London Bridge terror attack: crooks set up fake JustGiving funds in sick bid for cash

Fraudsters have set up fake fundraising pages in a twisted bid to raise money for victims of the London Bridge terror attack.

Donations website JustGiving confirmed it had deleted three appeals after establishing they were not genuine.

It has placed all 43 fundraising pages linked to Saturday’s horror in “quarantine”, meaning pages’ founders cannot withdraw donations until they have been vetted.

One of the fake appeals pulled down by JustGiving claimed to have been set up by the Evening Standard, while another falsely stated it had been launched by the BBC.

The fundraising website has implemented a strict scrutiny system, also employed following the Manchester Arena and Westminster terror attacks earlier this year, which requires page founders to prove they have connections to victims’ families.

A spokesman said: “JustGiving has robust checks to ensure that the generosity of donors reaches the intended recipients.

“In situations such as the incident at London Bridge on Saturday, or the bombing in Manchester, JustGiving puts extra precautions in place to ensure that no funds can be withdrawn until we have worked with page owners to establish the best way to get the funds to the families and victims.”

A minute’s silence in tribute to the victims of the London attack

After the Manchester Arena bombing that killed 22 people, the Charity Commission took the unusual step of directing well-wishers towards a specific appeal – the We Love Manchester Fund – to ensure their money did not end up in the hands of fraudsters.

David Holdsworth, the commission’s chief operating officer, said: “The British public are incredibly generous, especially in response to supporting those at times of suffering and need. 

“Sadly, during such periods of especially generous giving, there are a small minority of those who seek to exploit that goodwill for fraudulent, selfish purposes.”

The fake page set up using the Standard’s name had received £50 in two donations before it was removed on Sunday. The money will be refunded to donors, JustGiving said.

The genuine emergency appeal launched by the British Red Cross and backed by the Standard has raised more than £107,000 through its JustGiving page in two days.

The UK Solidarity Fund will help people who have been injured, bereaved or traumatised to avoid short-term financial difficulties.

Donations can also be made by phone, post or text.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “The events in these two great British cities in the last two weeks are shocking and horrifying.

“Our thoughts are with all of those affected at this terribly difficult time. The new UK Solidarity Fund will support victims of the attacks and their families, and provide a way for people to donate to help those affected in their time of need.”

Donations to the British Red Cross UK Solitary Fund can be made online, by phone on 0300 023 0820, or by texting UNITY to 70607 to donate £10.

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