Furry convention scam: Furry Beach
In a recent journal (now deleted), Dragoneer reported the 'new' furry convention, Furry Beach, to be a scam. Its advertising movie was made using clips from a variety of furcons and furmeets.
Since the announcement, the convention's website has gone offline and the fkandfriend's deviantART account, linked to the convention's PayPal account, has been deactivated.
13TheFurry also posted on YouTube that she had tried to find Furry Beach but had been unable and was reporting it as a possible scam and naming Thelpsgirl on YouTube and fkandfriends on deviantART as the scammers. Thelpsgirl, or someone claiming to be her, replied on Dragoneer's journal that she was only passing on information of the con that she had got from YouTube user Sophiasummer16.
The convention – claimed to be in its third year – was said to be held in Oceanside, California, but included photos from Germany's Eurofurence, Anthrocon, FurFright and private meets. The website also provided a list of registered attendees, all of whom had fursuits. At real furry conventions, most attendees do not bring a fursuit; at large events, the proportion of fursuiters is around one in five.
About the authorRakuen Growlithe — read stories — contact (login required)
a scientist and Growlithe from South Africa, interested in science, writing, pokemon and gaming
I'm a South African fur, originally from Cape Town. I'm interested in science, writing, gaming, all sorts of furry stuff, Pokemon and some naughtier things too! I've dabbled in art before but prefer writing. You can find my fiction on SoFurry and non-fiction on Flayrah.
I first heard of "Furry Beach" when a Wikipedia user by the name of Thelpsgirl added a listing for it to List of furry conventions on Wikipedia. When a few minutes online research failed to turn up any credible evidence that it was a real event and not just a fake website, I reverted the edit.
There were several clues that the convention was likely to be a fake. The dates were July 24-28, a Sunday through Thursday, whereas most conventions take place over a weekend. The earliest known announcements were barely a month before those dates and it takes a lot longer than that to plan and organize a convention. The description seemed to presume everyone wore a fursuit full time while at the convention and asked for donations of fursuits for attendees who didn't have their own. The pictures looked suspiciously like they had been lifted from various sources online, and Higgs Raccoon was able to verify this. There was no mention of who to contact if you wished to be a dealer, how to volunteer, and so forth. The only contact information was the single e-mail address they were asking people to send registration fees to via PayPal. The hotel listed, a place called the Blue Whale Resort, is a real hotel in Oceanside, but the information available online suggested it was a small place with perhaps no more than a couple dozen rooms and nothing approaching convention facilities. There were plenty of other clues that the site and the convention were fake.
After viewing weebly.com's terms of service and finding a few that asking for registration fees for a fake event would be in violation of, I attempted to contact them with my concerns. It proved to be surprisingly difficult to find a contact address to report TOS violations, and I ended up using the one that was intended for law enforcement authorities. The response I received from them was that they couldn't know if it was real or fake. The sense I got from it was essentially, "unless you're someone in a position of legal authority, we don't care". I wasn't even aware of the YouTube video or the DeviantArt account. If they're still online, I might have to go check them out, if only for amusement value.
All in all, a pretty lame attempt at a furry convention scam. I hope no one actually fell for it and sent them any registration fees, but it's hard to underestimate the stupidity of some people.
Actually, The Blue Whale is a small timeshare complex - they don't rent out rooms, period. I called them on Monday and spoke to a very nice lady there. She knew exactly of which I spoke, since I wasn't the first person to call asking about Furry Beach. She assured me that they had no idea what the event was, and that there was no event of any kind going on at their property.
Gir Tygrin attempted the same approach that you did with Weebly and unfortunately got nowhere with them. Both Chiaroscuro and I (and likely others) reported the Furry Beach PayPal email to PayPal for fraud; hopefully that will throw a wrench in the works for whoever was attempting to pull this off.
Personally, I'm still not 100% sure that Bailey the Cat (the owner of the DeviantArt and YouTube accounts) is the perpetrator of the fraud, but circumstantial evidence certainly does point that way.
Uh, hello people, that was so obvious it was a fake. The front page said it would be "in a builing by the beach".
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2561003/ includes my post, which without bragging, covers a fair amount of the tip-off signs that it was a scam, and includes credits Dragoneer mentioned. As best as I can tell, SilverAutomatic was the first person to mention it on FA.
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Thelpsgirl, on her YouTube post 'advertising' Furry Beach, told at least two other people that she had BEEN at Furry Beach on Monday or Tuesday and that it was a 'small con' but that it did exist. While others are defending her, I think that's a strong sign she's part of or instigated the scam.
I'm just glad that the person who did this had no idea what the hell they were doing. If someone who could actually do research ahead of time or plan things out first, way more people would be falling for it, and it'd overall turn out way worse.
'Alaskan furs dupe hundreds into visiting pristine wilderness - survivors forced into furpile to conserve body heat'
'"Yiffmas" not actual holiday celebration, report downbeat furs.'
What is this I don't even...
praise jeebus for incompetence! :P
~ The Legendary RingtailedFox
It's curious, I stumbled across someone's LJ entry somewhere last year, musing about how they'd like to start a fake furry con (and then laughing at everyone who they duped into showing up). Wish I could remember where I saw it, but there ya go.
More recently, we've got Equivamp proposing to start a furmeet in Kansas. But I'm sure a furmeet run by an active member of Encyclopedia Dramatica isn't suspicious at all...
Let's be careful out there.
Well, if Equivamp wants to start a furcon in Kansas, first of all she's got Oklacon just across the border, and second it would probably be easier to start a furry track at Anime Festival Wichita (which I found more enjoyable than Oklacon, actually, and I don't even really like anime).
A lot cheaper and less organizationally stressful, too. I think her plans were along the lines of a furmeet, though.
Of course, the trouble with anime cons is that they come and go more frequently and for even more dramatic reasons than furry cons (e.g. NakamaCon).
I just updated WikiFur's list of conventions by attendance – there's 25 in the U.S. and another five over the border, not counting those we don't have firm figures for. We're fairly well provisioned now, at least in North America.
Does WikiFur have an article on "gullible"?
No, and KIFFcon is totally legit.
*ba dum dum*
Psst. Xydexx. If you're going to pretend not to be Xydexx, it's better not to copy/paste the same comment that you posted on FNN (which I read by the way) and LiveJournal. It's not very sneaky of you.
posting from FB actually.
guys... you can't imagine what you're missing. the sun, the drinks, open air concerts, booze.. the Wyndham hotel is also not bad at all, watching the sunset over oceanside is really... it's not bad,
imagine Cannes Festival with furries.
gotta go, Mick3-9 and Takeshi are waiting, i brought my opel speedster so we can make a trip to the ocean's eleven casino.
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