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by
Mike McNally

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October 25, 2012 - 12:02 am
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I got the same email regarding the $5 donation, and I assumed that was the end of the line for my attempted donations. However, because the email didn’t say anything about my details not matching the card, and only asked me to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, I thought I’d have another go at donating. This time I provided an entirely false Massachusetts address, listing the main street of the town where my relatives live in case this was checked against the zip code, and a random house number. Again, the donation was accepted by the website, and I received the same thank-you email stating that the donation was “subject to review.”

I waited a few days, but this time I heard nothing from the Obama campaign’s “compliance” people. I thought that perhaps, as I hadn’t responded to their request for proof of identity for the first two donations, another donation from the same card would automatically be rejected. I then went on a trip for a few days. I checked my email, and while I received general fundraising emails from the Obama campaign, there was no further news on my donations.

However, when I checked my bank account online last week, I found that all three donations had been processed by my bank…

I was surprised that the third donation had been accepted, given that I’d supplied an address entirely unrelated to my bank details. But I was even more surprised to discover that the first two donations had been processed; after all, the campaign had detected that I’d supplied an overseas address, and I’d failed to supply proof of U.S. citizenship when requested to do so.

The flaw in the system appears to be the fact that the Obama website does not require you to enter the CVV number for your card. I don’t know about the U.S., but in the UK this would be highly unusual. In fact, I don’t recall ever being able to make a purchase with a debit or credit card, on the internet or over the phone, without supplying the CVV number.

At best, the Obama campaign is neglecting to implement the necessary procedures to ensure that donations from non-U.S. citizens are not accepted. At worst – and given that I was unable to donate to the Romney campaign, this seems the more likely scenario – the Obama campaign is deliberately failing to implement basic security measures in order to collect donations from foreign citizens.

PJ Media will be contacting the Obama campaign to ask for an explanation, and the Federal Election Commission to inform them of our findings. We’ll report back when we get responses from them.

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Mike McNally is a journalist based in Bath, England. He posts at PJ Tatler and at his own blog Monkey Tennis, and tweets at @notoserfdom. When he's not writing about politics he writes about Photoshop.
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