What a tragic story in so many different ways. I’m sorry for the emotional roller coaster you had to experience, and in kind of strange (though not excusing) way, I’m even sorry for Cindy, who must have been really hurting to do the sorts of things she did.

Your article reminds me how difficult online fundraising campaigns can be.

I help administer a couple of large LGBTQ communities on Facebook, with membership in excess of 40,000 people. We had to stop allowing members to post fundraising requests altogether, because of problems with fraud.

It’s sad, because we know many of the requests must be real. The trans person who can’t afford hormone replacement therapy or unnecessary surgery. A lesbian who’s losing custody of her child for homophobic reasons. A gay man who lost his job because of his effeminate mannerisms. A queer kid whose parents cut off college funding

We get stories like these almost everyday along with requests to post GoFundMe drives.

But we’ve been burned so many times by people whose fundraising sounded very sincere and ended up being fake.

My colleagues and I would be delighted to let people post fundraising requests if we could be sure they were really in need.

I’m wondering if there isn’t some technological solution to vetting fundraising requests, a foundation being set up or some other sort of nonprofit agency with a mission not of raising money for people in need but doing basic certification of their need.