Be vigilant about crowdfunding campaigns
Honest and transparent crowdfunding campaigns can help nurture a more caring and gracious society.
But if donors feel they have been exploited, these online fund-raising appeals can give rise to scepticism towards "truly worthy fund-raising initiatives", said Minister of Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.
"It may make Singaporeans think twice whether to help someone in need. This would run counter to our goal to nurture a gracious and compassionate society," he said.
Mr Lee elaborated on the stance of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on online crowdfunding in a written reply to Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin's parliamentary question on Monday.
Mr Sitoh had asked about the effects and conflicts of the crowdfunding trend on the Government's welfare system.
Mr Lee pointed out that some of the fund-raising appeals published on mainstream and social media have presented inaccurate accounts.
"MSF officers found that some of these individuals were not seeking help, or were ineligible for ComCare assistance - we have even come across individuals with accumulated savings to the tune of five or six figures," he said.
That is why MSF has provided clarifications on some cases, he added.
Some fund-raising practices are also lacking in transparency and accountability, with important questions unanswered. These include whether proper records are kept of donations and funds disbursed and how unused funds are accounted for, said Mr Lee.
Easy access to public donations through crowdfunding also erodes the role of family support, he added.
Mr Lee encouraged the public to remain vigilant and discerning to avoid falling victim to "improper fund-raising activities".