The Better Business Bureau has some tips to avoid being scammed by crowdfunding appeals.
The best way to determine if it’s a fraud is if you know the person that is making the appeal.
Also, do some quick diligence such as an image search on Google to determine if the poster is impersonating a real or imagined individual.
The “BBB Charity Reviews let donors know whether a charity has complied with BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, 20 standards designed to show that a charity is transparent about its operations and fundraising and that it follows good governance practices.”
So, as the SEC always says “investigate before you invest.”