- Ohio KKK rally met with massive counter-protest and witty signs from local businesses Saturday 5:06 PM
- Guy who said he stole drugs from MS-13 now says viral story is fake Saturday 4:07 PM
- Financial service company left 885 million private records exposed online Saturday 3:13 PM
- Sasha Obama went to prom and Twitter is delighted with the photos Saturday 2:22 PM
- Jon Voight says Trump is the greatest president since Lincoln in Twitter videos Saturday 1:31 PM
- #DeleteFacebook gains momentum after the platform refused to remove doctored Nancy Pelosi videos Saturday 11:58 AM
- ‘Game of Thrones’ failed women—and it’s a shame on its legacy Saturday 7:40 AM
- How to use Tor, the network that lets you browse the web anonymously Saturday 7:30 AM
- How to live stream Devin Haney vs. Antonio Moran on DAZN Saturday 7:00 AM
- Trump’s transphobic policies are disgusting—but they aren’t new Saturday 6:30 AM
- How to watch the Copa del Rey Final online for free Saturday 5:45 AM
- How to watch the DFB-Pokal final for free Saturday 5:30 AM
- Curvy Wife Guy drops music video for rap song ‘Chubby Sexy’ Friday 7:33 PM
- A ‘Black Mirror’-inspired miniseries is coming to YouTube via Netflix Latin America Friday 5:56 PM
- Kanye West appears on David Letterman’s Netflix show to talk Trump, TMZ, and Drake Friday 3:27 PM
Scammer copied entire fundraiser from Kickstarter to Indiegogo
This industrious scammer had a better PR strategy than the guys he was ripping off.
Two indie comic artists received a valuable lesson on the fine art of crowdfunding when a scammer copied their Kickstarter campaign word-for-word to a rival site. And the scammer was a real public relations hustler.
“It was actually kind of educational,” Ken Lowery, one of the artists, told Comic Alliance.
Lowery and his partner, Robert Wilson IV, launched the Kickstarter on April 15, 2013. Their project—a one-off comic about a psychic medium investigating a long-term haunting in her neighborhood—met its goal quickly, about three days after launching. That was when Wilson received a curious Google Alert (he has one set to his name, which might seem vain but, as this case shows, is pretty damn useful).
The message told him that a Robert Wilson IV was also running a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. As the only Robert Wilson IV writing a comic called “Like a Virus,” he was reasonably confident the thing was a scam.
Screengrab via Comics Alliance
So he investigated it, and what he found was somewhat astonishing: The scammer had copied every single aspect of the duo’s Kickstarter campaign, right down to the rewards for donations and the images. Once discovered, it didn’t last long: With some friends, they launched a campaign to report it to Indiegogo, and soon enough it had been deleted. It had only raised $10.
But Lowery and Wilson still had the unenviable task of going to a half dozen comics forums where the industrious scammer advertised the campaign.
Lowery told Comics Alliance: “I was happy to see that by the next morning, most of those fake threads had been deleted, although according to my Google Alerts, they were still posting about it elsewhere even after the campaign had been shut down.”
“They had a better broad PR strategy than we do!” Wilson added.
Who did it? Lowery and WIlson aren’t sure. Their only hint: Whoever it was did not speak English as a first language. In the few sections on Indiegogo that differed from Kickstarter, where the scammer had to write his own text, the writing was nearly illegible. That leaves about 6.5 billion potential suspects.
Screengrab via IndieGogo
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.