Jay Slater: Family of missing teen urge people not to donate to 'fake GoFundMe page' as Corrie actress sends message of support

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The family of missing teenager Jay Slater has warned people not to donate to fake GoFundMe pages which had been set up after her son went missing in Tenerife.

Police are searching for the 19-year-old after he was reported missing near the Rural de Teno park in Tenerife after travelling to the Spanish island with a friend for a music festival. Jay’s mother Debbie said she is aware of at least seven fake fundraising page that have been set up in Jay’s name, and has received “sickening” phone calls from fraudsters claiming to have taken Jay hostage.

She said that of the phone calls she has received, people have been speaking to her with “northern accents” from hidden numbers. In a Facebook group called ‘Jay Slater Missing’, an update was posted which read: "This is the only official "missing Jay Slater" Facebook group. Jay's mother DOES NOT want a GoFundMe set up so DO NOT donate to one!!"

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GoFundMe has since suspended all fundraisers in Jay’s name after his family made clear that they were not connected to any of them. A spokesperson for the fundraising site said: “Our hearts go out to Jay Slater, his family and everyone else concerned about his disappearance. All campaigns are under review and no money will be transferred unless we can verify it goes straight to his family.

“At moments like this, we often see people set up campaigns to benefit strangers when they are moved to help. That is why we work with organisers to ensure any money donated goes to the right place.

"GoFundMe has a dedicated Trust & Safety team reviewing all relevant fundraisers. In addition to the team of experts, we deploy proprietary technical tools and have multiple processes in place to verify the identity of organizers and the recipient of the fundraiser. Before money is transferred, an individual or organization’s information, including their banking information, must be verified.”

It comes as Jay’s link to former Coronation Street actress Vicky Entwhistle was uncovered, with the teenager named as Entwhistle’s godmother’s grandson. Entwhistle, who played Janice Battersby, said: “My godmother’s grandson has gone missing. His mother has flown out to join the police search. I hope to God they find him. Please pray for him.”

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