Scammer Accused Of Ripping Off Over 100 Kickstarters

Someone going by the username "Encik Farhan" stands accused of ripping off around 100 Kickstarter campaigns, exploiting a loophole in the supply chain that's leaving a lot of small-time creators short of needed funds.

So just what was the accused trying to do, and how did they do it? First, "Encik" identified a Kickstarter campaign offering rewards to backers. They would pledge $1000, then await the receipt of their backer reward (you know, posters, books, shirts, etc). Once they got their swag, the user would then contact their credit card company and dispute the payment, keeping their reward and their money.

One victim, cartoonist Alex Heberling, blew the whistle on "Encik's" conduct, and Kickstarter has now promised to work with Amazon (who are Kickstarter's "payment processor") to "investigate this situation".

It's not the lost rewards that are the big deal here. It's the lost money. Kickstarter campaigns try to only ask for as much as is needed to finish a project; take $1000 off someone, especially someone only asking for a few grand in the first place, and you can ruin their plans.

So "Encik" wasn't just being a thief, they were being a huge asshole.

UPDATE - As readers Belthazzar and oldtaku point out, "Encik" is Jawi for "Mister". As in, "Mister Farhan". Just in case you thought it might actually have been their real name.

Kickstarter Respond to Scam Allegation [The Beat, via The Verge]