Grieving family say fraudsters trying to profit from Peace Arch death
Family and friends of the Port Mood, B.C. pastor who died in a fiery crash at the Peace Arch border crossing say scammers have already tried to swindle well-meaning donors.
Loved ones had set up a GoFundMe page for Port Moody Pacific Grace MB Church pastor Tom Cheung over the weekend. His family was horrified to find a page with the same material copied from the legitimate fundraiser and re-posted with a different recipient for the donated funds.
“Someone is taking advantage of this (situation). This is bad,” said Cheung’s friend and fellow pastor Peter Teh.
He says the family has contacted GoFundMe to deal with the copycat account, which appeared to have been removed by Wednesday afternoon.
But the idea someone would take advantage of people’s generosity, at a time when the family’s grief is still fresh and the investigation is ongoing, is sickening to Cheung’s loved ones.
“They’re not doing good,” said Teh. “It’s confusing because of so many unknowns and uncertainties and Tom was the sole financial provider for the family.”
Cheung’s family and friends are rallying around him, as is the community. The legitimate GoFundMe page had already raised tens of thousands of dollars to help his widow and three children with funeral and living expenses.
Teh says Cheung had gone to Washington state to pick up some religious books in preparation for a sermon he was writing for his congregation. He says he’d never known Cheung to stock up on fuel in gas canisters, which many have speculated may have caused the unusually intense blaze that took his life.