Minnehaha Academy: Be wary of the guy outside the State Fair soliciting gifts for the school

A man is standing outside the grounds soliciting gifts for the school.
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Minnesotans wanting to help Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Academy after the devastating explosion that killed two beloved staffers have often turned to fundraisers. The school itself has a secure donation page on its website, and there are a couple GoFundMe pages that have brought inthousands of dollars.

But the guy standing outside the Minnesota State Fair, saying he’s raising money for the school? That doesn’t sound like the best option.

Minnehaha Academy said Monday it was alerted to someone outside the fairgrounds soliciting gifts in the name of the school. He’s even got a laminated sign with the Minnehaha name and logo.

“Please know that this is NOT a legitimate fundraiser for the school; this person is in no way affiliated with Minnehaha Academy,” the school said on its site and Facebook.

Minnehaha Academy also said it was “overwhelmed” by how much support the community has shown – but offered the warning about people trying to “take advantage of this situation.”

The 350 students and 50 staffers who would normally be at the Upper School will instead spend this year in Mendota Heights. The city council last week voted to OK Minnehaha’s request to use the former Sanford-Brown College campus, possibly through 2019.

The regular Upper School campus is still unsafe for students and staff to be in.

Fundraising scams after tragedies

Sadly, fraud fundraising is something that happens a lot after a tragic event.

Forbes wrote about it following the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, and noted money schemes after flooding in South Carolina, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook school massacre.

The Federal Trade Commission has a list of things to check for to make sure a charitable effort is legit. For example, be wary if they won’t give you details about their background or where the money will go. And if they want cash or a wire transfer, that’s also not a great sign.

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