A grieving mother mourning the loss of her stillborn son, Lucas, had her pain compounded when she saw her son’s photo being used for fundraising scam.
China Langdon, 21, from the UK, was horrified when she came across a picture of her cradling her angel boy, who was stillborn in May, on the fundraising site GoFundMe. Accompanying text asked for funds to “lay an angel to rest.”
“After suffering the heartbreak of losing my baby boy I now have to deal with the fact that [someone] has stolen pictures of him off my profile,” Langdon wrote in a Facebook post, “And is using the death of my baby to con the public out of money.”
Langdon says she contacted her local police station but they told her that because her photo was uploaded online it was anyone’s property.
The page has since been removed.
The alleged scam once more highlights the potential risks of uploading personal photos online.
Scammers regularly use pictures of other people’s babies to solicit money from wellwishers, or have even used pictures of children and babies in disturbing online roleplays.
GoFundMe and similar crowdfunding sites have also drawn criticism over their vulnerability to abuse by scammers. The watchdog site GoFraudMe regularly flags questionable GoFundMe pages that they believe are tricking the public.
GoFundMe itself is aware that its platform is open to fraud and encourages users to donate only to campaigns run by people they trust. They also urge users to report any campaigns they suspect might be fraudulent.
Langdon, who also has a young daughter, is pleased the page has been removed but warns other parents to be careful.
“I am fine, I just wanted this out there to stop it happening to other mummies who have lost children,” she said on her Facebook page. “It’s wrong on so many levels.”