PHISHING WARNING: AVOID WALLPART AT ALL COSTS
Over the past 24 hours I have been notified by several people about pages of Peter &
Company and other pieces of my artwork being supposedly “available for
sale” through a site called Wallpart (which I will not link in this post, for reasons explained below), and in the same time span I have seen many
other artists make journals/submissions/posts talking about finding their own
work on there as well. Naturally, the inclination of any artist finding
their work available for sale without their consent is to head to the
“Report Violation” link attached to every listing and file a complaint
to have it removed.
PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT FILL OUT THE VIOLATION REPORT ON WALLPART’S WEBSITE.
This site already has a bit of a history, and I’ve read several posts from people who dove into their site code and snooped around. Long story short, there are some very devious bait-and-switch tactics going
– I have not found any confirmation that they are actually selling any of the images/prints that appear on their
site. Their “search function” is nothing but scraper software, which
essentially just loads up hits from Google Images and displays them
within a pre-built “shop” template based on the image’s resolution. This
is why every single piece on there has a title that is lifted directly
from whatever gallery site (FA/DA/Weasyl) or general website was hosting
it. Example: They have my title card from my Kickstarter page for the
P&C pilot, with the title lifted straight off the description.
– The dependence on Google Images is also why doing a search for your
own name will turn up different results each time, or possibly no
results at all, even though the listings still seem to exist if you have a direct URL to them. Their “search” function never actually searches their
own listings; it even offers the same real-time suggestions that you’d get from a Google search bar. Confusingly enough, performing the
same search multiple times often returns different results at different
times throughout the day. I was able to find dozens of P&C pages
supposedly for sale by searching my name yesterday, but today none of
them show up in search results – even though the direct links to the
page forms (which I saved) still exist.
– Their “Report Violation” link is actually a 100% phishing form. If you
fill it out, no matter what you put there, you will be sending them a
LOT more than you anticipated. This is
actually the main purpose for the site’s existence – they completely
anticipate artists being upset about their work supposedly being sold,
so they developed a system to exploit those who complain.
– Various pieces of malware and other malicious code have been found
embedded throughout their pages at different times. This site is just
bad news all around.
– The site itself is hosted in Russia, and has already swapped web hosts
4 times in the past few months. The current host is listed as ENOM, and
other bloggers/artists have already sent complaints and reports to
their contact page, with little luck. It looks like it’s already been
branded and caught in the past and is trying to keep itself alive.
– Also, for a site claiming to have “billions of images” available for
print, to only have a little over 3,000 “happy customers” should be a
pretty big red flag on its own.
So please – DO NOT VISIT THIS SITE. Do not attempt to search for your own artwork in its listings; if your work shows up on Google, it is guaranteed to be on that site. They’re even listing “prints” of web banners and other graphical elements that were never intended for printing. Do not give it page views, and
most importantly DO NOT FILL OUT ANY VIOLATION FORMS, EVEN IF THE
ARTWORK ON THE PAGE IS YOUR OWN. Instead, there is a Change.org petition asking for the domain to be stripped and brought down.
Please share the word around as much as possible so other artists don’t
potentially fall into their trap by thinking that their “Report
Violation” page is actually what it claims to be. These people are pure
scam artists, plain and simple. Avoid them at all costs.