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Kickstarter Project Creators Beware!

Moderator: VaporStarter

by tirzahpayne » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:03 pm

I just received the dispute email on Friday from Amazon payments for Encik Farhan's $2500 pledge to my project. His dispute was in the amount of $2505. The name on the credit card transaction was also Murray A. Long. I am waiting to hear back from Kickstarter about what to do next. I sincerely hope we can get to the bottom of this scheme.
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by monkeylectric » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:59 pm

"Encik Farhan" pledged over $1700 to our campaign for the Monkey Light Pro. He disputed the charge about a week ago, but we had not yet sent him rewards. We are hopeful that Amazon Payments and Kickstarter will resolve the issue.

Wondering if any creators or Kickstarter staff lurkers have given any thought to what measures can be taken to prevent fraud like this in the future? It seems like a particularly insidious threat for creators.
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by Alex » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:17 pm

If you are not happy how Kickstarter is handling this situation you can write a review about them on my site http://crowdsunite.com/platforms/kickstarter/ , this will help others in deciding which website to use for their crowdfunding
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by m2a » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:00 am

He pledged $4000 to our project which is sustainable tee shirt line..
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/m2a/zameeg-organic-tees-with-artisan-handmade-artworks
I messaged and thanked him a second after he pledged and he replied back that he liked our artwork very much! Then his credit card got declined, then it went through and at the end he disputed through his credit card company.
It has been our biggest headache since then..
We have invested every penny we raised there and have no idea what to do! :roll:


Thanks to the forum creator and all other KS creators that have become united to do something.. :D
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by S13Turbo » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:53 am

I was also a victim of this "Encik Farhan" criminal. My first and LAST (I will explain why) Kickstarter project was pledged $1,300.00 from this person(s). Considering my highest pledge level was $28.00, the amount pledged raised some flags for me right away. They pledged just enough to make me reach my funding goal during the last 24hrs.

I emailed him multiple times over the next few days, first to thank him for his "generosity" and ask him what he expected for such an over pledge with no reward level. He never once responded to me; Red flag number two. I had many backers' pledges not process for various reasons including his. Finally 4 days after contacting backers "Encik Farhan" adjusted his pledge, and processed $1,300.00 "successfully" under the name Murray A. Long. At this point, with no response from "Encik Farhan" I highly suspected it was fraud and would eventually be charged back. I contacted Amazon about him and they could not get a hold of him either. Here is the weird part, I authorized Amazon Payments to refund his $1,300.00 pledge, so I would be safe from "chargeback fees", and they could not get it to process. Amazon's rep told me he tried 6 times and many times to get a hold of him with no results. This absolutely confirmed my suspicions.

I then spent the next few weeks worried that I would not be able to complete my project without his monstrous pledge amount, along with other deadbeat backers who did not fulfill their pledges. Overall I was down about 1/3 of my funding goal. My funding goal was set at the MINIMUM I needed to complete my project as advised by Kickstarter when launching. A bit off topic here, but I would not recommend that to anyone because of all the other deadbeat "backers" that shorted me as well. I decided to refund as I found I would lose much more money if I went into production.

I contacted kickstarter and explained the situation that I was not truly "successfully" funded as I did not receive my funding goal from backers and fraud. Kickstarter could not have cared less and told me I must refund backers and they, Kickstarter, will be keeping the fees they charged me. THIS is why I will never do another Kickstarter project or use Kickstarer to back anyone else. Kickstarter did not care in anyway about their customer being a victim of fraud or changing their system to prevent it from happening to anyone else as he backed another 100+ projects after me. But why would they care, since Kickstarter profits from fraud by keeping the fees charged for being "successfully" funded. Never again Kickstarter, never again. Hope you enjoy my money for "website development".

I am happy with my decision not to trust or use his pledge to proceed with production. I would have lost much much more if I had gone through with production and then have been charged back. I am sorry to hear that happen to many of you :(. There are some terrible people out there who ruin things that are meant to be positive and bring people together.

If anyone get's their money back from Kickstarter for "fees", please let myself and others know. Or maybe we should try as a group...
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by rodgerinak » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:22 am

I am a Encik Farhan victim as well.

I feel luck only being out $300. So sorry for those of you that had such large pledges. I've done a couple of things I have not seen posted here yet. I contacted FedEx Malaysia with the shipping address and instructed them to call the local police. I also contacted a reporter at FOX News that has done Kickstarter and start-up news in the past.

I sent Amazon the tracking and delivery details for the product I shipped, but have yet to hear back from them. I don't know if I will win the dispute but the fact I have fully completed the transaction would lead me to believe I will. If not then I have been robbed by the credit card company and Amazon is an accomplice.

Kickstarter is to blame as well. I work with large databases and setting up tools to monitor for this kind of activity is not difficult. Some kind of search routine looking for abnormally high backer rates, reward level, pledging categories and in short time periods. Or is it that Kickstarter could care less and just wants their 5% regardless of the fraudulent activity.

I'm not sure I'd ever do a large reward level again.
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by Gregory M. » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:54 pm

I'm curious about a couple things -

1. Look back on your Amazon account - when the second transaction was successful what is the name he used? Mine was from a MR. Matthews

2. Who got scammed here - us or Amazon?
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by Bryanography » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:20 am

Gregory M. wrote:I'm curious about a couple things -

1. Look back on your Amazon account - when the second transaction was successful what is the name he used? Mine was from a MR. Matthews

2. Who got scammed here - us or Amazon?


Mine was under Murray A. Long. I think we were the ones that got scammed, but since Amazon and Kickstarter are involved, they are affected too.

If anyone finds a solution or has any updates, please share with us. This is getting ridiculous.
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by S13Turbo » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:38 pm

Just an update for everyone affected by this guy. Since this issue has been getting quite a bit of attention on the web I decided to contact Kickstarter about the issue again. I let them know my thoughts about Kickstarter keeping 5% fees of the fraudulent pledges is almost criminal itself. They were much more understanding now that the issue is in public view. Hopefully because they actually care and not just to save face. They assured me they are continuing to work with Amazon Payments on the issue and would be happy to keep me updated on the situation. They explained they are taking this matter very seriously. Beyond that, they refunded my 5% fees because of the fraud, as they should. Just wanted to let everyone know in case they also met resistance on getting the fees refunded.
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by Bryanography » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:58 pm

I haven't even gotten as far as getting a single response from them, other than the mail that apparently went to everyone affected by Encik. Do they even have a phone number? Nope.
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