You heard it here first: The wall scammer guy is a wall scammer! Regular readers of C&L will not be at all surprised to discover that Brian Kolfage, having missed his $1 Billion goal while moving the goal posts for his scammy crowdfunded wall, got shut down by GoFundMe for changing the terms.
Remember what I said all of three weeks ago? Here's a reminder:
The bottom line here is that this is just another right-wing scam to harvest data on gullible people, promoted by Laura Ingraham and other Fox "News" personalities.
I reported this as a scam to GoFundMe on December 21st, but it took them some time to figure it out, apparently. However, when Kolfage edited the page to say that they would redirect all the funds to a nonprofit organization not connected with any National Park but managed by Kris Kobach and Erik Prince, GoFundMe stepped in and ended it, requiring refunds to everyone who had donated through their site. Or alternatively, donors can opt in to the "nonprofit" managed by Kobach and Prince. That won't end well.
Unfortunately, some people actually sent checks to Kolfage at the mailing address he provided. GoFundMe said they had no way to control things like that, so the wall scammer will end up with some cash out of the deal.
Kolfage is a con artist who is regarded as a "rising conservative star." In conservative-land, that means someone who can run multi-million dollar scams on ordinary people who really can't spare money to be scammed, but are nevertheless wooed into thinking their donations make a difference. He's championed by the likes of Gary Sinise, the C-List actor who started a now-defunct non-profit in Hollywood called "Friends of Abe" for all the downtrodden conservative actors and entertainers to gather and commiserate with one another.
Actually, the payoff is all those small-donor email addresses, mailing addresses, and personal data. Those are the prize, which Kolfage has and can now leverage into cash by selling access to it.
Like I said, it was all a big data harvesting operation, just like all of the other small-dollar scams conservatives run all the time. In Kolfage's case, he was happy to blend the data harvesting with some Facebook propaganda pages. Between collecting all that yummy personal and geographic data and having the ability to microtarget ads on Facebook, Kolfage is positioned to be a very handy player in upcoming elections.
For his part, Kolfage is still pushing the scam. On the GoFundMe page, he's appealing to donors to redirect their contributions to the Kobach-Prince non-profit, which has no connection to the federal government, no way to direct the funds to a wall, and simply puts the data, the money, and earnings on the money in the hands of the scammers for unaccountable deeds.
Sadly, people are still opting in. Here's his scam pitch:
Unanimously, we have all come to the conclusion that:
★ The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon.
★We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.
★ Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.
★ Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government’s estimated costs on a per mile basis.
You think maybe Erik Prince is rubbing his hands together at getting a chunk of those sweet, sweet millions to do a thing he cannot do? Yeah, me too.
But in the end, there will be no crowdfunded wall, because -- say it with me now -- Congress has to appropriate the money for a wall. Good luck with that, haters.