Local residents upset after finding donated gifts for sale online
Medford, Ore. - Jackson and Josephine county residents are upset over what they call a Facebook scam.
"I contacted her later on and asked her to re-gift those items because she did say she gives to the less fortunate," a person who donated items to a woman on Facebook said. She requested to remain anonymous.
The Medford resident says she felt scammed after giving items to a woman on Facebook after hearing her story about being a single mother suffering from cancer who has three kids.
"I don't think it's right," the person who donated said. "I mean if you're going to do that - sell stuff to help your kids and support your kids - fine, but you need to be honest about it and you really need to do those things to support your kids."
News 10's Mike Marut reached out to the woman re-selling donated gifts for her kids. She declined to be interviewed and requested to remain anonymous, then blocked any further contact with Mike Marut via Facebook.
The Medford Police High Tech Crimes Force says this happens from time to time, but it is not necessarily a crime.
"If you donate to somebody who's providing a story like that, don't expect to ever see it again," Colin Fagan of the HTCF said. "It's unlikely it's going to go to a good cause."
While this may sound like fraud, it's not.
"If you give money for a particular purpose, not just because you're donating money for what you believe to be a personal duress, and there's an expectation for a return for that, that would be a fraud," Fagan said.
Even if it were fraud, for many cases - there's no follow-up.
"If we ever do identify the person who does this, they're often in another part of the country, or another part of the world and so it would never be prosecuted," Fagan said. "It's an easy way for someone to manipulate another person through good will and take their money."
The case for the people who donated items to the woman on Facebook thought their goods would be donated to people in need or help the woman's children.
"It really feels like I was scammed," the woman who donated items said. "I was pretty upset."