Scammers set up phony charity in name of 6-year-old Newtown victim

Scammers set up phony charity in name of 6-year-old Newtown victim

On Monday, the family of one of the tender victims of the senseless shooting in Newtown, Conn., last Friday buried its dead. Today, they will take action against the vultures that are capitalizing on their grief.

The Daily News reports that the family of 6-year-old Noah Pozner learned earlier this week, much to their shock and horror, that scam artists had set up a phony website in Noah’s memory and was accepting donations.

The sick scam was revealed when a family friend received an email about donating, even giving details about Noah’s funeral and the Pozner family. It told donors to send money to an address in the Bronx and listed a New York City phone number to text any questions.

Victoria Haller, Noah’s aunt, tracked down the website’s registrant, Jason Martin, and emailed him. Martin wrote back to say that he’d meant “to somehow honor Noah and help promote a safer gun culture. I had no ill intentions I assure you.”

The Daily News interviewed Sandra Miniutti, of CharityNavigator.org, an outfit that rates charity organizations based on transparency and financial health. She said it is not uncommon for lowlifes to prey on strangers’ goodwill after a tragedy, adding that this happened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Unless you live in the town and you know the people behind the charity,” she counseled, “I would stay away. It’s too risky.”

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen shares the Pozner family’s outrage. In a statement this week he said:

This is a time of mourning for the people of Newtown and for our entire state. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when bad actors may seek to exploit those coping with this tragedy.

The grieving family has contacted the FBI regarding the scam.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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