How do I recognize fraudulent donations or emails?

Although CrowdRise is a safe site to make donations and fundraise for nonprofit causes, it's important to recognize the signs of fraudulent activity online to protect yourself and your cause.

How to protect yourself from fraudsters

How do I know if an email is really from CrowdRise?

It’s a good thing to be cautious about your personal information-- especially on the internet. Some people try to acquire personal details (such as usernames, emails, passwords, or financial information) by impersonating a website or another individual. This behavior is known as phishing.

While our team does our utmost to keep your information safe, we want to arm you with the know-how to guard yourself if you receive an email from someone posing as a legitimate donor, organization, or even a CrowdRise employee.

If you receive an email and it looks suspicious, contains unfamiliar links, urgent requests, or promises of additional donations, you should take extra precaution. Be careful not to click on any links within the email, and do not reply to an instant message or chat if you suspect the message might be inauthentic or the sender untrustworthy.  

How to discern a fraudulent email from a legitimate one

It’s not always easy to tell when an email is a phishing attempt disguised as an email from our team. After all, the person sending the email is trying to make it as difficult as possible to tell the difference. Here are some things to look out for:

  • The Email address: It sounds simple, but the email address reaching out to you should be from our team. Be sure to check the spelling of CrowdRise, as fraudsters like to create emails that look similar to the real ones, such as "help@crowrise.com" or "support@CrowdRiise.com." Do not reply to these emails.

Legitimate emails from our team will end in "@gofundme.com," "@crowdrise.com" or from "@crowdrise.zendesk.com." If you’re ever unsure, you can always contact our team directly.

  • Any included links: Links to all CrowdRise campaigns begin with https://www.crowdrise.com/ or occasionally https//go.crowdrise.com. Similar to the methods used for creating fraudulent email addresses, some phishers will create URLs that look similar, so be sure to read them carefully before clicking on them.

If you accidentally click something that doesn’t look quite right, don’t worry, simply close out that tab in your browser right away.

  • Strange Tone or Requests: Fraudsters will often use a tone suggesting immediate action needs to be taken. This creates a sense of urgency which can fluster the reader into not thinking clearly about what’s being asked of them.

Remember that when our team sends you something that requires action on your part, we will still never ask you for your passwords or banking details, so if you receive an urgent message asking for either of these, do not respond.

Last, but not least, you can always report emails or websites that you think might be fraudulent to our team so that we can investigate. Do this by forwarding the email and any attachments to abuse@gofundme.com or nposupport@gofundme.com, or contact our team using the ‘Submit a Request’ button below.

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Recognizing and Managing Unauthorized Donations

Suspicious donations made to campaigns

As a campaign gains momentum, it is seen and shared by people around the world. You might see individuals outside of your network interacting with and contributing to your fundraiser. As your story reaches new audiences across the globe, however, it’s important to be aware of the potential risk that this visibility causes.

There is a chance that some donations will be made without the permission of the person who owns the credit card. When this is done, there is an increased risk of refund requests or chargebacks.

Our own Payment Review team works around the clock alongside our payment processors to prevent any unauthorized use of cards on our site. That said, when a credit card is compromised, it can be used at any merchant across the web, including CrowdRise. This means that our team is always looking out for these types of donations so that when we see them, we take action and return the donated funds to the cardholder.

To keep your campaign as safe as possible, there are signs that you can look for. Here are a few things to keep in mind when protecting yourself from donations made without the authorization of the cardholder:

  • Donor names that don’t make sense as the name of a person or organization.
  • A large number of donations under the same name without explanation.
  • A donor you don’t personally know asks you to provide a refund through other means than the CrowdRise platform.

If you see any of the above-mentioned things happening on the campaign, you can refund the transaction through your account’s Report Center, or contact us for assistance. We’ll be happy to review those donations with you and address any other questions you may have.