Maui News

Legitimate GoFundMe Accounts Surface for Fallen HPD Officers

January 21, 2020, 2:17 PM HST
* Updated January 22, 5:47 AM
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The crowdfunding site, GoFundMe has verified two campaigns established on the platform to raise funds for the families of fallen Honolulu Police Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama who died in the line of duty on Jan. 19, 2020.

Those accounts include the following:

  • The Tiffany Enriquez Ohana Fundraiser was created earlier today by Enriquez’s aunt, according to a spokesperson with the platform.  As of mid-day on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the campaign had attracted 77 donations, raising a total of $4,265 towards a $10,000 goal.
  • Additionally, the Help our HPD Ohana and the Victims of this Tragedy campaign created by Andy “Alo” Ahuna-Alofaituli, a correctional officer from the Big Island, has been reviewed by GoFundMe, and is active, according to a platform spokesperson. The campaign had attracted 11 donors and raised $345 raised of a $10,000 goal.

“We are working with the campaign organizer and we guarantee the money will go to the families of the fallen officers. Ahuna-Alofaituli does not have access to the funds,” said Jenny Perillo, a communications specialist with GoFundMe in an email communication with Maui Now.

Perillo said the platform is “monitoring all campaigns set up to support those impacted by this tragedy.”

“When there’s an unspeakable tragedy, people have a deep urge to help and provide comfort to those impacted – it’s not uncommon for someone to create a GoFundMe to help another individual after a news report,” said Perillo.

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Perillo confirmed that another campaign, that was initially posted at the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-kaulike-kalama-and-tiffany-enrique is suspended until the campaign organizer can provide additional information.  “If they cannot provide additional information, donors will be refunded,” said Perillo.

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The GoFundMe platform is fully protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee.  “If a donor has a question or wants to know more about a campaign before they donate, they can reach out to our team or the campaign organizer directly through the GoFundMe page by clicking the envelope next to the campaign organizer’s name,” said Perillo.  “If, when contacting the organizer directly on the GoFundMe page, you do not get a response or the response raises questions, report the campaign directly to GoFundMe by clicking ‘Report Campaign’ on the GoFundMe campaign page,” Perillo said.

The platform reports that they deploy “proprietary technical tools” and have “multiple processes in place to verify the identity of campaign organizers and the beneficiary of the campaign.” Before money is transferred, an individual or organization’s information, including their banking information, must be verified, according to the platform.

Enriquez and Kalama were fatally shot after responding to the scene of a stabbing at a Diamond Head home.  The shooting was followed by a raging fire that destroyed several residences, including the home of origin.  Police said the suspect, 69-year-old Jerry Hanel was unaccounted for following the incident, but authorities vowed to search for him until they confirm that his remains are recovered.

Honolulu Police Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama died in the line of duty on Jan. 19, 2020. Photo credit: Honolulu Police Department / Facebook.

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