Study: Nearly Half of Congress Vulnerable to Fraudulent Foreign Donations Due to Lack of Basic Credit Card Security

FILE - In this Sep. 3, 2015, file photo, a man pays with a credit card in a Walmart Ekono
AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo, File

A new study reveals that 44 percent of members of Congress with active donation pages do not require industry-standard credit card security codes for online donations—a vulnerability that makes fraudulent foreign donations more likely. Among Democratic members of Congress, less than 10 percent require donors to enter their Card Verification Value (CVV) to make a donation; 91 percent of congressional Republicans do require the CVV for online contributions.

The Government Accountability Institute (GAI), which was cofounded by Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer and former Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, says the problem has worsened among Democrats since its original study made headlines in 2012.

“The number of Democrats in Congress not requiring CVV has increased by 43 percent since the 2012 elections, from 148 to 211,” says the study, titled: “America the Vulnerable: Are Foreign and Fraudulent Online Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections? Taking Another Look.” Conversely, says the report, “The number of congressional Republicans not requiring CVV has decreased by 62.5% since the 2012 election, (From 64 to 24).”

In addition to examining the active donation pages of House and Senate members, GAI also reviewed the campaign contribution pages for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. During the 2016 election, both presidential candidates required donors to enter the CVV to make an online donation. GAI’s 2012 analysis found that Barack Obama did not require the CVV for campaign contributions.

Currently, no law requires that federal candidates use the basic CVV credit card security protocols that almost all online retailers use to prevent fraud.

“While many will laud the need for electoral integrity,” the GAI report concludes, “few seem willing to take the steps to assure it, especially when the lack of integrity favors their political goals.”


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