Monday, November 04, 2019

I'm shocked that entering a contest run by a grifter turned out to be a grift

About two years ago, I read about an online effort to get people to register for free tickets to a Trump rally and then not show up, producing images of Trump speaking before an empty arena. There have been several of these efforts over the past few years. I don't think any have really worked. But that one two years ago was the first one I saw and at that time I thought it was a great idea. So I signed up. To register, I had to provide an email address to the campaign. I gave my Russian email address. Yes, I have an email address that ends with .ru. I picked it up in Kazakhstan in 2010, and using a clearly Russian address to register was a bonus joke to my attempt to participate in a prank of the President.

As I mentioned, I don't think these schemes for anti-Trump people to grab MAGA-rally tickets have ever worked. I am guessing the Trump campaign massively overbooks the rallies, which means the people who get tickets and don't show are not noticed. The rally I got tickets for two years ago never produced any pictures of empty stands. At least not that I saw. But it did get me on the Trump campaign email blast list. Ever since them, just about every day, and often several times a day, I get emails from the Trump campaign.

These days, I get little else in my Russian email inbox other than MAGA spam. A lot of those messages are contests "donate X amount to the campaign and win a chance to have lunch/dinner with Trump!"I didn't think about those contests very much. Lots of candidates use schemes like that to raise money. But someone looked into it, and it looks like (unlike other candidates' contests) Trump's contests seem to be scams.