Fraudsters have stolen money from a Brazilian family in the midst of grieving a brother killed in a first-day-at-work accident last weekend.
Erico Perez junior, (19), died when a heavy load toppled over on to him from a forklift truck, at Navan Hire in Co Meath.
Family and friends set up a Go Fund Me page where people could donate money to help repatriate Erico’s body to his home town of Petrolina da Goias.
However, to their horror, they discovered early this week scammers had set up an almost identical page in a bid to siphon off some of the much-needed cash.
By the time the family became aware of the fake page, the people behind the scam had got away with over €600.
His sister Thays Perez said yesterday: “It’s despicable, really, really mean. I feel so sorry for the people who donated to the fake page as they were only trying to help us out. It’s dreadful that they may be out of pocket, for what was an incredible act of kindness on their behalf.
“In fact, I understand some of them actually donated again to the proper page which was just really, really generous. The fake one was shut down when family and friends sussed out what was going on and started posting on Facebook to alert people, but they had taken in €600 by then.
“They were gambling on us being too busy with funeral arrangements to notice what was going on, and they were right. Only for friends that copped on to what was happening, I don’t think we’d have noticed.
“It was a horribly mean act for anyone to do, we have been that busy with everything else we haven’t even had the chance to pass the information we have on to the gardaí, but that is something we intend to do when things have settled down.”
However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel for the family, as Navan Hire has agreed to cover the cost of Erico’s repatriation.
“My parents have agreed to accept this brilliant gesture from the company, and now the money we have raised from the Go Fund Me page will be used to cover the burial costs back in Brazil which are far more expensive than here in Ireland,” Ms Perez said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved