Generous Australians wanting to donate money to the family impacted by a fatal crash in regional NSW last week are being warned of fake fundraising accounts.
NSW Police confirmed phony pages had been created following the incident that killed brothers Sheldon and Shane Shorey, aged six and seven, at Wellington, near Dubbo, on January 5.
An investigation has been launched into the fake pages that were brought to the attention of police after local country music singer Jason Owen reported the fraudulent Facebook accounts were impersonating him.
The 2012 X Factor Australia runner-up posted to his social media that he and his charity would donate to the family after the alleged hit-run crash.
He then took to social media earlier this week asking for screenshots of messages sent from accounts pretending to be him and asking for donations.
“It’s starting to get very dangerous as they are asking for home address, phone numbers and also being aggressive towards people who don’t provide certain details,” Owen’s post read.
Owen said he was providing information to police.
He described the scammers as “absolutely disgusting”, “heartless pathetic humans” and “a waste of space”.
“If I knew or find out any information on who you are I will happily seek legal action immediately,” Owen said in an earlier post.
“These families need support and I will stand up for them till it’s resolved so I suggest your crap stops now!!”
NSW Police confirmed on Friday the fake accounts had been created in Owen’s name.
“Police have been told the man had used his official public Facebook profile to promote a GoFundMe page created following the death of two boys,” it said in a statement.
“It is not known how many people have fallen victim to the scam, and police are urging anyone who fear they may have been involved to come forward.”
Owen also urged his 22,000 Facebook followers to immediately contact police if they were contacted by the scammers.
“I didn’t want to put this out there but have no option as it has gotten out of hand and has turned very personal causing threats of physical harm towards me, involving my family spreading vicious rumours to scam money including my father being sick and needing medical funding which is a total lie he is good and well,” he wrote.
“Most of all scamming and asking my supporters and the public for very personal details eg address, age, phone number etc. It’s a shame it’s had to go this far but its very scary and I had to report this to police to cover myself and my career.”
Sheldon and Shane were walking home from the local pool when they were killed after being hit by a car.
Their mother Shayleen Frail, 34, older brother Mark, 9, and a friend were also injured.
To donate to the legitimate fundraising page, click here.