back to article Days before the US election, phishers net $2.3m from Wisconsin Republicans

As America counts down to the November 3 elections, things are tense for political campaigns. There's a lot of money flying around and the online criminals have sensed blood in the water. The Republican Party of Wisconsin, a key battleground state which President Trump won in 2016 by less than 1 per cent, has admitted that it …

  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    High IQ thieves?

    Trump himself is on record of having claimed recently that you only get hacked by people with an IQ of 197:

    However, I can sympathise with the victims, having been a victim of people impersonating me to steal money from my pension funds, savings and bank accounts direct from the companies themselves.

    1. John Savard

      Re: High IQ thieves?

      You've been the victim, rather than those companies being the victim? It's not like you have control over those companies' cybersecurity practices. Of course they can't control whether or not people keep their passwords secure, but otherwise the law should be clear.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: High IQ thieves?

        @ John Savard

        You are, of course, correct. Legally, according to the Police, ActionFraud etc, the institutions are the victims, not me, as the money, shares etc. have been refunded. However, there is a considerable amount of personal stress involved in dealing with the effects, getting the institutions to refund the money, and wondering what else the 'theives'* are going to do next. I certainly feel like a victim, and have had many interrupted nights sleep and panic attacks due to their actions.

        *(I have other, unprintable words for them which I use when no one is listening)

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: High IQ thieves?

          And literally today I received a letter from a building society with which I have never had an account saying that they are closing my account as they are no longer prepared to run it, and a cheque will be posted of the balance* to the registered address. Cue a trip to the local branch to explain that the account is fraudulent and they should check with their crime unit. Another hour of my time I will not get back, but once again I am not the victim of a crime, because in the UK identity theft is not a crime.

          *(Turns out all of £8 (eight pounds), so not a lot really.)

          Happy November everyone.

  2. IceC0ld

    all the polls say Biden is beating Trump for donations, and RNC is effectively running on empty, surprised they targeted GOP when Biden's lot are cash rich ?

    unless Trump's team are running security the way he has run COVID 'defences'

    but this is something I have always wondered about, all that money, so many temp workers around, it HAS to be easy picking compared to some other shenanigins they could have pulled, doubt this is the only one, just the one that has risen to the surface as it were

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Democrats have won

      Democrats have won the election, Republicans have confirmed this by their endless attempts to shut down the voting.

      If you think you could win an election, you wouldn't try to spike the election. Republicans are trying to spike the election, confirming that they lost already.

      Closing locations. Blocking mail in ballots. Stopping ballots being counted if the post office delivers them late. Subverting the post office to deliver ballots late in Democrat voting cities. Voter challenging. Legal endless challenges to limit voting of all forms.

      "We the people".... becomes "We the Republicans"

      Democrats won, time to take the trash to the dumpster.

      So what happens now? Without the backing of the people Republicans have no basis for holding power and would have to do so by force.

      You can see Republicans trying to get the police to rally around a different flag, a blue-line flag rather than the American flag. You can see false-flag operations, police being murdered by right-wing Trump groups pretending to be left-wing Biden groups. Ex-military types, the Boogaloo Bois, crossing State lines to ensure their crimes are Federal and thus pardonable by Trump. This hasn't worked, they were caught and their false-flag operation was revealed. Everyone knows now the Trump boys are killing the police.

      You see the military unwilling to side with Trump, an army pissed off at Corporal bone-spurs.

      You see the rag-bag border troops were unable to suppress protests in *one* city, let alone across the country. Now their leader has been labelled as illegitimately in office. You cannot follow his orders because he isn't allowed to give orders.

      Trump's finished. Those little nazi groups are not enough to hold a Walmart, let alone a country.

      His enablers should smell their future in a urine soaked prison, and decide that actually, this is not the hill they want to die on.

      Stop obstruction the election Kavanaugh, stop blocking the voting Republicans. You lost, don't try to undermine democracy on your way out the door.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Democrats have won

        You are going to look so silly on November 4th.

        1. BigSLitleP

          Re: Democrats have won

          I'm just going to screen cap this for later. Any chance i can get you to make a bet on who will win the election?

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: Democrats have won

            What odds are you offering on the lawyers?

        2. NerryTutkins

          Re: Democrats have won

          Ooh, this didn't age well....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democrats have won

        This is voter suppression. Your entire system is designed to discourage people from voting. Democracies encourage voting.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: Democrats have won

          Not my experience. I've voted in the US for decades in 3 different states and don't recall it ever taking more than 30 minutes or so. We have early voting and the polls are open for 2 weeks prior to election day. There are usually only long lines on election day. This year was a bit different. Mask was required, queue was marked off for social distancing, everyone had to pull a disposable glove out of a dispenser on their way through so that nobody had to actually touch the touchscreen, and even so it took only 10 minutes to early vote. The media seems to cherry pick data to "enhance" their stories, the more sensational the better. You may have noticed articles referring to the 91 million people who have already voted in the US election. Voter suppression?? Just ridiculous fearmongering.

      3. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Democrats have won

        Republicans have been doing this sort of stuff for years, its the only way that they can win.

        That's why they are always accusing the democrats of election fraud, they have been cheating for so long that they just can't fathom anyone running for office without cheating.

        luckily their supporters are dying off at a greater pace than average, so it's only a matter of time before they become irrelevant.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Trump money and mouth miles apart

      Trump does not pay policing costs for his rallies. FEC laws require his campaign to report disputed debts but they miss out invoices from cities for extra police services (probably just the incompetence we would expect when Trump hires only the best people).

      Anyone know the law about a city providing police services but not even invoicing for them? I would expect the FEC has rules about cities effectively using taxpayers money for campaign contributions.

      Remember, if you decide to deal with Trump you need cash in advance. He knows how to cancel a cheque.

      1. NerryTutkins

        Re: Trump money and mouth miles apart

        It is curious that in America, they primarily expect the police to be funded by taxes. And the same with schools. And the fire brigade.

        But if you suggest the same for healthcare, you're a COMMUNIST.

        1. John Savard

          Re: Trump money and mouth miles apart

          Eventually, though, surely the American thirst for justice will lead to attempts to fund the police entirely through the proceeds of convict labor.

          1. lnLog

            Re: Trump money and mouth miles apart

            Most americans think that slave labour was abolished by the 13th amendment. In actual fact by convicting someone you can then use them as slaves; "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

            hmm, I wonder why there are so many people in jails? /sarcasm

  3. redpawn

    When your workers work for free,

    You get what you pay for, like Paul Manafort for instance.

  4. Sampler

    Victimless Crime?


  5. EJ

    Criminals stealing from criminals...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they sure it wasn’t Trump taking the money?

    Trump is going to lose the election and owes someone who is not very nice a lot of money, so maybe he’s grabbing what he can on his way out the door.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Are they sure it wasn’t Trump taking the money?

      I am fairly sure Trump wasn't taking this money because the theft was reported to the FEDs. The Trump Campaign is busy looting the Republican party. Early versions of that story said the money was being funnelled to the Trump family but later versions only accuse senior campaign staff.

      For COVID Trump has already paraphrased Lord Farquaad. Perhaps he should listen to Vizzini.

      Lord Farquaad: Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to make

      Vizzini: You are trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "The election could mean a big payday for crims unless processes are tightened up."

    Starting with how parties select their candidates?

    And all such scams are "sophisticated" because if they weren't the victims would look gullible fools who fell for a story that a competent person wouldn't have.

  8. 0laf

    Same story

    "using a sophisticated phishing attack".

    No one will ever admit they fell for a dumb as a rock phishing scam.

    But we never get details of the 'sophistication of the attack'.

    So it was probably a Nigerian 419 of 1999 vintage.

  9. Julian 8

    Bear in mind that in 2016 he was running an inscure mail server, what do we expect ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is unbelievable

    The constant pleas for money. I did donate some this election cycle and ever since my phone and my junk mail inbox have filled up with "We desperately need money!!! Send more, more, MORE!!!!!!!!" messages. This happens several times a day. Hopefully it will end when the election cycle ends. I'm getting them from both parties.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: It is unbelievable

      Your mistake was donating. I have never donated a penny to any political party or campaign, and I don't receive calls or emails begging for money because I'm not on the sucker list of those who have done so in the past.

      Probably the only way you'll ever make it stop is to go into witness protection and get a new identity, or flee the country (and maybe not even then) Perhaps faking your own death is the best option...

  11. Daedalus

    Wait what? Political campaigns never pay invoices!

    Whenever the party arrives in town, the smart people insist on cash on the nail. Any offers to "pay you later" are just so much rhetoric. So I'm surprised that the scam worked. Probably the only people who do get paid in a campaign are the advertisers.

  12. DougMac


    What kind of vendors do they have that $millions are paid out without a second thought?

    One would think that a single state's campaign would be paying out $10,000's on invoices in general.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: What?

      You must not be from the US, and thus don't realize the insanely enormous amounts of money being spent on both sides.

      Paying a multi million dollar invoice without verification is indeed stupid, but Trump hires people without qualifications so you can only guess how low the bar is for the people they hire. He's hired a bunch of people who were crooks before working for him, and many of those who weren't become corrupted by association with him and became one later.

      I'm willing to bet it turns out one of the "very best people" had a criminal past no one checked on and/or cared about who turns out to be behind the scam. The rats are fleeing the sinking ship, its time to grab the cheese before someone else does...

  13. spold Silver badge


    Fake news

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the state where the (Rep) state senate worked with the outgoing (Rep) governer to severely reduce the powers of that office, just before the newly elected (Dem) governer took over ? Can't imagine anyone having a problem with that.

  15. swm Silver badge

    US Politics

    The problem with presidential elections is that neither party runs an electable candidate. We vote against someone not for someone.

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