With that said, it makes sense that a fraud scandal would also be mixed in somewhere.
The DinnerWithTrump.org website is being criticized as a rip-off. The entrepreneur who created it doesn’t actually have the means to deliver on the promise of a dinner with the GOP presidential candidate.
Ian Hawes, 25, heads the American Horizons PAC and runs the disputed website, which asks people to enter a contest in hopes of winning a meeting and meal with Trump.
In addition to entering their personal information for the drawing, people are also asked to contribute money to boost their chances of winning.
According to Uproxx, the site has raised more than $1 million, but not a single red cent of it has actually gone to the Trump campaign.
Hawes has showed a nonchalant attitude toward the whole thing by referring to it as, “simply a matter of pure chance,” but donors aren’t buying it.
“I feel ripped off and taken advantage of. This is horrible. That was not my intent,” said Mary Pat Kulina, who owns a paper-shredding company in Maryland and gave $265 to Hawes’s group.
Kulina thought she had donated to Trump’s campaign until Politico informed her otherwise. “This is robbery,” she reportedly said. “I want my money back and I want them to add up what they stole from people and give it to Donald Trump.”
To be fair, the website doesn’t necessarily require a donation to be entered into the dinner lottery; however, follow-up emails sent to participants imply that giving money helps their chances of winning.
Funny enough, the fine print on the site’s homepage says the exact opposite, “contributing will not improve chances of winning” it blatantly reads.
Those who failed to read the fine print yet received the persuasive emails were essentially conned into donating. One person caught the discrepancy and confronted Hawes about it.
“I’d like to point out that it clearly states that contributing does NOT increase chances of winning both in the rules within the link and at the bottom of the email,” the disgruntled contestant wrote, adding in all-caps, “EAT SH*T!”
An email signed by Hawes replied. “Monetary contributions don’t increase your chance of winning, but we do multiply your entries. We’re also a political action committee, so it’s our job to collect contributions. So you can eat your own sh*t.”
As of Sunday, Hawes’s group had raised $1.1 million from 21,253 donors and more than 410,000 people had signed up for the dinner contest, according to Politico.
Mind you, Hawes has no affiliation with Trump or his campaign. He’s simply using this presidential run to his own benefit.
People who have been duped by Hawes can ask for their money back, but they have to realize they’ve been scammed in the first place.
Thus far, Hawes’s group has processed about 110 refunds, which is practically nothing compared to how much they racked in.
Unfortunately, “there’s very little recourse” in these types of fraud cases according to Federal Election Commissioner Ann Ravel.
“People give money thinking it’s going to go to a particular person or a particular cause, and it’s a consumer protection issue as far as I’m concerned,” she reportedly said.
According to Hawes, Trump’s campaign has never contacted him to request that he stop using his name.
Maybe they weren’t aware of the situation, or perhaps Trump doesn’t even mind that his supporters are being taken advantage of. Being that Trump is quite a swindler himself, he probably would applaud Hawes’s hustle.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @HuffingtonPost