Ebony Rich, 18, spent Christmas Day in hospital after she was run off the road by an alleged stolen car at Elimbah yesterday, causing her car to flip and crash into a ditch. Photos: Contributed
Ebony Rich, 18, spent Christmas Day in hospital after she was run off the road by an alleged stolen car at Elimbah yesterday, causing her car to flip and crash into a ditch. Photos: Contributed

‘Abhorrent’: Family’s horror as crash used in online scam

THE family of a young woman who was run off the road by an alleged car thief is urging people to steer clear of a scam pretending to raise money for her.

Elimbah woman Ebony Rich, 18, spent the past two days in hospital with cuts to her head and bruising after a crash on Beerburrum Rd on Christmas morning.

Her Suzuki Swift was written off when a Subaru Impreza bearing stolen registration plates crashed into her before fleeing the scene.

The driver and the car have still not been found.

>> ANGRY DAD HUNTS 'PARASITE' WHO LEFT DAUGHTER TO DIE

Yesterday her father, Maxwell Rich, pleaded with the public to help search for the person who left his daughter trapped and bleeding in a ditch.

"Open your eyes and let's find this person, for Ebony's sake and for everybody else's sake," he said.

DESPERATE DAD: Maxwell Rich says something needs to change on our roads after his 18-year-old daughter, Ebony, was left to die on the side of the road after a horrific crash on Christmas morning. Photo: Ashley Carter
DESPERATE DAD: Maxwell Rich says something needs to change on our roads after his 18-year-old daughter, Ebony, was left to die on the side of the road after a horrific crash on Christmas morning. Photo: Ashley Carter

Now the family is dealing with another blow, after a scammer used Ms Rich's story as a ruse to attempt to gain money.

The family warned those wishing to help Ms Rich that a fake fundraising campaign through Go Get Funding was set up, using her brother's name and photo plus a message the family had put out to the public.

"Ebony did not create this page and none of the money that gets donated to it will go towards help for her," her brother, Liam, wrote on social media.

The page has a target goal of $5000, which it claims will help her pay off the "$400 towing ticket she got when all this happened".

"Any other donations are welcome and will go towards her getting a replacement car. Thankyou in advance," it reads.

So far it has received no donations and the Daily understands several residents have reported the campaign as a scam.

Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam footage or who saw the Subaru Impreza, which is now missing a front bumper and a registration plate, to contact police. Photo: Contributed
Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam footage or who saw the Subaru Impreza, which is now missing a front bumper and a registration plate, to contact police. Photo: Contributed

Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said fake fundraisers often emerged after a natural disaster or when an injury gained media prominence.

"They're fake. They're not real. They're not related to the actual event," he said.

"The money obtained by these scammers is used for their own purposes and never given to the genuine charity."

Det Insp Byrnes said last financial year ScamWatch received almost 1000 reports of fake charity scams, with losses over $300,000.

"With those funding pages, it may seem legitimate.

"But it's always important to do your best to give your money to known charities."

Det Insp Byrnes said scammers who hid behind the tragic circumstances of others were the "lowest form of offenders seen by police".

"Police find this type of offending completely abhorrent," he said.

"You're preying upon the tragedy, the pain and the turmoil that's being visited upon a family, in this case an individual, to your own end."

Investigations into the hit and run crash are continuing.

Anyone with dashcam footage or who sees a maroon Subaru Impreza with a missing registration plate and front bumper is urged to contact police.

Quote this number: QP1902564442


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