Working 4 You: Murder victim's family warns of donation scams

Working 4 You: Murder victim's family warns of donation scams

SPOKANE, Wash. - The family of a woman shot to death by her husband on the Deaconess Medical Center campus last month says someone is collecting donations on her family's behalf - and, they have no idea who that person is.


It's another insult to a family, already dealing with unthinkable grief. Sheena Henderson was shot and killed while working in a lab in early July. Her husband Chris pulled the trigger, then killed himself. Their family says they've been surrounded with mostly love and support since the shootings.


"We've been supported just immensely by my wife's work and everybody around," says Sheena's father Gary Kennison.

The Hendersons' children are now without both parents and the family set up a memorial fund at Wells Fargo to collect donations. But, someone else is collecting donations, too.


"There's someone out there claiming to be Sheena's sister," says Kennison. "But, Sheena doesn't have a sister. She's got a twin brother and an older brother. It's kind of a sad thing."


We've seen this before in other high-profile cases in the Inland Northwest. Not only do people sometimes set up fake accounts to collect donations that never make it to the family, but sometimes family members use the money for their own personal expenses instead of what people think they're donating to. When that happens, you really have no recourse.


Fortunately, most people aren't trying to scam you and steal your donations, but it does happen. Unless you want to bring a case to small claims court and you can prove that a fraud took place, there's not much you can do about it.


Your best bet? If you want to donate, look for trust funds operated and controlled by banks. Otherwise, you don't get to decide how the money is spent.