Great Britain

‘Fake’ GoFundMe pages set up in wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance as fundraisers are warned not to donate

SCAMMERS are allegedly trying to take advantage of the disappearance of Gabby Petito by getting people to donate to fraudulent fundraising pages.

Back in September 12 Gabby's family alerted the public about possible scammers asking for funds to aid in the search for the 22-year-old.

"We are aware of other illegitimate requests for donations, please be aware," they said on the Facebook "Find Gabby" page.

"The family has only authorized TWO Fundraising efforts to help with our search. This GoFundMe & The effort by our long-time friends at the John MacNamara foundation," they added.

The only authorized GoFundMe page, organized by Gary Rider, has raised more than $60,000.

But NBC2 reported they found at least four GoFundMe pages soliciting money to help find Gabby.

On Saturday the family again posted a statement alerting people about these fake fundraising pages.

"Please be aware of scam websites out there trying to create donation pages. The only two places you can do that is right here on the links pinned to the top of the page.

"Thank you all for your support!!!"

Many of the family's supporters expressed disdain at those who would take advantage of the tragic situation to scam people out of money.

"Sick people using others pain to profit, how despicable.Praying for Gabby and your family," said someone in a comment on the Find Gabby Facebook page.

"People are disgusting taking advantage of these serious situation," added another.

On the one authorized GoFundMe page, the family thanked those who have donated.

"Again, thank you for your donations that allow us to travel and maintain the ongoing search for Gabby," they said earlier this week.

Aside from this GoFundMe, the family has also authorized the John MacNamara foundation to raise money in their name.

"Gabby is the daughter of longtime volunteer and current Johnny Mac Board Member Nichole Schmidt," reads the foundation's website.

"Gabby is missing - last seen in the area of Grand Teton National Park. With family permission we are raising funds to assist them with travel and other needs as they search for Gabby."

Gabby has been missing for two weeks after going on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé.

The New Yorker was last seen on August 24 after leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates...

While Gabby never returned home, her fiancé did and has since made headlines after he reportedly hired an attorney and refused to work with the police.

Nearly a week into the search for Petito, officers with the North Port Police Department entered Laundrie's Florida home on Friday night — after Laundrie's family requested police to come speak with them.

North Port Police Public Information Officer Josh Taylor told the New York Post: "His family has reported that they have not seen Brian as of Tuesday."

On Saturday more than 50 North Port police officers as well as the FBI conducted a vast search in the Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota area.

“His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week," North Port police said on Saturday as they searched the area of about 25,000 acres.

Police called off the search for Laundrie until Sunday due to darkness.

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