This week someone evidently used my name and business e-mail address to start a charity crowd-sourced campaign. I have no idea why someone would be that idiotic, or why the campaign information was not verified, but I notified the host site in question as soon as I started receiving suspicious e-mails. The site is now investigating those involved in this fraud. I hope they will put a stop to it immediately, but due to privacy policies protecting their users they will not notify me of what they find, who is doing this, or what action they take against the identity thief.
Since I can't do anything more about the identity thief right now, let me state this for the record here:
I do not belong to any charity sites.
I do not hold fund-raisers of any kind on the internet.
I do not allow any fund-raisers to use my identity for any reason whatsoever. This includes fans who want to raise money for me for whatever reason.
I do not expect my readers to fund any of my writing other than buying a finished book for sale through an online retailer.
If you ever are contacted by someone claiming to be me, or representing me, and asking you for money, I can guarantee you it's not me, or I didn't authorize it. This person is trying to swindle you.
Please understand that I'm not anti-charity. Over the years I have donated many signed books, gift baskets and quilts for various charity auctions and drives. When I can afford to, I also make private donations or buy charity auction items to help worthy causes. But that is the sum total of my involvement with online charities and fund-raisers. If I'm ever in financial trouble, I would go to my family for help -- not my readers and friends on the internet.
If you happen to spot anyone online soliciting for a charity or fund-raiser, and who is claiming to be me, or to be acting on my behalf, please contact me at LynnViehl@aol.com with a link or the pertinent information. Thanks for your help.