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Trump’s Crypto Campaign Attracts Scammers

Last month, former president Donald Trump, a convicted felon, announced that his campaign would begin accepting donations in cryptocurrency. This decision has inadvertently opened a floodgate for cybercrime, with numerous scam websites popping up to exploit Trump supporters, according to an exclusive report by Netcraft shared with WIRED.

In the lead-up to Trump’s announcement, scammers skillfully registered domains mimicking the official Trump campaign site, Notably, one such domain,, was crafted as an almost perfect replica, misleading potential donors. Unlike the legitimate campaign that processes donations through Coinbase, these fraudulent sites were set up with fake portals resembling Coingate, a well-known crypto payment processor.

Rob Duncan, head of research at Netcraft, highlighted the subtlety of the scam, noting the discrepancy in payment methods might not be immediately apparent to potential victims. “The real campaign uses Coinbase payments rather than direct cryptocurrencies, which isn’t very obvious,” Duncan explained.

The situation escalated following Trump’s recent conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. In the aftermath, the Trump campaign reported a significant influx of over $34 million in donations. Seizing the moment, cybercriminals launched a second wave of fake websites, ready to capitalize on the heightened interest and monetary contributions.

“Criminals thrive on leveraging topical events to orchestrate their scams, as these are moments when people are more likely to engage and click on links,” Duncan stated. This tactic is not confined to political campaigns; Netcraft has observed similar strategies used in other crises, such as the conflict in Palestine.

Duncan also mentioned that while the blockchain records do not yet show any successful transactions to these scam addresses, this might be due to the sites’ novelty and their potential inactivity at the moment.

The Trump campaign has not commented on this issue.

Cryptocurrency’s appeal for criminals lies in its largely unregulated nature and the irreversible nature of transactions. According to the FBI’s 2023 Internet Crime Report, crypto investment scams have cost victims approximately $3.94 billion. “Crypto is a highly effective mechanism for criminals,” Duncan remarked.

This newfound endorsement of cryptocurrencies by Trump marks a stark reversal from his presidency, during which he expressed strong opposition to the sector, famously tweeting in 2019 that he was “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies and extolling the virtues of the U.S. Dollar as the only real currency.

In contrast, Trump’s recent engagement with the crypto industry, including a meeting with crypto traders at Mar-a-Lago, indicates a strategic pivot as he promises less regulatory scrutiny under a potential future Trump administration. This comes at a time when the crypto industry has begun mobilizing significant financial support for candidates favoring laxer regulations.

In December, leaders in the crypto space formed three political action committees aimed at supporting pro-crypto candidates, with a pledge to mobilize substantial resources for Trump’s reelection efforts.

The Biden campaign has yet to announce if it will accept crypto donations, and according to Netcraft, no similar scam activities targeting Biden supporters have been identified.

The integration of cryptocurrency into political campaigns introduces new complexities and vulnerabilities, as demonstrated by the scams targeting Trump supporters. It underscores the broader implications of crypto’s integration into mainstream platforms, where the blend of high stakes politics and digital currency opens new avenues for cybercrime.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Bullish Times is a marketing agency committed to providing corporate-grade press coverage and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from reliance on this information. Readers should perform their own research and due diligence before engaging in any financial activities.

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