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Kickstarter Smarter With Sophie: Scamtastic

I was approached midway through my failing Kickstarter campaign for Wholesome Adult Sex Education Courses by someone who presented themselves as a kindly man who was simply curious to understand why it wasn't doing better when it looked so great. He said he was William La Mont and that as a collaborator on a wildly successful project with Vortic Watch Company that brought in over $350K, he wanted to apply his skills to help little old me.

Screenshot of successful Kickstarter campaign

His profile appeared to match the collaborator from the actual page, because he has the same profile photo and zero backed projects, just like as the William from the campaign. Plus, it was all searchable from Kickstarter.com, so I knew it wasn't a fake or cloned page. Interested, but broke, I told him I had no money. He said, "Did I ask you for any money?" and acted like he wanted to take me on as a sort of pet project. His previous success was tantalizing!

Screenshot of collaborators of successful Kickstarter campaign, including William La Mont.

But things just seemed too good to be true, so I dug a bit. I asked him if he wouldn't mind me reaching out to the project lead, Robert Custer, and he said that he would be happy for me to do so. He even gave me Robert's email address! Only problem? It ended in @gmail. So, I found the company website and emailed them directly, as well as emailing the one he could have easily set up in three seconds. WIthin minutes, I received a glowing recommendation for William from (can you guess?) the gmail account! A little toooo glowing. It looked like something hot off the ChatGPT presses.


That wasn't a smoking gun in and of itself, though, because Robert wrote as if English wasn't his first language, so of course their writing styles would be different. Right? Still, I decided to find and add them both on LinkedIn, and William really is an employee at the company. I figured that if it were actually them writing to me, they could assuage my concerns. If not, I could make them aware of what was going on in their names.

William La Mont's profile showing join date of March 2024.

This all happened several weeks ago, and Robert only just confirmed me as a connection a couple days ago. I wrote him a message about all this, but still haven't heard back. I solidly figured out it was a scam though! Even though William's account is private, he wrote to me, so I was able to see the date he joined Kickstarter: March 2024. Now look at the date the project he supposedly helped on was closed:

Screenshot of project update showing that the campaign closed Oct. 2023

So, what kind of help were you providing them five months into the past, sir? As desperate as I was about the poor performance of my campaign, and this being my first Kickstarter, I may have fallen for this guy's shenanigans had I not been a little savvy. I genuinely shudder to think about this dude preying on someone who doesn't happen to certified in the Management of Information Technology.


And how diabolical was this??? This guy either created a fake account and used William's name and image, or he convinced Robert to add him as a collaborator after-the-fact somehow. Can you even do that? And what would he have done? He had been going on about doing TikTok and LinkedIn ads, so perhaps he would have asked me to entrust their management to him? Or tried to convince me to add him as a collaborator on my campaign, as well?


I don't know, but what I do know is that you need to SAY NO to any and everything that comes to you via Kickstarter's messenger. And report every single last unsolicited message. Every one.


 

If you'd like to learn more tales about what I did wrong so that you don't make my same mistakes, if you'd like to be notified when I give crowdfunding another go, or if you want to learn more about my Adult Lifestyle Programs, CLICK HERE to join my mailing list!

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