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Author Topic: Fraud going down at IS  (Read 36377 times)

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« on: December 26, 2010, 11:27 »
0
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&page=1

Just keep an eye on your downloads from IS today.  Someone is rampantly downloading large sized files at a $1 per credit price.


donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 12:28 »
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From what I was reading over there it looks as if the exclusives are the ones reporting these sales.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 12:36 »
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From what I was reading over there it looks as if the exclusives are the ones reporting these sales.
It seems to be Vettas and Agency images that are being targetted, and downloaded at maximum sizes.
Sorry to those who've been affected, and hope the images don't get misused down the line. :-(

« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 12:40 »
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From what I was reading over there it looks as if the exclusives are the ones reporting these sales.
It seems to be Vettas and Agency images that are being targetted, and downloaded at maximum sizes.
Sorry to those who've been affected, and hope the images don't get misused down the line. :-(

I had a bunch of regular ones as well.

donding

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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2010, 12:45 »
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That's a big chunk of money either way. It doesn't look right especially since this is over Christmas, usually very few people do business during Christmas.

Hope you guys don't end up with a big bill from iStock after the first of the year.

« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 12:47 »
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http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&page=1

Just keep an eye on your downloads from IS today.  Someone is rampantly downloading large sized files at a $1 per credit price.

Yes, but isn't that what microstock is about?

« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 13:19 »
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I had an xs for $0,10 today... wonder if its related.... either way 0,10 is a new low.  >:(

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 13:31 »
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I had a few XL sales for exactly $1/credit.   That's unusual enough that I think it may be related.   In my case, as an independent, it's just a few dollars I will use if it turns out to be fraud. 

Scary for exclusives with Vetta and Agency files, particularly if this is someone collecting them to sell on the black market...  :o

It almost seems like some crook thought "when the cat's away the mice will play".  I'm relieved to read MichaelJay's post that administration is on this. Looks like Istock has reached the level of success that it may no longer be advisable to announce the entire administrative staff is taking off for the holidays...? 

« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 13:35 »
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I think if I stole someone's credit card numbers, stock photography is the last thing I'd be purchasing. How odd. Poor fotovoyager though. $2000 and counting. That's a heck of a lot of money.

lisafx

« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 13:43 »
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Perhaps it's some ambitious guy, in some area of the world that's tough to police, who'd planning on being the new Heroturko and setting up his own "free image" site.  Maybe even charging for them.  
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 13:57 by lisafx »

donding

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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2010, 13:51 »
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Some people do it just to see if it can be done....maybe it's a disgruntled contributor or buyer who knew they'd be gone, who knows. You know photographers come from every walk of life.

RT


« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2010, 13:52 »
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Looks like Istock has reached the level of success that it may no longer be advisable to announce the entire administrative staff is taking off for the holidays...? 

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that they left a note of the front door saying "Back after the new year, key is under the doormat is you need anything"

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 14:10 »
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Lobo...the guarder of the gates is still there, so I guess not everyone got to go on vacation.
He's said they are checking all purchases and downloads within the last 48 hours so maybe they will get it straighten out before the bosses come back... ;)

« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 14:12 »
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yeah, or maybe it is some new bogus promotion scheme and the discounts are passed along to the contributors as usual.

Still, the .10 XS I got seems even more miserly than normal for IS. I wasn't expecting any of those until next year.

« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 14:20 »
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could be Santa :)

« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2010, 14:49 »
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could be Santa :)

If it's Santa, he's very discriminating. I'm showing my same low sales as per usual.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 14:55 »
0
From what I was reading over there it looks as if the exclusives are the ones reporting these sales.
It seems to be Vettas and Agency images that are being targetted, and downloaded at maximum sizes.
Sorry to those who've been affected, and hope the images don't get misused down the line. :-(

I had a bunch of regular ones as well.
OK, fair enough.
Seems everyone reporting so far has been exclusive, though, as donding suggests.

lisafx

« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2010, 14:59 »
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I've had four, in the last 24 hours, that it could apply to - all largest size available, and all with $1 credits.  In my case, with only 4, I am not too worried.  I think for the most part it is exclusives who are targeted.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 15:03 »
0
I've had four, in the last 24 hours, that it could apply to - all largest size available, and all with $1 credits.  In my case, with only 4, I am not too worried.  I think for the most part it is exclusives who are targeted.
Sorry, Lisa, I forgot you'd mentioned it on here earlier.
Still, worrying if the pics are going to be sold on.
Maybe it's a weatlhy company in the Middle East not affected by the current general holiday season. Hopefully, for all concerned.
(But if so, that would be obvious and Lobo could have reported it.)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 15:30 by ShadySue »

« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 15:22 »
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I had one XXXL for $5 and an XXL for $4 (non-exlusive).

Hey, maybe it's not fraud, maybe it's a software bug or... a feature :)
The software was re-designed to boost the profits, maybe that's what it does when it's left on autopilot:)
It downloads stuff and boosts the profits ;) (at least temporarily, that is for 2010)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 15:24 by Tom »

« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2010, 15:42 »
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I had one XXXL for $5 and an XXL for $4 (non-exlusive).

Hey, maybe it's not fraud, maybe it's a software bug or... a feature :)
The software was re-designed to boost the profits, maybe that's what it does when it's left on autopilot:)
It downloads stuff and boosts the profits ;) (at least temporarily, that is for 2010)

It wouldn't be the first time a company artificially boosted sales that way.

« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2010, 15:47 »
0
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&page=1

Just keep an eye on your downloads from IS today.  Someone is rampantly downloading large sized files at a $1 per credit price.

Yes, but isn't that what microstock is about?


No.  The point is that it is easy to spot the sales because the credits are valued at $1 each.  Not $1.50 or $.95.  Which indicates a credit pack of 5000 sold, or a contributor changing of $1 for 1 credit.

« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2010, 16:23 »
0
I had one XXXL for $5 and an XXL for $4 (non-exlusive).

Hey, maybe it's not fraud, maybe it's a software bug or... a feature :)
The software was re-designed to boost the profits, maybe that's what it does when it's left on autopilot:)
It downloads stuff and boosts the profits ;) (at least temporarily, that is for 2010)

It wouldn't be the first time a company artificially boosted sales that way.

If it was, boy oh boy, they'd be hitting an all time new low. I find it hard to believe, but anything is possible. :D

« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 08:53 »
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Still no word from HQ (that has been posted on the forums anyway.)

But then again, personally, I wouldn't necessarily believe whatever explanation they give. If it's actually fraud, they aren't going to say. Someone has already thrown out the "class action suit against IS" notion in another thread started here.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/alarming-number-of-big-downloads-on-istock/msg176812/?topicseen#new

If it's legit, why wouldn't that have been reported already to put people's minds at ease? Sure, everyone's away. But most everyone has a smartphone/ipad/laptop/netbook or something that could be used to work remotely. I am certain everyone's Facebook page is going to be up to date, I find it hard to believe that there isn't ANYONE who can verify whether a company bought a zillion credits for $1 and is now using them.

That this kind of company (IS) would shut down for this long of a vacation, I find incredible.

edited to explain myself better
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 09:07 by cclapper »

« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2010, 09:24 »
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If this does turn out to be theft resulting from iStock not securing their system well enough to prevent hacking, then I don't see how iStock would have the right to take the money back from the contributors. If someone downloaded a file illegally from iStock, but has the opportunity to use it, then I think the contributors still deserve to be paid by iStock, even if iStock was robbed.

Imagine you are a supplier of neck ties to a department store on consignment. Someone steals 10 of the ties you placed on their tie racks for sale. Don't you think the department store still needs to pay you as the supplier of the stolen neck ties? After all, it is not your fault they were stolen and it is a business risk the department store takes. So it is up to them to make sure their security controls are strong enough to prevent people from stealing.

It is the same at iStock. Contributors have enough to worry about with the time, effort, and investment it takes just to create those images, upload, keyword, etc. So if they get stolen from the iStock site, I think iStock should and has to be responsible for the cost of the stolen product and cannot deny payment to their suppliers.

I think they know this though, and if it does turn out to be a case of image theft, they will probably bite the bullet and leave the earnings already placed in the accounts of the contributors who were paid for these downloaded images. On the other hand, if these images start showing up in pirated collections of digital stock imagery being sold around the world, then the liability issue for iStock could be much greater.

Let's hope for the best, that the sales all occurred legitimately, and that within a few days this mounting worry is put to rest. Cheers to all.

(grammatical errors corrected)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 09:31 by Worried Sick »


 

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