Kickstarter Scam – Little Monsters Productions

In a Kickstarter campaign, a man who identifies himself as Seth Westphal claims to be the founder and CEO of an independent gaming studio called Little Monsters Productions. The art for the proposed game was copied from other artists on the web and the photos of Little Monsters studios were taken from another independent gaming studio, Burton Design Group.

”Mr. Westphal was an office manager with our company, not a game developer”, Mr. Burton of Burton Design Group said, and ”he was released from our studio back in February for noncompliance.” Mr. Westphal came in late, didn’t get work done, and didn’t follow procedure”, Mr. Burton said. ”Seth Westphal is a fraud. Don’t pay him for any games. He’s not a game developer.”

Some artists who had their work ripped off on the Kickstarter page contacted him two days ago, Mr. Burton said. He hopes all who are responsible for trying to defraud gamers are brought to justice.

The fraudulent Kickstarter has since been deleted, and the site for Little Monsters Productions was pulled.

But Little Monsters Productions, which claimed to comprise 12 people, was answering to its critics at first. When commenters on Kickstarter pointed out the stolen photos, the creators answered back in the comments.

According to the project creators, some of the people behind the campaign used to work at the independent gaming studio Burton Design Group but left because “the owner was being shady with funds.”

Mr. Burton said he does not know what the creators were referring to.

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Is QuiBids – Beezid a Scam? Penny Auction Sites

Quibids.com is one of the largest penny auction websites currently operating in the United States. Penny auctions have been around for awhile, but have only recently gotten lots of attention from people outside of the penny auction community.

Penny auction websites attract people to them by promising expensive, big ticket items at unbelievably low prices – for example, Quibids shows a new iPad, which retails at $499 for the most basic model, selling for $22.54. But this winning bid of $22.54 is misleading.  This isn’t the truth of how much it costs to win that iPad.

The way penny auctions work is that you are only able to bid a single penny at any time during the auction. However, at Quibids.com, you must purchase each 1 cent bid for 60 cents. So an iPad that retails for $499 but was won for the grand total of 2,254 one cent bids (or $22.54) which actually cost 60 cents each means that the iPad just sold for $1352.40.

Though the person who wins the item usually has paid less than retail for what they have received, citing $22.54 as the winning bid is extremely misleading.

So is Quibids a Scam?

All penny auctions, regardless of reputation, are a bad idea and should be avoided.

First of all, Quibids.com and other penny auction sites require people to pay for the option to bid, but don’t allow them to bid in increments of their choosing. This means that Quibids is forcing the price up and profiting all the while.

On eBay, the seller and buyer have the auction monitored by the website, which is the trusted third party. On Quibids.com, there is no trusted third party. Quibids is the seller and the auctioneer. It works in their favor – and their favor only – to drive the price up in these small 1 or 2 cent increments.

Quibids tries to redeem themselves by offering you the “By It Now” option, which is when you can take the total amount of your failed bids and apply that toward the retail price of the item you were bidding on. Say you bid $80 total on an iPod Nano that cost $150.  For the remaining $70, Quibids will sell you a Nano. Well, $70 plus tax, fees, and shipping and handling.

And if you’re not willing to part with that extra $70 (there was a reason after all that you didn’t want to pay full retail price for that item), then you’re simply out your $80 with nothing to show for it.

It’s much better to stick to legitimate auction sites like eBay, instead of spending lots of frustrating time and effort on penny auction websites like Quibids, Beezid, SwipeBid, BidsTick, DealFun, StealBids, BidRivals, Jeaper, ZBiddy, BidRodeo, BidCactus, Swoopo, MadBid.

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