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Concerns About "Kickstarter" Campaigns

Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 09:44 PM EST
Online donations can be the vehicle for a dream. Gypsy Queen Cuisine is one of the most popular stops in Asheville for a meal made on wheels.
   
In 2010, the owner turned to the web site "Kickstarter" for capital.

"She went the Kickstarter route to raise money for Spartacus our food truck," explains Robert Walsh. "And was able to raise eight thousand dollars from different donors. "

Whether it's Kickstarter or GoFundMe just to name a couple, they're called crowdfunding sites. The projects funded are pretty diverse.

From $205 for a "Yoda one Asheville mural" to more than $8,000 for Nikki Talley's tour van fund.
   
Other efforts are a work in progress, including a plea to help someone pay for "sex reassignment surgery."   

Endless funding opportunities that can also leave us vulnerable to potential fraud.

Norma Messer of Asheville Better Business Bureau says donor beware.
   
"Know what they're doing before they make an investment," Messer warns. "You really need to check out these things."

Robert Walsh of gypsy queen likes the idea of paying it forward. Supporting projects that speak to him.

"Well I guess you kind of hope web sites like Kickstarter or Indie Gogo do their background checks."

But crowdfunding sites say the buck stops with us as potential donors.
   
GoFundMe claims there's no 100 percent guarantee that donor pages are truthful, suggesting you only give to people you personally know.
   
Kickstarter says "at the end of the day, use your internet street smarts."
   
Despite the bad that's possible, certain stories inspire even complete strangers to contribute.

Seven months ago, Kyle Kranich turned to  GoFundMe in need of $50,000. He has multiple sclerosis and wants a stem cell procedure he'll have to travel to Panama for.

An anonymous person donated 21 thousand dollars.

"My faith in humanity has been restored from all this," Kranich says.

But be aware that the same generosity Kyle prayed for, can also be prayed upon.Concerns About "Kickstarter" Campaigns


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