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The deadly collapse of a Florida beachfront condominium tower has sparked a massive wave of donations for relief efforts — and some fundraising scams, officials said.
Legit fundraising through the supportsurfside.org website has brought in nearly $2 million, but county officials said some scammers are capitalizing on the tragedy through fake fundraising pages.
“I would like to thank everyone who has generously continued to support the relief efforts from your contributions that you are making,” Charles Cyrille, director of the Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management, said during a press briefing Wednesday. “They are welcomed and greatly received.”
“There have, unfortunately, been some people trying to take advantage with fraudulent GoFundMe accounts,” Cyrille said.
“What we can do is to assure that you are properly submitting funds or donating through the appropriate agencies,” he said. “We express that you go to www.miamidade.gov/emergency.”
Cyrille said residents can also sign up to volunteer to help in the wake of the building collapse in Surfside — but urged people to sign up online and not just show up.
“Please do not show up at the site without signing up first,” he said.
Cyrille said his office is also working with 26 separate agencies to provide mental health, grief counseling, financial aid, lodging and logistical assistance.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there are now 16 people confirmed dead at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South, which pancaked last week.
She said 147 people remain unaccounted for as work to sift through the rubble continues around the clock with crews working rotating shifts.
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