Fake “Shadow of the Kraken” Campaign Surfaces on Kickstarter

Earlier in January, independent comic book creator Vinnie Tartamella launched an Indiegogo campaign for Shadow of the Kraken. At the time of this writing, the campaign has raised more than $9 thousand from 169 backers. Just a few days later, it appears as though a malefactor has posted a fraudulent copy of the Shadow of the Kraken Indiegogo page, virtually letter-for-letter, to rival crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

The fake campaign was discovered and brought to Tartamella’s attention last week, who has been very vocal in his displeasure with Kickstarter and the situation in general. Tartamella says that he began reaching out to Kickstarter last Thursday and has since issued a full DMCA claim, but he has yet to receive any response from the crowdfunding platform.

Tartamella discussed the situation in depth on his YouTube channel, which you can watch below.

It’s difficult to quantify how much damage the fraudulent campaign has inflicted on Tartamella’s legitimate campaign. So far, it looks as though only four people have been duped by the false Shadow of the Kraken page for total of $114. Still, the existence of the fake Kickstarter page leaves room for confusion in that some potential backers seeking out the legitimate Shadow of the Kraken campaign page might discover the Kickstarter page by mistake, and see false totals leading them to believe that the campaign isn’t doing very well.

The fake Kickstarter page was probably not posted as a quick money-grab, either, as the funding goal was set so high that it’s highly unlikely to reach it. Tartamella suspects that the fake page was instead posted by someone with a personal grudge against him or against the broader network known as ComicsGate, a group of comic book fans and creators who promote meritocracy, escapism, and customer service.

Kickstarter boasts a very thorough submission process which includes registering a valid social security number (or the LLC equivalent) and typically involves waiting a few days for approval. That being the case, it’s even more curious as to how the false Shadow of the Kraken page was ever approved by Kickstarter in the first place.

This isn’t the first time a fraudulent campaign imitating an Indiegogo page has surfaced on Kickstarter. A fake campaign mimicking Ethan Van Sciver’s Cyberfrog: Bloodhoney was eventually removed from Kickstarter in 2018. It looks as though Kickstarter hasn’t learned the proper lessons since that time, making it likely that something similar will happen again.

At the time of this writing, the fraudulent Shadow of the Kraken page is still on Kickstarter. You can check out an archived version of the false page here, or you can support the REAL Shadow of the Kraken Indiegogo campaign here.

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