How much would you pay to have dinner with the Donald? Well, apparently there are enough Trump fans out there to make some 25-year kid from Maryland a millionaire. Ian Hawes, who in no way is affiliated with either the Trump or Clinton campaigns, created a phony contest dangling dinner with the GOP candidate and is making a ridiculous profit off the scam. And get this, it’s all totally legal.
Here’s how he did it…
The Fake Website
The phony site dinnerwithtrump.org looks strikingly similar to Trump campaign site, donaldjtrump.com.
The Fake PAC
Hawes established a fake political action committee (PAC), American Horizons PAC, to accept donations and funnel the proceeds to his own company CartSoft LLC.
The Unsuspecting Trump Supporters
Over 20,000 Trump supporters donated to increase their chances at dining with Donald himself. Over 150 passed the $250 threshold, according to Politico.
In less than 3 weeks of launching his Dinner with Trump scheme, Hawes’ PAC spent more than $108,000 on Facebook ads, also according to Politico, and profited nearly $350,000 from donations (cited in federal records).
So, Why isn’t this illegal?
Simple. It’s all in the fine print. In tiny, gray print buried in text at the bottom of the site, states “Dinner for winner and one guest at a Sponsor-selected fundraising evening event held with Donald Trump and other attendees (the “Event”) (approximate retail value $2,000).” So, dinner will be served, yes; and Trump himself will be there, yes, but is the dinner an intimate affair people are dreaming of…not really. Sadly, the donors will not be getting their money back.
Also, Hawes and the website never state that you need to donate in order to increase your chances at winning. Only that donations “multiply your entries” as he stated in an email to a doubting donor.
But wait, there’s more…
He’s not stopping there. And why would he, Trump supporters are making him rich. His latest scheme targeting Hillary haters and Trump fans is looking something like this…
Beware all you Trumpies out there…looks like you got a $$$ target on your back!