NarutoMania Donation Scam? [Scam or Ham?]
Someone recently brought to my attention that narutomania.com may be scamming their members for donations when they should not be. I’ve been doing some digging and it seems they at one time were asking for donations to protect against attacks they blame on me, which is totally untrue but recently they have begun what I believe to be another scam.
As you can see below, this is the expenses they are claiming they have, which was posted on their site yesterday, which was removed this morning, good thing I saved it. I could be wrong on all of this, I might not be, I've posted the facts and figures below and I will let all of you decide. I have seen other similar posts on other forums already.
Private Server - $249
5 x Fast 100mbit public US metered for new episodes – $635 (3 x $119, 2 x 139)
Forums Server – $450
10mbit Unmetered public for Manga – $149
1 x 40mbit Unmetered EU Server for Berserk/Wolf's Rain - $119
2 x 40mbit Unmetered EU Servers for Naruto – $238 (2 x $119)
2 x 40mbit Unmetered EU Servers for One Piece – $238 (2 x $119)
2 x 30mbit Unmetered EU Server for Bleach – $178 (2 x $89)
1 x 60mbit Unmetered EU Server for One Piece - $199
1 x 60mbit Unmetered EU Server for Naruto - $199
1 x 60mbit Unmetered EU Server for Death Note - $199
1 x 60mbit Unmetered EU Server D.Grey Man - $199
Server Admin Fees - $70
Bandwidth Overage media servers - $67
Bandwidth Overage Foums Server - $3467”
Let’s start by one of the easiest things it is to prove. They are hosted by Staminus. At staminus, they do not offer 1gb ports, so you are stuck with a 100mbps port. With a 100mbps port, you can push about 32tb’s of bandwidth. Each 1tb of bandwidth costs $75. With me so far?
His main site and forums are hosted on the same server, so he does not have a dedicated forums server as he claims, but I will give him a little slack, we can just assume it's his DB server. Even though I know it's not as last night when his site was lagging I visited his forum and got an error that said MySQL could not connect to "localhost", so there is no "Forums Server" for $450.
So we know that bandwidth is $75 per 1tb. He is claiming he paid $3467 because of bandwidth usage. How many TB’s is that? Let’s see. $3467/$75 = 46tb’s. How exactly did he get charged for 46tb’s when the most he could be pushing is 32tb’s at the MOST? It is impossible to push more than 32tb’s on a 100mbps port. What exactly does this tell us? He did not get charged $3467 for bandwidth. Not even close. What else is he lying about?
Now lets take a look at all of those 30,40, and 60mbps machine he listed. Do I really need to go into more detail? Does he really expect ANYONE to buy a dedicated machine for each series? His site is tiny, about 350 users online, how many users do you expect to be downloading? Take for example animerun.net, it has about 250 downloads at any given time, and it’s only on a 100mbps machine and its fine.
5 servers for the latest episodes? Ohh please. At first I figured maybe he rotates between servers, so what did I do? I asked people to signup, I found friends from USA, Australia, Japan, and used proxies to test from other locations, some people already had accounts, they don’t rotate, here is the servers we were able to find from his download pages. This does not include his private server.
So let’s add things up now and expose this guy. 3 servers for Naruto? We tested using 6 accounts registered on different dates and the 4 people who helped register for me from different countries found that the only servers hosting Naruto episodes is the 18.104.22.168, narutogallery.com, 22.214.171.124 (manga) and sporetalk.com as the servers. How much does he claim to be paying for all of this? $439. How do we know this is wrong? 126.96.36.199 is hosted at giga-hosting.biz for $80 USD. narutogallery.com is hosted through dediboxworld.com who charges $60/, 188.8.131.52 is hosted at noc4hosts, lets be nice and just say they bought $119 like they claim and sporetalk.com is hosted through dediboxworld.com for another $60 per month. They claim to be paying $439, how much does it seem like they are paying? $319. Profit: $120/m.
For his Bleach downloads, he seems to have two mirrors. bleachmania.com and 184.108.40.206 (manga). bleachmania.com is hosted at dediboxworld.com who once again charge $60/m, and his 220.127.116.11 machine we have already totaled up for the Naruto downloads. He claims to be paying $178 for both mirrors. How can you be paying for the same machine (18.104.22.168) twice? Does that not sound funny? He is really paying $60/m. Profit: $118/m.
For his One Piece downloads he has these three mirrors. rock-lee.com, animepark.com, 22.214.171.124. rock-lee.com is hosted at dediboxworld.com for another $60/m, the same goes for animepark.com, for another $60/m. 126.96.36.199 is hosted at FDC, they have multiple machines, but lets be generous and just say they bought the $149/m machine. He claims he is paying what? $437/m. What is he paying? $270/m. Profit: $167/m
For his Death Note downloads he has these mirrors. 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, narutomania.net, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168 at dediboxworld.com for $60/m. 22.214.171.124 is hosted at ovh.com, let’s say he went with the $150/m machine, but I bet you all he went with the $80/m machine. narutomania.net is hosted at ThePlanet, lets figure he went with one of the higher end machines, $200/m. 126.96.36.199 has already been paid for, so we can ignore that. 188.8.131.52 is hosted at dediboxworld.com once again for $60/m. He says he is paying $199/m for all of this.Keep in mind this is also the series he has 4 extra mirrors on also. He seems to be paying about $750/m, and this is with me being VERY generous. I personally figure he is paying closer to about $500/m for all of this.
For his D.Gray-Man downloads he has this one single mirror. 184.108.40.206, which is hosted at dediboxworld.com for $60/m. He claims to be paying $199, but he is really paying $60/m.
So let’s see what we came up with here.
He claims to be paying $2353 for servers
In reality it sees he is paying closer to $1459 for his servers.
How much of a difference? $849. This is a lot of money for one to be pocketing.
So what have we proven? Not only does it appear he has lied about the cost and even location of his servers, but he has also been proven to have lied on the $3467 for the extra bandwidth. From what it seems this guy is walking away with thousands each month.
I know many of you will probably think he must be telling the truth because of that chargeback. If he deposited all of his money and then got hit, he would be in the negative, but he would still have all the funds he transferred into his bank account. Who knows how much he has?
I personally think it’s just another greedy anime webmaster trying to get as much as he can from his donators, and from what I have dug up, it seems I am correct. I’m probably a little off in my figures on some of them, but there is no way I am off by thousands.
Now I want all of you to decide, is this a scam? Or is this ham? Vote and Decide!