Scammers Are Targeting People Using Donald Trump-Themed Coins

Presidential collectibles take an odd turn

Donald Trump coin
Donald J Trump is pictured on the side of coin.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Virtually everyone who’s been President has been immortalized via some form of tchotchke. If you’ve ever wondered if a George Washington Funko Pop exists, or if someone’s ever sold a JFK-themed black velvet painting, the answers are yes and yes. So it’s not surprising that the same is true for the country’s 45th president.

What makes the matter of a certain item emblazoned with Donald Trump’s face on it different from some of its predecessors is the way it’s being touted as an investment opportunity. And if that sounds too good to be true, well, here’s a hint: it is.

A recent report from Stuart A. Thompson at The New York Times explores the saga behind a number of Trump-themed coins, which have been sold online as an investment opportunity, with the sellers claiming that the coins are a worthwhile investment. What is perhaps most striking about the report is the level of deception involved, which includes ads on social media claiming that these coins are endorsed by celebrities like Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves (they’re not), and that they’re made from gold and silver (they’re not).

Thompson’s description of how “a fake account for Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican closely aligned with Mr. Trump, shared a fake story on a fake Fox News website about a fake tweet by a fake Elon Musk” gives a sense of just how deep this goes.

If someone was buying one of these coins because they’re a fan of Trump, that’s one thing — countless people buy things connected to politicians they admire. But the article cites someone who bought $500 worth of them in the belief that he could later convert them into cryptocurrency, which shows how far this has gone into scam territory. As for Trump-themed crypto, that’s another thing entirely.

The whole article is well worth reading, both for its investigation of a decidedly complex scam and for how unsettlingly well it fits in with other aspects of online disinformation happening now.

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