A 21-year-old online fraudster and troll, but who says that he legitimately supports President Trump, raked in about $7,000 in donations after setting up a GoFundMe in the name of a fake group called “Gay Voices for Trump”.
The GoFundMe account has since been removed by the company and the multiple fake accounts that initially promoted were also removed from other platforms.
The man behind the hoax, identified in The New York Times as Josh Hall of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, had further manage to dupe the president himself with one of his many fake Twitter accounts which purported to be Trump family members:
Last month, between tweets disputing his election loss, President Trump posted an article from a conservative website that said his sister Elizabeth Trump Grau had just joined Twitter to publicly back her brother’s fight to overturn the vote.
“Thank you Elizabeth,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “LOVE!”
But the Twitter account that prompted the article was not his sister’s. It was a fake profile run by Josh Hall, a 21-year-old food-delivery driver in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Hall said the Times: “I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. He actually thinks it’s his sister,'” He further described of his motives for the fake accounts: “There was no nefarious intention behind it. I was just trying to rally up MAGA supporters and have fun.”
The fake family accounts, which altogether had amassed over 150,000 followers, had also promoted the non-existent Gay Voices for Trump fundraising initiative – all of which Twitter has since removed.
The Times reported that GoFundMe is still in possession of the money and will refund anyone in full who contacts the company.
Meanwhile various media outlets covering the online hoax are instead of upholding the fraudster as a thief or greedy individual just trying to cheat people out of money, actually seem to be lionizing him for embarrassing Trump.