POLITICS | BUSINESS
How Trump Duped People Into Unknowingly Donating More Than They Intended
The small print loophole wins again with one of the oldest con artist scams in the book
I usually steer clear from writing about politics but when I got wind of this, I just couldn’t resist. Of all the low down, dirty, manipulative, cheating, scamming, and criminal things for the Trump campaign to do! And for those who fell victim to it, well what can I say but, oh well.
People, ALWAYS read the fine print before putting your credit or debit card information into a form online asking for your money.
Scores of people evidently did not do that when they were hoodwinked and bamboozled into donating millions to the Trump campaign and the Republic National Committee during the 2020 presidential race.
They did this by including a vaguely visible clause in fine-print that contributors needed to find and uncheck a box to opt-out of recurring donations as well as another pre-checked box for doubling the donations.
So, if contributors did not uncheck both of these boxes, then the amount of money they thought they were donating was doubled and was taken out of their account again the next day and every week thereafter through mid-October during the campaign.
One poor 63-year-old man, Mr. Blatt, laying on his death bed in Hospice battling cancer unfortunately fell for warnings from Rush Limbaugh about Donald Trump’s campaign being in dire straits for money.
Being a loyal follower, this poor man chipped in as much as he could, which was $500! That’s a big donation in my book. Really, $500? This man only received $1,000 a month in income, and this was the first time he had ever made any donations.
Apparently, Mr. Blatt and his family were unaware that more than his $500 donation was being taken from his account until his bills started bouncing. When they checked it out, they saw that after he made his original donation, another $500 was withdrawn from his account the very next day, and subsequent $500 withdrawals were made weekly, which ended up taking $3,000 from his account in less than 30 days.
This was an intentional scam and a scheme by the Trump campaign to boost revenues at a time when they were being outspent by the Democratic party. They set up their online donors to unwittingly give doubled and recurring donations by default every week until the election. The disclaimer and the opt-out small print were intentionally opaque and difficult to notice.
What a rotten-ass thing to do to people, not knowing or caring for that matter how that could hurt them.
It’s reported that Trump’s unsuspecting loyalists included retirees, veterans, and even political operatives along with scores of everyday people who flooded the phone lines of credit card companies and banks about multiple donations being taken from their accounts, many of them in the thousands of dollars.
Granted, the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign ended up issuing more than 530,000 refunds to online donors amounting to over $122 million, toward the end of the 2020 presidential race, but that must have been fine by Trump because he was finished “using” those people’s money by then.
In essence, those recurring donations of tens of millions of dollars were used to inflate Trump’s treasury when he needed it and acted as an interest-free loan for him at the expense of hardworking people, many of whom ran into financial hardships with not being able to pay bills and having accounts frozen, among other things.
Trump’s campaign scam is being referred to as the “money bomb” and ended up refunding online donors more money in the campaign’s last election cycle than all Democratic candidates and committees (not just presidential) in the country combined. By comparison, Biden’s campaign only made 37,000 online refunds for about $5.6 million during the last 2 months of 2020.
Mr. Blatt died from his cancer in February. Do you think Trump cares? I seriously doubt it.
Nigam, A. (2021, April 4). Donald Trump Steers Millions Of Dollars In ‘unwitting’ Donations From Supporters: Report, Republic World Online.
Hurley, B. (2021, April 3). Donald Trump forced to pay back $122 million in donations after supporters were tricked into making recurring payments to his 2020 campaign, Daily Mail.