Report: Clinton campaign regularly makes unauthorized charges on small donors’ credit cards

by WorldTribune Staff, September 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is making repeated unauthorized charges to the bankcards of one-time, small amount donors, a report said.

“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of job security, from the Wells Fargo fraud department told the Observer.

Hillary for America processed a total of $94 in unauthorized charges to Carol Mahre’s US Bank account. This follows a pattern in which unwitting donors are charged multiple times, but always for a total of less than $100, which is a key trigger point for banks’ internal action systems. /Photo Courtesy Carol Mahre
Hillary for America processed a total of $94 in unauthorized charges to Carol Mahre’s US Bank account.  /Photo Courtesy Carol Mahre

The source said the Hillary for America campaign overcharges small donors by repeatedly charging small amounts such as $20 to the bankcards of those who made a one-time donation, the same scheme used by “seedy porn companies”.

However, the Clinton campaign doesn’t overcharge the donors $100 or more because the bank would then be obligated to investigate the fraud, the Observer report said.

“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the fraud specialist said. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.”

According to the Observer, the source, who has worked for Wells Fargo for over 10 years, said that the total amount they refund customers on a daily basis who have been overcharged by Clinton’s campaign “varies” but the bank usually issues refunds that total between $700 and $1,200 per day.

The fraud specialist said that Clinton donors who call typically attempt to resolve the issue with the campaign first. “They will call the Clinton campaign to get their refund and the issue never gets resolved. So they call us and we just issue the refund. The Clinton campaign knows these charges are small potatoes and that we’ll just refund the money back.”

“We see this same scheme with a lot of seedy porn companies,” the source said.

“The people who call us are just the ones who catch the fraudulent charges. I can’t imagine how many more people are getting overcharged by Hillary’s campaign and they have no idea.”

The source noted that the Wells Fargo fraud department has yet to receive one call from a Donald Trump supporter claiming to have been overcharged by Trump’s campaign.

“I’m only talking to you because what Hillary’s doing is so messed up, she’s stealing from her poorest supporters.”

The Observer report cited the case of Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother of seven from Minnesota, who said she made a one-time $25 donation via Clinton’s official campaign website. However, when she received her U.S. Bank card statement, she noticed multiple $25 charges had been made. Mahre, who said in an interview she only contributed $25 because she’s “not rich” and that’s all she could afford, contacted her son, Roger Mahre, to help her dispute the unauthorized charges.

Roger, who is an attorney, told the Observer that he called the Clinton campaign dozens of times in April and early May in an attempt to resolve the issue. “It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got a hold of someone,” Roger said. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”

The next day, however, Carol’s card was charged yet again and the campaign had never reversed the initial fraudulent charges. “I was told they would stop charging my mother’s card but they never stopped,” Roger said, adding that he knows his mother did not sign up for recurring payments.

Roger also pointed out that even if his mother mistakenly signed up for recurring monthly payments then she should’ve been charged for the same amount of money each month, not multiple charges for varying amounts on the same day or in the same month. Roger said that after the campaign was made aware of this situation, the charges should have stopped but they did not.

According to the Observer report, the Clinton campaign overcharged Carol $25 three times and then overcharged her one time for $19, a grand total of $94 in fraudulent charges. The campaign’s overcharges to Carol were just a few dollars short of $100. This account is in line with what the Wells Fargo bank source stated.

Roger told the Observer that the bank would not reverse the charges and that a bank spokesperson told him that they had no control over companies that make unauthorized charges.

At that point, Roger decided to contact the local media and filed a fraud complaint with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office on behalf of his mother.

After TV News Kare 11 ran a story, someone from U.S. Bank contacted Roger the next day and said that they had reversed and stopped the charges to his mother’s card.

Roger did eventually get a letter from a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign. In the letter, the lawyer wrote that his mother would be removed from their donor list; however, the campaign did not take any responsibility for the fraudulent charges.

“They basically said that they weren’t accepting responsibility for this but they’d remove my mom from the donor list,” he said. “This is a load of crap!” Mahre said. “The self-righteousness of politicians drives me insane. If you and I did this, we’d be thrown in jail. This is theft, fraud or wire fraud — it’s a federal crime!”

Carol Mahre has since decided she’s not going to vote for Hillary Clinton – even though she’s voted for the Democratic presidential nominee every election since President Dwight Eisenhower won re-election in 1956.