A Facebook and email campaign offering the chance to have dinner with Donald Trump may not be exactly what it seems.
The website, DinnerWithTrump.org looks very similar to the official election home page for Trump – DonaldJTrump.com.
The offer solicits a donation for “a chance” to have dinner with Trump, but the website, owner and his American Horizons PAC all have no affiliation nor contact with the Trump campaign.
[The Website] is a scheme run by Ian Hawes, a 25-year-old Maryland man who has no affiliation with Trump or his campaign and who has preyed on more than 20,000 unsuspecting donors, collecting more than $1 million in the process.
If supporters give money to the Dinner with Donald Trump website, it is highly unlikely that the Trump campaign will ever see very much of it.
The biggest chunk of the money raised — $133,000 — went to a company that Hawes founded and owns, CartSoft LLC. The purpose of the payments is described on federal records as “media” and “media purchasing,” though CartSoft’s website describes itself as an online payment-processing platform.
Since its launch, the PAC has collected more than $1 million, Hawes told POLITICO. It has reportedly spent $0 on behalf of Trump..
People who fell victim to the scheme can request a refund at [email protected]. So far, Hawes says that 110 refunds have been processed, but there was no mention as to how many had been requested.