Fake GoFundMe pages, copying Damar Hamlin’s Toy Drive fundraiser despite his tragic incident on Monday Night Football are being removed from the platform.
The Buffalo Bills player, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field following a big hit against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is said to be ‘trending upwards’, having been resuscitated twice but remains sedated in the ICU some 36 hours after the incident.
A toy drive fundraiser started by the NFL star in 2020 to raise money for families during the Covid-19 pandemic has soared to $6million as donations continue to pour in after the safety suffered a cardiac arrest.
Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest on the field Monday night
Hamlin started a Toy Drive fundraiser in 2020, which topped $6million
The page has even received large donations from famous names from around the league, including $10,000 from Tom Brady.
However, some people seem to be trying to cash in on Hamlin’s tragic injury as several fraudulent GoFundMe pages have been created since his own went viral, according to TMZ.
Several campaigns are said to have been live since Hamlin went down after making a tackle with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
Some fundraising pages are reportedly exact replicas of Hamlin’s Toy Drive campaign.
Some people seem to be trying to cash in on Hamlin’s tragic injury with fake pages
Others say they are set up to raise funds to benefit the survivor while he is in hospital
However, others say they were set up to raise funds to benefit Hamlin while he was in the hospital.
A page was even created with the goal of warning people about other scams looking to cash in on Hamlin’s condition.
Fortunately, the false campaigns don’t appear to have gained much steam with some only raising $100.
There is only one verified fundraiser on the platform that Hamlin’s family has confirmed – The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive.
A page was even created with the aim of warning people about scams
Hamlin poses for a photo with Bryce Williams, 3, after the boy picks out a toy in 2020
Buffalo Bills star starts page to raise just $2,500 for families during pandemic
The company told TMZ that its top priority is keeping people safe and to ‘protect the generosity of our donors’ but added that it’s not unusual for others to use the platform to help out in situations.
GoFundMe is said to be closely monitoring the situation and any campaigns not authorized by the family are being taken down from the platform in real time.
Its initial target was to raise just $2,500 for families during the pandemic and the Toy Drive eventually increased to $2,921 – but it climbed to $2.5m on Monday night after Hamlin’s incident.
Toy Drive hit $3m on Tuesday morning and continues to climb, having just passed $6m on Wednesday morning, and still climbing.
The fundraiser topped $2.5m Monday night following the incident and continues to rise
Buffalo Bills safety tackles Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter
On Tuesday, a close friend of Jordon Rooney revealed that the soaring total raised for Hamlin’s Toy Drive will be huge for the star.
“His family said today we can’t drive the toy now,” Rooney said on the Pat McAfee Show. ‘He started that toy drive in college when he didn’t have the money to make a toy himself.
‘So, someone dug that up from 2020 I need to know how to get the password now because there’s $3.5m sitting there but finally got in there.
‘I’m excited for Damar when he sees that because those things mean so much to him. He was just talking to me last week like, “Hey Jordan we gotta set up my camp this summer, we gotta start getting sponsors for the camp.” We don’t need sponsors anymore.’
Close friend and family representative Jordon Rooney said the amount to be raised means a lot to Hamlin
Bills players watched as Hamlin was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital
Hamlin previously spoke about why he started the Toy Drive, saying he felt it was important for children to have role models in their lives.
‘Only seeing role models in person. I feel like that’s big in kids’ lives and that’s something we don’t always get to experience in Pittsburgh,’ he said.
‘Just being younger and seeing the difference from some people who have had role models in their lives.
‘Maybe all you have to do is work hard, stay focused. I am grateful that I can even be in this position to give.’
Hamlin’s family revealed that the player suffered ‘lung damage’ after being resuscitated twice on Monday night, but his ventilator use was reduced from 100 percent to just 50 percent.
Speaking to reporters outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center last night, Hamlin’s uncle Dorrian Glenn said: ‘Right now he’s just trying to breathe better. Right now he is on a ventilator just to help him breathe.
‘He’s had a bit of lung damage since yesterday, but he’s at 100 per cent on the ventilator helping him breathe, but now he’s at 50 per cent, so that’s a good thing.
‘Like I said, we’ll just take it day by day. I am grateful for all the prayers and support.’
Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, pictured, told reporters he suffered lung damage
Glenn also revealed for the first time that the Bills safety was revived not only once on the field, but also again in the hospital after being transported by ambulance.
‘His heart gave out so they had to resuscitate him twice. They resuscitated him in the field before they took him to the hospital and then they resuscitated him a second time when they got him to the hospital,’ he told CNN.
‘They’re sedating him just to give him a better chance of just continuing to heal. We just take it day by day. He seems to be trending upwards in a positive way.
‘He is still in the ICU and is sedated while they continue to provide medical treatment. I am grateful to the staff who worked with him.
‘My nephew is humble. He will be floored by love. He is a genuine, positive person from the toy drive to his coaching clinic.’