Mesa man 'alive and well' despite report of his death on social media

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

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 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.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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