The Trump campaign used tricks to get donors to give more money than they intended. –

The Trump campaign used tricks to get donors to give more money than they intended.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump sometimes delved deeply into their finances to respond to their candidate’s request for financial assistance in the run-up to the presidential election. However, what many of them found is that they unknowingly signed up to make recurring donations that sometimes depleted bank accounts. And the people who fell victim to these schemes weren’t just non-tech savvy, even veteran political operatives found they were tricked into giving more than they wanted, the New York Times reveals in a fundraising investigation. of funds from the former president. practices.

Although it is difficult to pin down an exact number of how many people were deceived, there is a figure that suggests that many people ended up donating more money than they intended. The Trump campaign reimbursed 10.7 percent of the money raised on the GOP fundraising platform WinRed. That amounted to about $ 122 million in online donations in 2020, far more than the $ 21 million that President Joe Biden’s campaign returned to donors during the same period. And while Biden’s refunds were fairly stable throughout the year, the New York Times shows how refunds began to skyrocket when the Trump campaign ended up increasing the use of previously checked boxes that often unknowingly led supporters to donate more money.

The Times looks at how the previously checked boxes evolved from simple statements that pushed donors to turn their donations into recurring gifts. What started as a simple box to set up a recurring monthly donation ended up becoming a mass of confusing text. Finally, all donors met with two pre-checked boxes, one to set up a recurring weekly donation and one to authorize a completely separate donation. Many of the donors were so confused about what was happening that they filed fraud claims with their banks and credit card companies, convinced that their information had been stolen.

Although those who complained were reimbursed, that meant that the Trump campaign received “an interest-free loan from unwilling supporters at the most important juncture of the 2020 race,” notes the Times. Trump later raised money after the election, claiming he would use it to pursue his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud when in fact it was often used to reimburse donors.

Although the practices used by the Trump campaign are legal, that does not mean they are ethical. “It’s unfair, it’s unethical, and it’s inappropriate,” said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Another expert said Trump’s campaign tactics “should be in the textbooks of what not to do.”

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