/!\ Scam Alert /!\


#1

:warning:️ ATTENTION PLEASE: SCAM ALERT :warning:


This guy has appeared under various different nicknames on OGS, he is a notorious blog-spammer, and on his blog (URL see screenshot) he infringes copyrights, plus he tries to sell “lifetime membership” and a Tsumego collection (which latter you can get elsewhere for free).

I’ve reported him to…
• Wordpress
• Google (for his scamming “Membership” Google Docs document)
• YouTube (for his account where he also tries to trick people to visit his Wordpress blog)
• PayPal
It would be nice if y’all would do the same.

DON’T PAY THIS GUY, DON’T PURCHASE!


#2

That’s some dedicated niche scamming going on there…


#3

Would you explain in more detail why this is a scam? As far as I could see this is just a guy selling a Tsumego collection online (and the collection looks really nice BTW). Did you try to buy from him? Does he not deliver what you pay for?

It’s questionable whether it’s copyright infringement or not… depends on local laws, of course, but I’ve heard that board positions are not copyrightable. That is, you’re not allowed to copy text or images from books (that would be copyright infringement), but just the raw problems are fine (and I’d be willing to give him a pass on copyright infringement if the collection has rare books that are out of print!).

Maybe you also got the username wrong? seems to be a legitimate user with over 1000 ranked games.


#4

(I redacted the posts to exclude usernames, since I think it is irrelevant, and a good practice here to not dicuss users, but rather general ideas.)

From my personal point of view:

I am not familiar with different lawsystems, but in my opinion the fact that it is questionable should be enough for anyone polite enough to respect other’s work. He is trying to sell something he in no way helped create.

He is creating multiple accounts using annomization services to send private messages and advertisement links to our users who in no way asked for this, which is prohibited by our terms of service. Even after being politely asked to stop several times. Which in itself also tells a lot in my opinion.

It is of course up to everyone to decide, but my personal advice is to stay away from any similar blogs in general, even when dealing with other topics, and logging into your paypal and filling out personal info on these unofficial sites is just asking for trouble.


#5

Fair enough.

Sure, the moderators have every right to stop him if he is breaking the terms of service or annoying other users.

The issue here is the seriousness of the accusation. Scam is a very strong word. It means a fraud to steal money from people. That’s why I want to know the details. Did someone actually lose money because of this website?

Note: I didn’t buy anything from the guy, but the collection he is selling looks useful, and it’s a lot of work to put together. Even if he is infringing copyright (as I explained above, I’m not sure, but I think it’s a gray area), that doesn’t make it a scam.

And then there is this:

I don’t even know what to say! Does OGS do virtual lynch mobs now?


#6

Well … sorry but not sorry, I beg to disagree — IMO it is appropriate to name perpetrators, with all their aliases, if it helps saving unsuspecting people from becoming victims of scam.
Please refrain from editing my posts. If you have questions, you may always talk to me.


And it’s not just a suspicion, that person has a history of violating copyright.

For example, he took the awesome chapter names from Richard Bozulich’s “An Encyclopedia of Go Principles” (http://www.kiseido.com/master.htm, scroll down to K79), put them on one of his pages named “100 Principles of Go That You Should Know!” and posted a link to them here. Without any hint towards who the author is.

And then, a long history of blog-spamming here. In Thread titles, in posts, and even in games, for cryin’ out loud! Unsurprising that he played so many games, if he uses them for scamming, no?


Sometimes, if one doesn’t know what to say, it may be a good idea to say … nothing.

But I’ll nevertheless reply to your accusation of “lynch mob”: It is not about killing (“lynching”) anybody, it is about …

  • stopping somebody from selling stolen goods (i.e. stopping people from rewarding a thief for stealing), and it is about …
  • stopping him from selling stuff people can get from elsewhere for free, and legally.
  • It’s also about putting perpetrators to justice.

I can’t see why anybody in their right mind would object to this.


#7

Definitely this guy has been advertising and retailing unethically for the various reasons listed by Adam. It’s very good that OGS users are kept aware of anyone trying to farm them for a quick buck. Perhaps a script can be made to automatically report anyone who posts the blog link in chat or on the forums.


#8

Redacting the user name was probably a wise decision. If I were in AdamR’s place, I would have redacted the site address too.

Tom, the issue here is that you are making very serious accusations, using very loaded words like scam, thief and stolen goods, but you didn’t present any evidence that a scam is taking place. I asked you directly if you know anyone who was tricked and lost money (that being the definition of a scam), but you didn’t answer, so I will assume you don’t know of any. The closest thing to evidence you gave is that he sends spam and he once copied the Table of Contents of a book without giving credit. Those two are not remotely enough to justify the accusation.

Even the copyright violation claim is questionable. As I said above, I believe Tsumego collections are a ‘legal gray area’ with regards to copyright. Think about it for a second: goproblems.com has thousands of problems ‘stolen’ from books. And it has paid subscriptions. Does that make it a scam, too? Even OGS has problems ‘stolen’ from books (look in the puzzle section). You do the math.

Decent people just don’t do this kind of public accusation lightly. You need to be 100% sure AND have the evidence to back it up. And I don’t see the evidence. If I didn’t know you are an older man, I would have thought you are simply too young to know better.

Oh, the flippancy.

You have no idea what the word justice means. You were inciting a mob up there, asking everyone go to Google, Youtube and PayPal and report this guy. Mob lynching is not justice!

This whole thing comes across as petty revenge. You are going out of your way to harm someone you don’t even know, just because you disapprove of something he is doing. Perhaps because he annoyed you in the past. This is vindictive behavior, it certainly has nothing to do with justice, and everyone in their right mind should object to it.


#9

Ah well, I don’t expect everybody to understand the shameful behaviour of that person, and I don’t expect that everybody understands that their behaviour is harmful even though evidence was presented.

My decisions are based on my conscience, though, and not on what other people think about me.

Closing this thread.


#10