‘Disgusting’: Cops target Facebook crash families scam
Police are investigating a Facebook scam using an X-Factor star's name to raise money for families devastated by a double fatality near Dubbo.
Local country singer Jason Owen's name has been used to prey on people wanting to donate to families heartbroken by the accident at Wellington on January 5, which claimed the lives of two boys, aged six and seven.
Mr Owen's official public Facebook profile had been used to promote a GoFundMe page created after the accident.
He told the Telegraph on Friday the scam continued and he had no option but to contact police.
Fake Facebook accounts have since been created under the name of "Jason Owen", which appeal for donations to bank accounts not connected with the legitimate fundraiser, police confirmed.
Sheldon Shorey, 6, and his brother Shane, 7, were walking home from the local pool in Wellington, near Dubbo, earlier this month when they were struck and killed by a car.
Their mother Shayleen Frail and two other boys were also injured.
Owen, whose charity Doin It for Rural Aussie Kids, donated $1500 to the two families involved after hearing of the tragedy. and rallied fans to dig deep on his Facebook page.
Last Saturday, he woke to dozens of messages from people who believed they had donated to the cause through various fake pages offering fake bank account details.
It is not known how many people have fallen victim to the scam and police are urging anyone who fear they may have been involved to come forward.
"They are fake accounts using my name and fake bank account details and I am totally gutted," Owen told The Sunday Telegraph.
"I am just absolutely horrified, these people are pretending to be me to scam from families who have already suffered so much.
"If I find out who they are I am prepared to take this further. It's disgusting. I will stand up for these families until this is sorted, it's wrong."
Owen has also recorded a tribute song The Climb for the Shorey family.
"Please if you receive any message from me on a post or in messenger and the profile doesn't have a certified blue tick then it's not me. I'm so sorry but this is just disgusting behaviour."
Anyone with information is urged to contact local police or Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.
Originally published as 'Disgusting': Cops target Facebook crash families scam