A lot of families were paying their respects to loved ones lost over the Christmas holiday, but there will be no mourning the loss of Jared Aguilar, despite what it said on a GoFundMe page.
“I feel great,” said Aguilar. “I was at the gym this morning. Life is good.”
On Christmas Day, someone tried to cash in on the Mesa, Arizona man’s tragic death, even though he’s alive and well.
A scam artist created a Jared Aguilar Memorial Fund on GoFundMe. It had two of Aguilar’s pictures, a sad story about how the 25-year-old died doing what he loved, and asked for help raising $5,000.
“Our Dear Friend Jared Aguilar passed away tragically earlier this Christmas morning,” according to the memorial page. “He was a loyal friend. He died doing what he loved.”
The bogus page was sent to Aguilar’s friends and family on Facebook.
“I had some friends that right away said this is fake, not real,” said Aguilar. “Unfortunately, there were some people who believed it, and we were lucky we caught it fast that no one donated.”
Aguilar said it was fortunate that his mother and immediate family were with him on Christmas when his fake death was first reported, otherwise there would have been a lot more explaining to do.
“I am very much alive,” said Aguilar. “I had Firehouse Subs today and that was pretty good, and I’m going to Buffalo Wild Wings.”
The name of the guy who reportedly posted the fake memorial page was Sean K. Williams, but it’s unclear if that was a real name.
Aguilar is hoping what happened to him will serve as a warning to others who want to donate to a cause on GoFundMe or someplace else.
“You’ve got to do some research,” said Aguilar.