Luke Blanock, a baseball and basketball player at Canon-McMillan high school in Pennsylvania, is a popular kid in a dire situation. Blanock, who is fighting bone cancer, now must also battle one or more individuals who are allegedly using his name to raise money via an unauthorized GoFundMe account, WPXI-TV reports.
Cecil Township (Pa.) police recently launched an investigation into the fake account, but only after its operator had raised more than $1,000 using Blanock’s name, which the fake account misspells at least once.
“You have a young man battling cancer, his family going through a lot of emotions and now they have to deal with this,” Cecil Township detective James Brose told WPXI-TV on Tuesday.
The operation is not at all innocent, police say. Not only does it take advantage of the community that’s rallied around Blanock, but it’s siphoning money that might otherwise have gone to Blanock’s real GoFundMe account that could be used to help pay his medical expenses. As of Wednesday afternoon, Blanock’s authorized GoFundMe account had raised close to $4,000.
Blanock’s diagnosis is terminal, the family revealed on GoFundMe, but despite it all, they say, “Luke continues to enjoy life with the support of his family, friends, girlfriend and community.”
The Blanock family continues: “We thank you for your continued support, even if it’s simply posting a message, sending letters, praying/sending positive vibes or financial support. All of these displays of support mean a great deal to our family and help us realize that we are not alone.”
Fraud on GoFundMe and sites like it is not uncommon. It’s become so prevalent, in fact, that there’s a Facebook group dedicated to publicizing unauthorized activity on the site called GoFraudMe.
In a statement set to The Washington Post, GoFundMe media director Kelsea Little said the site “is aware of the situation and is working to ensure that all the funds get to intended recipient.”
Cecil Township police, however, are on a mission to catch the culprit(s), telling WXPI that they “are exhausting every resource” to find the person who set up the fake account. That person is only identified as “Eric P.”
“Like I said, we’re gonna look into search warrants, subpoenas…” Brose said. “It takes somebody very low in my opinion to take money from a grieving family.”
(H/t: USA Today)