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Rescue vehicles abandoned on Greenwell Springs Road near Monterrey Drive. Aerials of severe weather flooding in East Baton Rouge Parish on Monday August 15, 2016.

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG

More than $1 million has already been donated to south Louisiana flood victims through crowdsourcing website GoFundMe.

Now, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is stepping in to make sure that money goes to the flood-affected families, businesses and other groups as intended.

"Louisiana is experiencing monumental devastation and tragedy," General Landry. "We are grateful for the efforts of GoFundMe to make sure donations benefit our struggling neighbors—not fraudulent individuals or organizations."

Nearly 2,000 campaigns have been set up in response to the historic flooding. The federal government has issued a disaster declaration for 20 parishes.

The Louisiana Department of Justice is now working with GoFundMe to increase fraud protection for those who would like to contribute.

GoFundMe already tracks donation pages for possible triggers and has mechanisms in place to ensure that money goes to the intended beneficiaries.

In the wake of the flooding, new communication streams have been put in place to make immediate red flag alerts. Additionally, GoFundMe also will refund money that does not get properly distributed.

"We urge the GoFundMe community to continue to support the tens of thousands of folks impacted by the devastating floods. We will continue to work closely with the Attorney General and the GoFundMe campaign organizers to ensure the families receive the help they need," Daniel Gordon, GoFundMe's head of trust and safety, said in a statement.

Landry also offered these tips to those who want to donate through GoFundMe:

  • Only donate to the campaigns for people you know and trust.
  • If, when contacting the organizer directly on the campaign page, you do not get response or the response raises questions - report your concerns to General Landry's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889 or click "Report Campaign" directly on the GoFundMe campaign page.
  • Note that some pages may lack a beneficiary name as campaign organizers could be in the process of adding the beneficiary directly to the page.
  • If a potential recipient does not want a campaign set up or continued on his/her behalf, he/she can notify GoFundMe and the account will be closed.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.