Josiah Bruns, an engineer from Goffstown, N.H., donated $100. Together with his donation, he left a remark: “Uncle Rob Trump requested me too.”

Mr. Bruns stated in an interview {that a} QAnon message board had led him to the Robert Trump account, which additionally promoted the conspiracy concept. “We’re skilled on the Q analysis board to at all times query the whole lot,” he stated, including that he used these classes to scrutinize the Robert Trump account. “I’m in all probability 65 % certain that it was actual.”

After The Occasions informed Mr. Bruns that he had been deceived, he stated he didn’t thoughts. Sooner or later, he stated, he would apply extra analysis strategies he had realized from the QAnon motion to decipher what was actual on the web. The net is a minefield of lies, he stated, “particularly if it’s one thing you need to imagine, as a result of these are the simplest lies to fall for.”

In August, Robert Trump died. The information drew scrutiny to the faux Robert Trump account, and a few of its followers started to suspect that Mr. Corridor was behind it, given the sample of tweets between the profiles. In response, Mr. Corridor stated on Twitter that the faux account was run by “a detailed political buddy of mine” who “didn’t learn about Mr. Trump’s critical situation.”

He started impersonating completely different Trump family members, together with Fred Trump III, the president’s nephew; Maryanne Trump Barry, the president’s sister and a federal decide; and Barron Trump, the president’s teenage son.

“COVID is a rip-off,” he wrote on Aug. 23 as Barron Trump, a faux account that attracted greater than 34,000 followers in eight days. On Aug. 25, the account posted: “Q is actual. The extra the media delegitimizes it, the extra it reveals that they’re scared.”

The Trump Group, which has spoken on behalf of the Trump members of the family previously, didn’t reply to requests for remark. The White Home declined to remark.