I realize that if I were a better person I would feel sorry for these people, and I guess I do, a little, but seriously?
John Amann told NBC News he bought $2,200 worth of Trump Bucks and other items over the past year only to discover they were worthless when he tried to cash them in at his local bank. So he’s gone on Twitter to warn other Trump supporters not to fall for this scam. . .
NBC News has identified the Colorado-based companies behind the Trump Bucks as Patriots Dynasty, Patriots Future and USA Patriots and reviewed dozens of social posts, online complaints and hundreds of misleading ads for the products. Additionally, NBC News has found at least a dozen people like Amann who say they invested thousands of dollars after watching the pitches on Telegram and other websites that strongly suggested that Trump himself was endorsing these products.
“Now I’m questioning whether he is aware of this,” Amann said of Trump. . . .
The fine print on the websites offering these items usually notes that they are memorabilia.
But on social media and in promotional videos — many featuring faked celebrity endorsements — the sellers have tapped an audience that believes Trump’s ouster was part of a great conspiracy and that by investing in the Trump Rebate Banking System, or TRB for short, Trump will reward their loyalty by making them rich.
Those who buy these items, the ads from Patriots Dynasty, Patriots Future and USA Patriots suggest, will be rewarded when Trump unveils a new monetary system that will turn these products into legal tender worth far more than the purchase price. . . .
Michael J. Clark, a former FBI agent who teaches criminal justice at the University of New Haven, said it’s likely many of the victims have not yet figured out they’ve been conned.
“If this is indeed a scam, the victims have not had enough time to realize they have been scammed as they will be awaiting the result of the 2024 presidential elections to receive the benefit of their initial outlay of money,” Clark said via email. . .
In AI-generated promotional videos shared on social media and in chat groups, celebrities and politicians, including Trump, appear to endorse the scam.
In one, Trump appears to announce the launch of the TRB system on Fox News.
“Let’s make America wealthy again,” the artificially generated voice of Trump says.
In another, Twitter-owner Elon Musk appears to say “That Trump certificate is not a joke, it’s real. Everyone needs to get as many as they can. I spend one million dollars on Trump certificates and this week I’m going to cash out my Trump items. Soon I will be the richest person on the planet again.” . . .
“From there, she went to other sites which has all sorts of people claiming that if you buy these Trump coins or these Trump checks for, say, a hundred dollars, you’ll be able to take them to a bank and cash them in for thousands of dollars.”
To prove to her mother-in-law that she had been swindled, the Florida woman said she drove her to a nearby bank and urged her to try to redeem the Trump Bucks in her possession.
“We thought she got it, she even admitted she got scammed,” the Florida woman said. “But then giant boxes arrived at the house full of Trump checks and other stuff that she bought for $500 and that would supposedly be worth $6 million one day. We tell her she’s getting scammed and she says, ‘Just wait, Trump will make all the patriots rich.’”
“It’s like she’s in a cult,” the Florida woman said.
11 years ago Rick Perlstein pointed out at length that ever since at least the 1960s the Republican party has been morphing into a grift to separate scared old white people from their money.
Donald Trump is the apotheosis of something that’s been building up for a long long time.