A large number of aliases and anonymous contributors contributed to the convoy's support.

A large number of aliases and anonymous contributors contributed to the convoy’s support.

According to a CBC News investigation, at least a third of the donations to the GoFundMe campaign put up to fund the convoy of vehicles travelling to Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates originated from anonymous sources or were ascribed to fraudulent people.

Thousands of Canadians and corporations have contributed to the cause, but thousands of other donors are labeled just as “Anonymous.”

A large number of aliases and anonymous contributors contributed to the convoy’s support.

Six of the top ten gifts, all over $10,000, were classified as anonymous as of 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday, including the single greatest donation of $25,022.

According to comments provided by donors on GoFundMe, some donations appear to have originated from outside of Canada, despite the fact that the campaign is soliciting funds for a Canadian political demonstration.

Some donations were made under other people’s names. Justin Trudeau, Sophie Trudeau, and Theresa Tam, Canada’s senior public health officer, are among the most popular donation names on the GoFundMe site.

Sophie Grégoire made a $25,023 donation on Thursday afternoon, according to the website. It vanished a few minutes later.

Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Tam’s office have confirmed that the Trudeaus and Tam did not contribute to the convoy’s fundraising efforts.

Other listed donors referred to themselves as “Fidel Castro – Justin Trudeau’s father,” “Justin Trudeau’s conscience,” “Dump Trudeau,” and a variety of other profane terms.

Some of the aliases were less clear than others. For a day, the name David Fisman was at the top of the GoFundMe donation list thanks to a $15,100 donation on Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiology professor at Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said his surname is uncommon due of a spelling mistake made when his family immigrated.

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“Given that whoever did this also said ‘follow me on Twitter’ in the comments, and I have a reasonably well-known (by Canadian standards) verified Twitter account with 110,000 followers that appears to be widely despised and disparaged by opponents of vaccines and public health measures,” Fisman added.

Donations to the convoy are rapidly increasing. The campaign has received $6.4 million from 82,500 donors by 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Questions have been raised concerning the money’s final destination, especially because some of the organizers have ties to politics.

GoFundMe, which receives a portion of all donations, postponed payment of the funds earlier this week, citing a desire to learn more about how the funds would be used. It said on Thursday that it will begin disbursing funds once the fundraising campaign’s organizers produced a distribution plan.

At any given time, GoFundMe only makes public a small portion of the donations on its website, and the list is regularly updated as new donations arrive.

Since Monday morning, CBC has reviewed 35,270 donations totaling $2.8 million, received through GoFundMe’s public website every half hour. The fundraising drive began on January 14th.

According to the information gathered by the CBC, thousands of donations appear to have been made by Canadians and businesses. Many of the businesses that appear on a list of the top donations are tiny enterprises, many of which are located in more rural areas, especially in Ontario and Alberta.

Another 11,477 entries, or 32.5 percent of those seen by CBC News, were simply labeled “Anonymous.” The total amount of anonymous donations analyzed by CBC News was $912,801.

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Money brought in from abroad

Several donors stated in their remarks that they live in nations such as the United States, Australia, England, or Poland. It is impossible to determine how many people donated to the fundraising website from outside of Canada.

Donors who misrepresent themselves, according to GoFundMe, are in breach of its terms of service, and their donations are removed and refunded. It has not yet responded to concerns about what, if anything, it has done in response to donations made to the Freedom Convoy’s page using fictitious or other people’s names.

GoFundMe has often been used to generate money for political purposes, according to Alexander Reid Ross, a senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right in Portland, Oregon, although the protest convoy has raised more money than most.

“Political actors from all sides of the aisle have used GoFundMe,” he said. “Right-wingers have used it to support people who are going to jail, to pay for bail, lawyer expenses, and other things like that.”

Some donors, he noted, may have legitimate reasons for not wanting their names made public.

‘Conspiracy theorists’ are people who believe in conspiracies.

“There are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there who believe that putting their name on a GoFundMe campaign will put them on a government watch list. There are also a lot of people who are hesitant to put their names out there on the internet “He went on to say that some donors obscure their identities even further by donating through burner ATM cards.

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“There are a number of reasons why someone might want to make an anonymous donation.”

He believes that the same anonymity may be used to disguise extremists or foreign state actors interfering in a political discourse.

“It wouldn’t surprise me in the least,” he continued, “since their primary goal is to destabilize a political climate that promotes liberal democracy.” “As a result, they will empower any political tendency opposes liberal democracy for whatever reason.”

NDP MP Charlie Angus said GoFundMe is a useful tool for raising funds for good causes, but he’s concerned about individuals anonymously donating to political reasons.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think you get to hide behind anonymity if you’re pouring huge money into a cause like this, and it’s political and you’re asking for the overthrow of the medical standards that we have in place,” he said. “It’s important for us to know who you are.”

Angus expressed concerns about where the money comes from, where it goes, and whether part of it originates in other nations.

Angus believes that what happens next will be determined by the outcome of Saturday’s peaceful march on Parliament Hill.

“I think we’ll just wait and see what happens,” he said. “If there are lessons to be learned and improvements to be done, I think there will be a great enthusiasm to move forward.”

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