Instagram account uses 4-year-old Oklahoma viral video to scam users


A family in Tulsa whose four-year-old daughter recently went viral as she battled COVID-19 is warning against donating money to sites claiming to help them. It comes after an Instagram user created a fake fundraiser for Aurora.

Sometimes kindness comes at a price. AARP experts recommend that you do your due diligence before donating to random online fundraisers.

“People want to do the right things and they want to help, but in their rush to do it, sometimes they go a little too fast,” said Melanie Henry, AARP Oklahoma.

You may remember Aurora Cannon who went viral after her mother shared videos of her journey in the fight against COVID-19 before making a full recovery.

Related story: 3-year-old Oklahoma girl struggles to breathe as she battles COVID-19

Aurora’s mother said she closed her GoFundMe a few weeks ago and was shocked to find that an Instagram user was using her story for profit.

In a statement, Cannon said, “I’m honestly disgusted that someone is using these vulnerable videos of my daughter as a ploy to do themselves some good. We shared them after long debates, because we wanted it to come out good. We wanted to educate others. And now someone takes advantage and it breaks my heart. So if anyone sees a link to donate, DON’T! ”

Related story: Oklahoma, 3, returns home from hospital after COVID-19 battle

“The reality is that scammers don’t care how old you are, where you live, they don’t care what you do for a living. All they want is to get their hands on your money, ”said Melanie Henry with AARP Oklahoma.

Henry said if you see an online fundraiser and want to donate, you should always research and ask questions first. Henry said you can contact a GoFundMe organizer directly or refer to the company’s trust and security team.

“Find out who is the organizer behind this? What is their connection to the party that is supposed to be helped, ”said Henry?

Henry said the crooks were unfortunately following the headlines and capitalizing on the misfortune.

“When there is a disaster, when there is something that hits a community, they are going to try to rush in and take advantage of the kindness of the people,” Henry said.

The bogus fundraiser for Aurora has since been suppressed.

For more information on how to avoid being a victim of fraud, click here.

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