's resources into trust and safety. That's a huge investment on our part and we are continually working to make the system safer to make sure we eliminate fraud entirely."

fraud stock photo
Though GoFundMe turned over the scammer's IP addresses to police, they were unable to locate a suspect. Getty

Before her death, the Jacksons had created a GoFundMe for Darci's care, hoping to fly her to America for treatment of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The child died before they could use the accrued funds for her treatment. The parents refunded all money donated to the page. They have helped to raise funds for other children suffering with cancer, including Jasmine Topsakalidis, whom Darci met during a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Darci's parents describe their late daughter as, "an incredibly fun-loving, sassy, determined, brave, special little girl".

They said she "put up one hell of a fight".