Newtown scam artists seem like the kind of thing that no one, regardless of how greedy or heinous or strapped for funding in an economic downturn ze is, would even dream of becoming, and yet, for the family of Noah Pozner, confidence men and women exploiting the Newtown tragedy and the untimely death of their six-year old son in the recent school shooting-- the worst in American history if one looks at the metric of death toll-- is a harsh and ugly reality; a thermometer in the mouth of how evil, depraved, and sick some scam artists in this world are. Now, after burying their six-year old son after the events of the Newtown tragedy, Noah Pozner's family will have to battle a new villain: these greedy scam artists, who have set up a website pretending to be the Pozner family in order to solicit fake donations from a grieving town and nation.
It's not like Newtown scam artists are the only people that residents of the town, including Noah Pozner's family, have to battle in the wake of the national tragedy that has broken so many hearts around the world. In fact, heinous as they may be, scam artists may very well be the least of Newtown residents' worries. With reports that journalists simply won't leave the grieving residents in peace, coupled with the serious reality of a Westboro Baptist church picket line upsetting the funerals of so many of their children (even if Anonymous swears to protect the grieving families by forming a human shield between them and the members of the troll church), the poor people of Newtown are learning on a massive, tragic scale what it's like to have insult added to injury. Though the war that these scam artists wage against our better sensibilities and Noah Pozner's family's ability to properly mourn the death of their six-year-old son doesn't take place in the physical world, it could have deep, lasting ramifications.
According to the outlets that have already written about the Newtown scam artists, the family of Noah Pozner was horrified to learn that an anonymous individual, with whom the Pozners of Newtown were not familiar, was asking for donations in honor of Noah's memory. In return, the anonymous person behind the Noah Pozner fake donation site went on the record as saying that ze and hire team would, in exchange, gift the families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting with cards to ease their sorrow, care packages filled with things they may need, and money that could help alleviate the financial burden should any of them need to take time off. The website, which looks frightfully official and has Noah's name right in the URL (adding to its believability) also included many gun control petitions, giving the scam artists an air of righteousness.
In response to the Newtown scam artists, Alexis Haller, Noah Pozner's uncle, has turned to law enforcement to right such an egregious wrong. According to him, it is up to officials to deal with the confidence people behind the fake donation website, and contends that investigating and bringing them to justice should be an added part of the agenda of the Sandy Hook investigation. "These scammers," said Haller, "are stealing from the families of victims of this horrible tragedy." Haller ended his words with a warning: "[this] should serve as a warning signal to other families. We urge people to watch out for these frauds on social media sites."
He wasn't the only one with harsh words for the Newtown scam artists. According to Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, "It's abominable... it's just the lowest kind of thievery." By his website's count, this is exactly the kind of thing that happens in the wake of just about every national tragedy. That is why his website, which evaluates the integrity of any specific charity, holds special relevance in the light of this story.
Victoria Haller, Noah Pozner's aunt, also reached out to the Newtown scam artists behind the fake donation site. According to her, she received a response from one of the confidence people behind the site who was using the name Jason Martin to solicit donations from unsuspecting users. In Jason Martin's words, he isn't a scam artist, and his attempt to get involved and help the families of the victims of the Newtown tragedy has all been one great, big misunderstanding. "[I was trying] to somehow honor [Noah Pozner] and help promote a safer gun culture. I had no ill intentions I assure you."
But maybe the best, harshest words for the Newtown scam artists come from Bob Webster, a spokesman for the NASAA with strong feelings about the Noah Pozner fake donations site. "We know cons try to cash in on headlines, and any one who would even think about stooping to capitalize on the tragedy in Newtown are the lowest of the low."