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Trump-Scam industrial complex now expands to Snapchat

The third largest political advertiser on Snapchat this year is not a political campaign, party, or interest group. It’s a mysterious marketing firm that sells “free” Trump products that legions of angry customers say are just a hook to get their credit card numbers and start mining money.

Albbiom Marketing company said it paid around $ 418,000 this year for Snapchat ads that have been viewed more than 435 million times, according to the platform’s political ad database. Only two Snapchat advertisers received more impressions: Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and anti-smoking group Truth.

Albbiom’s ads feature free Trump flags, t-shirts, hats, and other kitschy memorabilia. Customers only need to pay five dollars for shipping. Many reviews from angry online customers are unanimous on what happens next: People who provide their credit card numbers quietly sign up for a “subscription” that typically costs $ 50 or more per month, and the next one thing they do know, they are being billed for a “Service” they never knew they signed up for. Many customers report that they never even received the “free” merchandise they were promised, and some reported that while they may have canceled unwanted subscriptions, the companies involved refused to reimburse them. costs that were billed to them even when those costs were disputed.

The scam is potentially very lucrative, given the scale of Albbiom’s marketing campaign. And according to a study compiled by the Alethea group, a company that researches and fights online disinformation, as part of the electoral protection project – and in collaboration with the Global Disinformation Index, a British think tank – Snapchat ads d ‘Albbiom are just one front in a large network of political advertisers across multiple social media platforms. Alethea linked the effort to a network of related companies across the country with numerous websites offering equally questionable merchandising offers.

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