Report: Obama.com Vulnerable to Illegal Foreign Campaign Donations
The Internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have democratized elections, made the world more interconnected, and allowed the velocity of information to be faster than ever before.
The Fraudulent High Dollar Donor(s): –the fraudulent high dollar donor is politically motivated and is seeking to avoid detection by making numerous donations below the $200 dollar threshold, over which their donation must be identified; they may seek to exceed campaign donation limits.
The Unintentional Fraudster –a foreign national who is unaware of U.S. election laws but sympathetic to the campaign. Such an individual can easily end up on a campaign donation page. Given that a number of campaigns list the U.S. donation laws in an inconspicuous place on the “donate” page, it is easy to see how illegal donations can be made with no malicious intent.
- Integrate safeguards to limit the solicitation of money from foreigners by requiring donors with foreign IP addresses to provide proof of U.S. citizenship before they can proceed to the donate page
- Immediately require campaigns to use industry-standard anti-fraud security technologies including, but not limited to, the Card Verification Value (CVV) and a rigorous Address Verification System (AVS)
- Immediately require all campaigns to retain and disclose identifying information on all online campaign contributions, including those falling under the $200 nondisclosure threshold currently allowed under federal law
- Address the threat of "Robo-Donations": The absence of industry-standard anti-fraud credit card security features render campaigns more vulnerable to so-called “robo-donations.” Robo-donations are large numbers of small, automated donations made through the Internet to evade FEC reporting requirements.