Scammers target bullied boy with dwarfism by setting up fake fundraisers
The story of Quaden Bayles shocked and saddened people across the world, prompting thousands to offer heartfelt messages of support.
A video of the schoolboy asking his mum for a rope to kill himself because he was bullied over his dwarfism sent a powerful message to parents and teachers.
Now sick scam artists are trying to capitalise on the nine-year-old boy’s misery by setting up unauthorised fundraising accounts using his name.
Among them was a woman from the US who claimed to be the mother of the child from Brisbane, Australia.
Using a picture of Quaden, she wrote: ‘Hello my son has been being bullied as you can clearly see over the internet I’m just a tired mum.’
But the boy’s real mother has said only one appeal by stand-up comedian Brad Williams has had the family’s approval.
GoFundMe’s regional manager for Australia Nicola Britton said the company has a zero tolerance policy on fraudulent appeals.
She told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Our team of Trust and Safety experts work around the clock, interacting with campaign organisers, continually monitoring and verifying pages to prevent misuse.’
Mr William’s appeal to send Quaden to Disneyland in Los Angeles has raised nearly £152,000 in a day, with donations continuing to pour in.
The comic wrote: ‘I’m setting up this GoFundMe to let Quaden know that bullying will not be tolerated, and that he is a wonderful human being who deserves joy.
‘I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland.’
He said any access money would be donated to anti-bullying charities.
Mr Williams added: ‘This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough.
‘Let’s show Quaden and others that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.’
From Brisbane to Houston, people have been sending heartfelt messages of support to the boy’s family after his mum Yarraka posted a video of him crying after school.
In floods of tears, the distraught schoolboy says: ‘Give me a rope I want to kill myself’.
His mum was horrified when he told her: ‘I just want to stab myself in the heart… I want someone to kill me.’
Yarraka pulled up outside school to pick up her boy when she saw another pupil ‘patting him on the head like a little puppy’ and making fun of his height.
She said: ‘I want people to know this is the effect bullying has. This is what bullying does.
‘So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends because all it takes is one more instance. And you wonder why kids are killing themselves.
‘This is the impact bullying has a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun but every single fricking day something happens.’
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