A College Student Faked A Sob Story About Being A MAGA Supporter. People Then Donated To Her Cause.
GoFundMe confirmed to BuzzFeed News that they've returned all funds to donors after Quran admitted that she was not, in fact, a MAGA Republican.
A college student from Chicago is now admitting a viral story she tweeted about getting kicked out of her house for supporting Trump, which led to some Trump supporters donating money to her, was all a lie.
In late October, the student, named Quran, tweeted a selfie in which she's wearing a red "Make America Great Again" bucket hat.
She captioned the image, "I will not hide any longer, the left has made us feel as if us black republicans should hide!! but not anymore!!"
She included hashtags like "#BlacksForTrump" and "MAGA."
Her tweet went viral, and Trump supporters tweeted their approval.
"Well Done," someone wrote, adding hashtags "#BuildTheWall #LockThemUp #DrainTheDeepState #WalkAway."
Over the next few days, Quran tweeted updates. She claimed her parents saw her public political proclamations and financially cut her off. She said they would no longer be paying her tuition.
"If you can find it in your hearts to help this young, black Republican pay for school it would be appreciated," she asked, linking to a now-deleted GoFundMe campaign for herself.
On Nov. 1, Quran tweeted that things were "getting worse and worse" at home.
She attached a screenshot of text conversation that she claimed was between her and her mom, saying her mom had kicked her out of the house for her newfound political affiliations.
Fortunately — or deeply unfortunately if you're a MAGA Republican who donated to her campaign — the entire story and sequence of events was faked.
When reached, Quran admitted to BuzzFeed News over Twitter DM that she made up the entire event — including the screenshotted texts with her mom.
She stated that she doesn't "really support Trump" and that she couldn't "act like I support Trump genuinely."
"I'm doing nothing but watching the reaction from both sides," she said.
In an interview with New York magazine, Quran said she simply decided to "capitalize" off of all of the recent efforts by Republicans to shed the reputation that they're "mostly racist."
"A lot of Republicans have this idea that everyone thinks Republicans are mostly racist and they’re really desperate to get that stigma off of them," she said. "I just felt like capitalizing on that."
If you're wondering if her sob story GoFundMe campaign actually raised funds, the answer is yes — but not in the large sums some outlets are falsely reporting.
Quran told New York magazine she's given back the money donated to her, which she estimated to be around $200. (Raw Story wrongly reported off of rumors spreading on Twitter that her campaign had raised $150,000.)
"I just felt really weird about taking their money," Quran said. "This could go south really fast, I just decided to refund everyone and give their money back. I think it was like maybe $200 at that point.”
Bobby Whithorne, a spokesperson for GoFundMe, told BuzzFeed News that only four people donated to the campaign, and the total was only $97. He confirmed all four donors have been refunded.
GoFundMe has also decided to ban Quran's account.
"After the campaign was launched, it was reported to our Trust and Safety team. The campaign was reviewed and removed from the platform," Wilthorne said. "The platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means all donors are protected by a refund policy if misuse occurs."
Still, after Quran publicly admitted to the troll, she's now getting praised for securing "that magabag."
"There are the people who support me for being a black Trump supporter, there are the people who are asking me why, and then there’s the other people who saw obviously it was a troll," she told New York magazine.
She said she wasn't planning on actually taking anyone's money, and that her only goal was to sell herself as "the finesse queen."
"I just honestly didn’t want to take their money. Yeah, I can’t pay for school but I don’t want Republican money to pay for it," she said. "I just want everyone to think I’m the finesse queen, which I am."