It is quite frightening to say the least! I, myself, have seen a few stories like these in the past. But I never really knew how it might affect my family in the future.
The other day, I was lying in bed showing my son Oliver pictures of him of when he was a baby.
I would show him a photo and just describe the time period or the story behind the photo. Right after, I would flash the photo to my husband, followed with a sigh of disbelief.
Disbelief that time has flown by so quickly, and how different my children now look compared to their chubby toothy grins back then.
My husband would ask me to send him a photo or two, and I questioned why he wanted certain ones.
To my surprise, he said that he takes the photos (which I mostly pulled off of my Facebook) that have the most likes, and would Google search them to make sure that no one was publicly using them for their own personal gain.
I had no idea he had ever done this, let alone had been doing it for a while.
Like myself, he had come across stories of people using photos of children (most of the time children with disabilities or illnesses) and setting up a GoFundMe me account to raise money.
This money, of course, would never reach the families truly in need, nor have any approval to use these photos.
Of course, I am not saying that all the accounts have been fraud, but just the ones that I came across that were proven by the families themselves, to be fake.
I could not imagine scrolling the internet and hearing from friends or family that they donated to the “said” account and me having no idea of what they were talking about.
I have never questioned myself, before then, if I was sharing too much.
Ever since receiving Oliver’s diagnosis, I found my answers and faith in family’s who shared their journey and story with me or others.
Because of that, there was no doubt that I would do the same for other families in the future. I started my blogs, and have even written for others, personally about my son and family.
Unfortunately, that is a chance that I know I am taking every single day when I share our story.
But I am glad that my husband has helped and taken precaution to make sure we can try to avoid such a terrible situation from happening to us.