Fraudulent campaign donations happen more than you may think. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently introduced a bill to tackle this alarming issue, named the "Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act."
"Zombie donors" refer to unknown or anonymous individuals or entities posing as American citizens to make illicit campaign donations. As such, Rep. Gaetz's bill would require all political contributions to have a billing address and a credit verification value (CVV, the three numbers on the back of a credit or debit card).
"The ‘Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act’ aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code and mandates the inclusion of both a credit verification value (CVV) and a billing address as mandatory requirements for confirming the donor's true identity, cross-referencing it with the corresponding address or banking information," Rep. Gaetz said in his press release.
In March, O'Keefe Media Group, led by conservative activist James O'Keefe, uncovered evidence of ActBlue, a fundraising organ for the Democratic Party, potentially enabling zombie donors due to its lack of a CVV requirement in making campaign donations.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April demanding further investigation, saying many of the people whose names appeared as donors "had no idea that their names and addresses were being used to give thousands of dollars in political donations."
"These reports indicate that numerous individuals, including senior citizens, have purportedly donated to ActBlue thousands of times a year. However, according to recent investigative reports, many of these individuals had no idea that their names and addresses were being used to give thousands of dollars in political donations, with most of these ‘donations’ going to ActBlue," Sen. Rubio wrote.
Gaetz similarly expressed concern in his press release, praising O'Keefe Media Group for bringing the issue to light.
"Through the diligent efforts of citizen journalists, O’Keefe Media Group has uncovered potentially millions of dollars in campaign donation fraud. Unidentified entities or individuals are using the identities of American citizens to perpetrate fraudulent campaign contributions," said Gaetz.