Is There A Con Going On Here On Ep?

There is a person or group using a single screen name currently on EP that is supposedly engaged in a “big project”. They have only written 11 stories, all of questionable quality (IMO), joined 407 groups and acquired 2039 friends. The effort required to produce eleven meaningless stories and join 400+ groups is relatively small but becoming friends with 2000+ EPeeps is indeed a large effort. Now I’ll admit that my circle is small in comparison to that of some of the long time EP members but this “entity” has only been active since January 10, 2010.
When I was initially fanned by the “entity” I perused the stories and comments available and decided that we had little in common so did not add them to my circle. I’ve elected to block and unblock each subsequent fanning since the first, thus denying access to my EP activities. If I fanned someone and was rejected I may whine about it but I would not continue to approach that person. So… I’ve been fanned by this “entity” 11 times. I am wondering if there is an automated process going on here. If an individual was rejected 5, 7 or 10 times by any EPeep I would think they would desist. A simple bit of pearl code would continue to try and add the selected EPeep never considering the previous rejections. If this is an actual person generating these friend requests I suppose it is possible that they may have forgotten their previous contacts. But I doubt it.
That brings me to my next thought. What is this big project that requires 2000 EPeeps? Forgive me if I sound paranoid but the whole deal strikes me as a set-up for some con job. Okay I’m a bit of a cynic. I grew up in the streets of a large city and have been fleeced more than once. As I have watched the number of friends grow I’ve become more concerned. Not all of us learned the lessons of urban life and acquired the wariness needed to keep their lunch money. Some of us are sweet, caring, helpful and empathetic folk who are susceptible to being coned. I like this place and many of the fine people here. I would hate to see any EPeep get ripped off.
Please… what are your thoughts about this? Am I being foolish and paranoid or is the smell of some nefarious plan wafting through EP’s atmosphere?

UPDATE 8/3/10................ The friend count is now 2140!

Several folks have suggested that JL, FLJ, J9 etc. is/are attempting to gather free material; writing, art work etc. for use somewhere/sometime. After thinking about this I've concluded that this "entity" hasn't the education, ability or experience to make use of what they are offered. I mean.... just read the stories, "poem" or comments, the guy is barely literate. There is no way he/they have the industry connections to publish or sell writing or art work. Rather, I think the request for "help" of various sorts is being used as a wedge to provide entry into their contributors' confidence and allow the "entity" to gain access to personal information. Once on the inside I fully expect that anyone who bought into the story will face an attempted scam.
After reading the latest blog, 8/2/10, I am somewhat heartened. The "entity" has expanded his trolling to twitter which may mean he's not getting as much play from EPeeps as expected. Although the promise of $1.5 million will probably lure the more gullible among us, I have hope that EPeeps will view the whole deal and the outlandish promises more skeptically.
Keep your eyes open and your hand on your wallet.........

UPDATE 8/11/10 ..... The grapevine has it that....

The JL and J9 personas have been removed from EP under the guise of copyright violations. (Geeeeeezzzz how long did that take?)
However the FLJ persona still seems to be active.
Stay tuned for more updates... same Bat Chanel
newdaydogEP newdaydogEP
70+, M
11 Responses Jul 29, 2010

The title of your post "Is There A Con?" suggests that people actually send other people on EP cash for business ventures and the like, I cannot imagine even considering such a thing. I would say to one and all. "Just say no" and block an individual that contacts you asking for money for ANYTHING.

Another fascinating thread. I tend to stay with my own tiny circle. I don't usually have the free time to venture out and read elsewhere, but this morning, I am exploring and really reading some interesting things. Thanks for putting this, out there, for all to read.

You sound like a wise man. Unfortunately, it's not really safe to trust anyone on the internet.

I think it is a way to steal material, personally.

TOCIC... I don't know if this is the same person using a new persona, a continuation of the previous "Big Deal" initiated by FLJ or an entirely new effort from a new entity.<br />
<br />
AP... I don't believe there will be any bricks thrown your way. If there is some blow-back I expect it will be directed my way. No problem.... I don't intimidate easily and my feelings are seldom hurt by sycophants seeking to curry favor or drown out a naysayer.

I received this PM and thought it appropriate to post it in the comments. I did receive permission to do so:<br />
Hi thanks for your post re entity, I have been wondering about this as been involved with some writing for JL project. Some things don't seem to add up and I recently received a scam email luckily I goggled the name and found out some info. Its possible there could be a connection. I will discontinue contact as a precaution. You are right - many of us are not so skeptical initially, I would prefer to trust people.

No clue who you are talking about but perhaps this should be brought to the attention of of the folks in charge around here?

I love your observation that the entity's stories are of questionable quality! That's a real understatement-- stringing a plethora of big words together does not make good writing as this "person's" stories have well demonstrated!<br />
Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.

I know who you're talking about and his profile has puzzled me as well. His stories seem harmless, if unintelligible, but I agree something is not right about it.

I removed him after he told me contact his agent, to do artwork for said project. Despite reporting him, he remains

I think you're on to something. If its the same member I'm thinking of, he started a blog here over the summer and put out requests for submissions to it, it had many thousands of hits. Something (I don't know what) was revealed as fishy and it was shut down.