MOORE, Okla. – Officials say Oklahomans with good intentions may be sending their money to the wrong place.
An attorney for the family of Luis Rodriguez says cash is being collected by groups that have no ties to the Rodriguez family.
You’ll recall, Rodriguez is the man who died after being taken into custody outside the Warren Theater last month.
The family’s attorney says they have not been contacted by anyone wanting to set up a fund to help the family.
However, there are at least two sites which have popped up claiming to do just that.
Sadly, it’s something state officials say is all too common after a tragedy.
Michael Brooks-Jimenez, the Rodriguez family attorney, said, “When a video or an issue goes viral, there are so many people that want to capitalize off of it that really aren’t involved at all and don’t necessarily have good intentions.”
Unfortunately, that is what the family of Luis Rodriguez is dealing with at the moment.
A Facebook page and fundraising site have been started without the family’s consent.
Brooks-Jimenez said, “It’s one of those things my client has been hesitant to do anything because she’s a proud lady and this is a strange situation for her.”
The state attorney general’s office says it is not uncommon for fake fundraising sites to pop up after a tragic event.
Julie Bays, chief of the public protection unit with the attorney general’s office, said, “Facebook lights up with people saying they belong to this family or they’re collecting funds for that family.”
Bays says when it comes to donating, never wire money.
Also, be cautious of a knock at the door asking for donations and do not trust everything you see online.
Bays said, “If you see a Facebook page and you see a Paypal account, that should raise a red flag right away.”
She says the best way to donate safely is to donate locally, directly to a family or a local bank where a legitimate fund has been created.
Brooks-Jimenez says it’s unfortunate anyone would use this tragedy for profit.
He said, “There are other people trying to capitalize off of this tragic event.”
Since there is some interest in helping the family, their attorney has now set up an account at a local bank.
Donations can be made in person at the attorney’s office or by going to any First Fidelity Bank.
Donations at the bank should go to the “Justice For Luis” account.
The attorney general’s office encourages anyone who thinks a fund may be fake to call the consumer hotline at (405) 521-2029.
They say even if you are unsure about an account, it is good to call so investigators can find out if it is legitimate.