Bogus Website Alert: Magical University

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/23/08 04:44 PM

A new website has popped up: Magical University
http://magicaluniversity.com/
BEWARE and warn any laymen who asks you about it. This site seems to be entirely bogus.
None of the ostensible "faculty" listed on the site know anything about it!
http://magicaluniversity.com/faculty.html
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Postby JHostler » 12/23/08 05:27 PM

'Tis apparently a demo site. Dozens (all anonymously registered) are using the same contact info.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/23/08 07:04 PM

Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Timothy Hyde » 12/23/08 07:36 PM

I would suggest that a clue can be found
by following the "Course Listings" link
The Secret Notebooks of Mr Hyde - Vol 1 & 2 - http://www.MagicCoach.com
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Postby Tim Ellis » 12/23/08 07:37 PM

And what is that clue Timothy?
www.AustralianMagician.com
www.TimEllisMagic.com
www.MagicUnlimited.com

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 12/23/08 07:42 PM

[font:Arial Black]I hope that magicuniversity.com comes to fruition very soon.
After checking out the faculty and curriculum I am already squirreling the tuition $$ for the course in Magical Meteorology 251 proffed by Lee Grotte, M.D. and Conjuring Cures for Insomnia 101 led my adjunct professor Jamy Ian Swiss.

I wonder if they will have an online campus book store where one can purchase magicuniversity.com nylon jackets and put down a deposit for Balfour Official UM.C Class Rings and ΙΗΒ fraternity keys? [/font] :)
It's not about the magic; it's about the daily box office gross.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/23/08 07:55 PM

I'll take inter course when they offer it. I can Paypal payment. :)
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Postby David Alexander » 12/23/08 07:57 PM

The website itself, in spite of the numerous luminaries supposedly on the faculty, only offers one course: The Sly Art of Misdirection being taught by a "Tim David."

So, I Google "Tim David" and I find a site where lots of other people I've never heard of sing his praises. See: http://timdavidmagic.com/?page_id=5

Perhaps the most amazing part of Tim David's site is that it is the first magic site I've seen with no contact info for hiring him other than email. Apparently, he isn't interested in gigs.

He also seems to have this site: http://www.themagicteacher.com/articles ... Page1.html where he "teaches."

Maybe he's involved with Magical University and maybe he isn't. The link to the description of the course it claims he'll be teaching doesn't work.

Anyone know the guy?
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Postby David Alexander » 12/23/08 08:00 PM

Kevin Connolly wrote:I'll take inter course when they offer it. I can Paypal payment. :)


Kevin, you might get your wish about being screwed since the address in Washington seem connected to this report:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/2 ... 242175.htm
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Postby Magic Newswire » 12/23/08 08:05 PM

I live fairly close to the Atlanta address listed. I'll see if I can find out anything more.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 12/23/08 08:11 PM

A Google search on the phone number makes this appear more and more questionable.

The phone number is connected to everything from Oriental Carpet Traders to Discount Daiper Warehouse.

Calling the number is fruitless as you get a Number not in use message.
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Postby Tim Ellis » 12/23/08 09:47 PM

You're right. The address listed as Domain registrar seems to be one common to many, many credit card fraud schemes.

Here is another http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/3 ... 372134.htm

It appears that they create lots of different websites to attract people with different interests, get them to send their credit card details and then continually rebill them.

According to this site
http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/s ... ewards.php
the WA address is a front and the company is operating out of Romania!

The address is also linked to a Malware site
http://www.viruspool.net/domains/black/refreshxp.com
so maybe they are also using other ways to get your credit card details.

You can also read this thread
http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mb ... cgi?3104,1
to see how domains registered at the same address were used to rip off people in the audio industry.

Best thing, I guess, is to spread the word throughout the magic community to avoid this site!
www.AustralianMagician.com
www.TimEllisMagic.com
www.MagicUnlimited.com

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 12/23/08 10:05 PM

[font:Arial Black]
Kevin Connolly wrote:I'll take inter course when they offer it. I can Paypal payment. :)


Cash on the barrel for the "course" that you wish to take.
University registrar afraid of too many INR claims and no online viewable DC to show that you actually received the "goods." ;) [/font]
It's not about the magic; it's about the daily box office gross.
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Postby Tim Ellis » 12/23/08 10:10 PM

Be aware that this is also connected to
www.themagiccollege.com
(not to be confused with the very real College of Magic in South Africa).

It looks like this magic college was the test website for the magic university. (Unless the fraudsters just copied the magic college site?)

But even on the magical university site they offer this contact info:

For help or information, email: tim@themagiccollege.com




Domain search shows the magic college was set up by

Registrant:
Magic Works
P.O. Box 612
Unit 1E
Assonet, Massachusetts 02702
United States

Domain Name: THEMAGICCOLLEGE.COM
Created on: 17-Jan-07
Expires on: 17-Jan-09
Last Updated on: 19-Jan-08

Administrative Contact:
David, Tim
Magic Works
P.O. Box 612
Unit 1E
Assonet, Massachusetts 02702
United States
(508) 823-1515

Technical Contact:
David, Tim
Magic Works
P.O. Box 612
Unit 1E
Assonet, Massachusetts 02702
United States
(508) 823-1515

Domain servers in listed order:
NS7.MYHOSTDNS.COM
NS8.MYHOSTDNS.COM


Yes, www.timthemagician.com is connected with the other sites David Alexander found
www.themagicteacher.com
and
www.timdavidmagic.com (his blog - he's also on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/timdavidmagic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages ... 4503187521 )

plus
www.magicforschools.com
and
www.birthdaypartypro.com
and
www.crazymagictricks.com


He seems to be a very real person based in Massachusetts, and you can contact him using the form on this page
http://www.themagicteacher.com/pages/Contact-Us.html
or by the details listed on this page
http://www.magicforschools.com/assemblies.html

P.O. Box 612 Assonet, MA 02702
(866) 816-2442
tim@magicforschools.com

Maybe someone can phone him and ask what his connection is with The Magical University?
www.AustralianMagician.com
www.TimEllisMagic.com
www.MagicUnlimited.com

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 12/23/08 10:40 PM

[font:Arial Black]
...I Google "Tim David" and I find a site where lots of other people I've never heard of sing his praises. See: http://timdavidmagic.com/?page_id=5...


I recognized one of these testimonial providers:
You are the awesomest, Most briliantastic, seriously COOL magician. Who cares about the lame Criss Angel, David Blaine and all the other weird magicians while they have the one and only, TIM DAVID. I am not just saying this but i do mean it. - Aizad Farrukh


I spent two semesters studying overseas in Cairo and met him at a panty raid. He kept flunking English and washed out in his freshman year.

Image

I'll never forget those happy days at old Farouk U. [/font]
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/23/08 11:50 PM

Ray you're killing me! That picture almost made me pass soda through my nose. Thanks for the laugh.
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Postby Tim David » 12/24/08 12:01 AM

Hi...This is the REAL Tim David.

I AM affiliated with TheMagicCollege.com, but NOT magicaluniversity.com.

All I know right now is that they copied some of my site in order to create their magicaluniversity.com.

I don't know what kind of fraud this is yet, but I would DEFINITELY stay away from magicaluniversity.com

I'll respond more soon, but I wanted to clear the air first...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/08 12:05 AM

The entire faculty page is copied from Jeff McBride's Mystery School website, including all text and layout. So, it would make sense for them to cop different parts from other sites.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 12/24/08 12:16 AM

magicaluniversity.com is using a domain protection service.

Jeff McBride or anyone else featured on the faculty site can still issue a take down notice to the ISP in question for copyright infringement. US ISP's are forced to comply - and normally take the site offline pending the removal of the infringing material.
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Postby Tim David » 12/24/08 12:17 AM

David Alexander - Yes, I perform. Full-time in fact. I have different web sites for that. Tim Ellis mentioned a few of them.

It just makes good marketing sense to keep everything separate.

Ray - Funny stuff, dude. Yes, I have real testimonials from real people. Grammatical errors and all!

I get the feeling that many magicians have testimonials from only famous magicians, and I want my customers to know that I have REAL customers...Not just magician friends who do me a favor by sending me a nice testimonial.

Magic Newswire - Any info you get on that address PLEEEEASE let me know.

Regarding TheMagicCollege.com - Yes, it is a test site of sorts, but NOT for magicaluniversity.com or anything similar to that. I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in an online magic "college".

I put together one course and offered that as my "test". Response to that course "The Sly Art of Misdirection" has been very good, but there's probably not enough volume for it to make sense for me to pursue. We'll see...

Regarding MagicalUniversity.com - I'm going to send and email to my list of customers and subscribers (NOT a spam email!) :) and tell them that this site is fraudulent and to avoid it at all costs.

This really sucks that my contact info is up there. :(

I'm not listed on the WHOIS lookup, but nobody's going to take the time to do that (except Tim Ellis of course...thanks Tim!)
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Postby Tim David » 12/24/08 12:18 AM

Craig - How do we do that??
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Postby Tim David » 12/24/08 12:19 AM

Richard, how did this site originally come to your attention?
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Postby CraigMitchell » 12/24/08 12:34 AM

Tim D - according to the whois look-up, the site is hosted by MPOWER COMMUNICATIONS CORP and the domain registrar is ENOM. Both appear to be US based which is good.

You will be issuing a DMCA take down notice. A sample of the email to send is below. Send it to the following:

ip-abuse@mpowercom.net, mgjrxtkq@whoisprivacyprotect.com, abuse@internap.com and for good measure submit to Enom as well at http://www.enom.com/terms/AbusePolicy.asp

Enom state that a domain redirection is in place for the domain to IP 69.25.142.5 which is linking to host Internap Network Services Corporation.

Bottom line - is you issue the take down notice to anyone connected with the domain.

SAMPLE NOTICE

Date:

Name of ISP / Registrar you are emailing to

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I wish to report an instance of Copyright Infringement. The infringing material appears on the Service for which you are the designated agent.

1. The copyrighted material, which I contend belongs to me and appears illegally on the Service, is the following:


2. The unauthorized material appears at the website address:


3. My contact information is as follows:

[My Name]
[My Address]
[My Phone]
[My Email]

4. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials as described above is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

5. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

[Your Name Printed]




Hope this helps
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Postby David Alexander » 12/24/08 12:42 AM

Tim,

Glad you're legit. Best of luck.

David
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Postby Tim Ellis » 12/24/08 01:01 AM

Ah Craig, always the man with the answers! ;)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/08 02:12 AM

Tobias Beckwith sent me an e-mail about it and asked me to alert people.
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Postby Charlotte Pendra » 12/24/08 02:33 AM

it's Jonathan, but I am speaking for Charlotte as well, We have no idea what this site is about. We were never asked to be part of it and we never gave permission for the photo and bio use.

Jonathan Pendragon
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Postby David Vamer » 12/26/08 04:32 AM

Oh GREAT!!! Next you're going to tell me that Magicaluniversity is not accredited, and that my degree is no good....
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Postby McKitterick » 12/26/08 12:41 PM

David Vamer wrote:Oh GREAT!!! Next you're going to tell me that Magicaluniversity is not accredited, and that my degree is no good....


Although the Magical University's academic credentials are questionable, I understand they have one heck of a football program.
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Postby Tim David » 12/31/08 04:34 PM

The fraudulent site, MagicalUniversity.com, has been taken down! (Thanks, Craig...it worked!)

Success!

Thanks also to anyone who helped to bring down the bad guys!

Happy New Year!
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