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MWhere I’ll be:M

Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230

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I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

Scam Alert: “Aima Kickst” on Kickstarter

UPDATE: As of about 13:30 Pacific time, the Aima Kickst profile has been deleted.

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As you know (if you are reading my blog), I started my first Kickstarter project yesterday.

This morning, I received what I first thought was an email from an organization calling itself the “American Investors Microproject Association.” AIMA offered to advertise my project to “big investors” for the fairly low rate of $20.00, and said that they had a money-back guarantee: my project would be fully funded, within the deadline, or I would get my money back. Well, that’s not really much a performance guarantee, when you think about it. I take your twenty bucks, I do nothing at all for thirty days, and then, assuming your project funds, I wave bye-bye at you.

Due diligence seemed to be called for.

Boolean searching seems to have died out completely on the internet. In fact, it’s becoming virtually impossible to search for a specific word, given the predilection of all the major search engines to swap your word out for synonyms to bring you “more results!” More results? I don’t want more results, I want the right results, and when I want to search for the exact phrase “American Investors Microproject Association” I particularly do not want the search engine to proudly announce that it is “including results without quotes” in order to bring me more results. It’s like searching for “stool” in an online dictionary, and being told “Here are all of the words with an S in them, all of the words with a T in them, etc, etc, etc. Good luck!” So search was not only useless, it was insultingly infuriating.

However, rereading the email, I realized it was not actually from AIMA, but was an email from the Kickstarter system, telling me that I had a message from “Aima Kickst,” and here was a copy of the message. So I went to Kickstarter and looked at the profile for “Aima Kickst.” Joined: 27 March 2012. Backed projects: 0. Started projects: 0.

There’s a Twitter account for Aima Kickst also, just a week old with two tweets total.

Their website is totally useless, with nothing but a chance to send them some money.

I’m not prepared, at this time, to say that “Aima Kickst” is a scam.

But it looks pretty likely to me. I’ve written this primarily in the hopes that others trying to pursue their own due diligence will find this and think twice.

11 comments to Scam Alert: “Aima Kickst” on Kickstarter

  • I share your frustration with searches — and your suspicions about AIMA Kickst. The fact that they’ve approached several people on the same day they joined Kickstart suggests rather strongly to me that this is a scam. I’m also betting it’s an off-shore scam, since they wrote 20$, and not $20, as it would be in the US. So good luck to both of us, but I don’t think this looks like it’s our free ticket. (And good luck getting your $20 back if you send it in.)

    Happy writing.

    Cynthia Clampitt
    Cynthia´s last blog post: Henry Lawson

  • Thank You! I found you post by accident and it provided sweet scam alert validation. I also was notified by aima kickst and was immediately suspicious. I can find no real or useful information and kept my 20 dollars for myself. Best wishes on you wish to accomplish!

    Heather Schepman
    Heather Schepman´s last blog post: Kickstarter

  • Hey Levi,
    Just wanted to let you know I also got an email from this group. I foolishly submitted my name (but not my money) before doing my research due to being so excited. But oddly enough, their page is now deleted, yet still sent me an email asking for my twenty dollars on paypal. I deleted the message and all pretense of buying into this, but just thought you should know. This is probably why nothing else was found on them, since they were created yesterday… Thanks for your post though. Without it, I probably would’ve lost twenty bucks.
    Good luck on your project!
    Kyla

  • Hi Levi,
    I am so glad you starter this thread. I also got the message from them on Kickstarter. The fact that their grammar is so bad it made me think that they are not who they say they are. It is frustrating because they keep sending messages and posting on my FB wall, UG! Their web site is totally sketchy too. Thank you for posting about it, I kept coming up empty with the searches!
    Best,
    Alyson

    • Sorry for the delay in replying, but I wanted to do a little googling first. (Also get up, get dressed, and all that socially-required stuff :) )

      What I found, though, was what I expected — they’re still gone from the Kickstarter site. You’d think that once they were kicked off Kickstarter, they’d stop pestering people.

  • […] a demand for these types of products.   Sure, there have been failures to deliver and more than a couple scams, but like the old saying goes, you can’t have the good without the […]

  • Levi,

    Great thread………….being as old as you, or young, however we would like to think about it, and seen as well as been taken on a few of these it was an immediate red flag from the poor grammar to the $ sign on wrong side of numbers. My partner in our project said to me, “what have we got to lose, it’s just a couple shots of vodka”. I obliged him and said OK, knowing full well I would rather have the vodka (and have). Thx again for validating.
    Our kickstarter is; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/536472865/fright-plan.
    Our Website is;
    http://threekingsentertainment.org/

    Have a great day and you now have a new follower.

    • Yep, pretty much everything from the bad grammar to the empty website, take one thing at a time, would have been sort of okay. Taken en masse, it was simply too shaky for me, and I’d a WHOLE lot rather have the vodka! :)

      Good luck with your Kickstarter project!