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Slain Westerville officers continue to be targets for fake fundraising sites

Jason Pappas says an F.O.P Gofundme account is the only online authorized fundraising site for the families of slain Westerville officer Anthony Morelli and K-9 Officer Eric Joering. (WSYX/WTTE)

Three days after two Westerville Police Officers were shot to death in the line of duty, bogus fundraising schemes continue to pop up on social media.

"It's disgusting, it's despicable," said Jason Pappas, President of Fraternal Order Of Police, Capital City Lodge #9.

Pappas says an F.O.P Gofundme account is the only online authorized fundraising site for the families of slain Westerville officer Anthony Morelli and K-9 Officer Eric Joering.

Over the weekend, Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer warned the public about fake GoFundMe accounts showing up asking for money.

"we should be honoring the officers, right now, not trying to profit from their deaths," said Morbitzer.

Despite the Chief's heartfelt pleas to stop; scams continue to be found.

"Yesterday, we found a fake GoFundMe account," said Pappas, "we were fast to catch it and catch it early."

Westerville business owner Jim Downing, who was among the first to donate money to the FOP fund, sorry to hear about scam artists trying to profit off the city's tragedy.

"Anytime you have something like this, people are going to try and get money," said Downing.

The F.O.P now working with GoFundme representatives to shut down fake sites that are discovered on the website.

ABC 6 is on your side with ways to spot a fraud.

You can easily learn about a charity registered in Ohio by checking the Ohio Attorney General's Website.

ABC 6/FOX 28 found nearly 300 police charities listed with the state.

While the majority are based in Ohio, nearly two dozen have out-of-town addresses.

Pappas says, while many out-of-state charities may be legitimate, donations from those organizations rarely make it into our community.



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