Do your research before giving to online donation accounts

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Ned Cain leads a busy life in High Point. He’s the father of two and runs his own business, but he wouldn’t let that stop him from answering the call to visit Southeast Asia on a missions trip. He’s making the trip with International Commission, which is a faith-based organization in Texas.

Cain told FOX8, "I’m not one that likes to go ask for stuff. I like to do things myself if at all possible.”

The cost of the trip was weighing on his family though, so he turned to the website GoFundMe. By setting up a personal account, Ned was able to ask friends and family for financial help. Within three weeks, people made enough small donations to cover the cost the expensive plane ticket. The minimum is $5. Cain said, “There are so many people out there that are willing to give of their hard earned money and I’m overwhelmed.”

Ned’s GoFundMe account is one of almost 2,000 from the Piedmont Triad. You’ll read stories of families needing help with medical expenses to a woman paying for law school.

Be careful though. You could also find scams. Last year, police found that a mother in Iowa took donations under the guise that her young daughter had terminal cancer. The child was not sick. The mother collected more than a thousand dollars before her lie was discovered.

GoFundMe admits they don’t have the resources to validate the stories behind the accounts, but they do clearly say online, “only donate to people you personally know and trust.”

It's free to create and share a GoFundMe account, but the company charges 8 percent from each donation.