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20 January 2008 @ 09:56 am
Charisma Carpenter Online A FAKE!  
I realize that not everyone who is a Charisma fan goes to Stranger Things or Charisma-Carpenter.com. I am hoping a lot of people link this post so that we can spread the word.

Some people are trying to pass themselves off as Charisma Carpenter through this site as well as two MySpace pages. (here and here)

THESE SITES ARE FAKES!


As far as we can tell, they are run by two teenage girls. On the Charisma Carpenter Online site, they are trying to open a store as well as run a fanclub that would cost people $150/yr. Please, let people know about these fakes before it gets worse.



It began last week when Charisma was suppose to have a "live video chat" session. When that failed to materialize, people started really questioning the site. It was hosted on a free server, none of the content was anything new, and it seems strangely un-Charisma like (such as charging for autographs, which she seldoms does as well as working to clean up the web seeing as CC is not computer savvy)

With no word on why the video chat was cancelled, people started to dig. The "Unbreakable Team" was run by a 15 and 16 year old respectively (Thank you Nikki for finding that out). The profile age was listed at 19 years old.

Checking the domain of charismacarpenteronline, it was yet again another "free" bit of webspace, registered through AOL's free domain service. When the "newsletters" from Charisma came in, the pictures were hosted on a free photobucket account. And weebly, the host of the site that is up now, is also free.

Coming from a soap actors sites background, I was growing more and more suspicious, voicing thoughts on ST about it.

Me: Michael Easton is just about the least tech savvy person out there. I don't think he even knows how to turn on a TV. Originally, he lended his support to an unofficial Michael Easton site until that site went kaput. Then he hired a team and his site is really slick. He does FAQs every month and it is nice.

Same with Kelly Monaco. Another not so tech savvy person who hired a team to do her official website. It was (until Ed, her webmaster, got cancer) this really awesome flash, java explosion. She did a live chat and it was awesome. She did contests all the time and a good friend of mine won a phone call in her Christmas contest. (And her fan club is $30 A YEAR)

Ingo Rademacher, again, another soap celeb has a kick ass website where he posts to his fans, with correctly spellchecked and grammar checked posts. He posts personal pictures that he has taken on vacation, not pictures or videos that anyone has access to on the web.

I could keep going. But these are SOAP actors, who are way less famous and probably have way less cash (or the ability to call in favors) than Charisma. They all have official domains and teams that run their sites. There are people on the Kelly Monaco board that have met her website team and they are professional people in their 30s-40s.


Then Shalazar, who runs C-C.com decided that he was going to take a closer look at the site itself to see if it was even capable of doing all the things the webmasters claimed it was. He posted on the C-C.com message board.

Shalazar: I think it's time to be very critical about the site and weigh the facts.

The only evidence we have with respect to the official nature of that site is it's own declaration as such, which doesn't amount to much. Kristen Bell's confirmation is worth a mention in passing, but it is purely circumstantial and questionable in it's own right. Why would she, of all people, be privvy to that information when none of us can find it of our own accord?

What about the evidence against the site's legitimacy? I find several aspects to be most telling. First, is the lack of original content. Despite it supposing to have this direct connection with and involvement by Charisma, there is a noticable and distinct lack of any original content that would lend credence to a claim of officialness. One poster on Stranger Things mentioned that the site has been up for months. So where are the original photos? Or videos? Or inside scoops that could only come from Charisma? Why does the only content on both the site and the Myspace page consist of a couple pictures and a biography that are readily available to anyone on the internet?

Second, I have problems with the statements on the sites attributed to Charisma. The site appears to stand behind the Journal as its sole mark of authenticity. We've already discussed at length the fact that the generic style in which it was written could mean that it was penned by anybody. I believe the same holds true for statements on the Myspace page. The evidence of another writer is most apparent in the entry discussing the alleged separation from Damien and the statement that they weren't getting divorced. If we believe the E! Online article (and at this point there is no reason to doubt its veracity), then everything in that entry was false. If Charisma really did write that in December, then she surely would've been aware that the divorce papers had been filed because they would've had to be in the system for quite some time to get a hearing in early January.

Third, I find myself really disturbed that this site is apparently preparing to sell merchandise to fans. I get e-mails every day from people wanting autographs, so I understand the demand that exists for them. And when I see a site like this, I worry about the potential for fraud on unsuspecting fans who can be taken advantage of in the name of their favorite celebrity. I worry especially when so much of a focus is going into selling merchandise when so little attention is being spent developing the rest of the site.

So let's ask the questions. The fan club is 15 dollars a month, that's going to work out to $150 per year if you get the first 3 months for $15 as the site claims. That's incredibly steep, and I don't believe any celebrity or band can command or even justify that kind of charge for a yearly membership fee in a fan club. The list of things you supposedly get is pretty lofty, however - video CDs, a monthly magazine, talking with her on the phone, instant messaging, autographs, letters, etc. But does any of this even make sense? People are going to get video CDs when the site can't even post an original video on YouTube or Myspace video? There's going to be a monthly magazine? What could possibly be in it when the site can't even create its own content? And Charisma will be making personal phone calls and chatting online? Really? Because according to the E! Online article, she is having a hard enough time finding work. If you were her, what would be your priority, trying to find where your next check was coming from, or sitting online on AIM?

Which leads me to this Unbreakable group. Does anybody really believe that, given what we know of her current situation, Charisma's greatest concern is fake Myspace profiles? Since when? On the one hand, we have the profile making untrue and simply juvenile claims that posing is illegal, and on the other, declaring that "I do not feel that it is necessary to prove that this is NOT a fake profile or that I'm Charisma Carpenter." If the author is so adamant about authenticity, I believe it would warrant such proof to avoid hypocrisy.

I believe the site is making claims above and beyond its technological capacity. Weebly is a free shared host. According to its own FAQ, the only scripts is allows are pre-built-in guestbooks and calendars. To run a live, interactive video chat requires dedicated servers, high bandwidth capacity, and resource-intensive scripted applications that simply aren't available on Weebly. So where will they be coming from? I say this because even I don't have the capacity to do a live text chat, much less an interactive online video conference.

This also leads me to believe that any store they manage open won't have a merchant account. So I imagine that any payments will be through PayPal which, again, makes it impossible to verify the recipient. Let's also not forget how little purchase protection one gets from PayPal.

Finally, many have questions why Charisma would expend the time and effort making a start-up site official when she could choose this one instead. And it is this question that I answer with the most damning piece of evidence. I was contacted by Charisma in September on an unrelated matter. Most important for purposes of this dicussion is the following statement:

"I would love to make this site an official one and communicate with you directly so that I may be in better contact with my fans. I have no idea how to do that. Maybe you have some ideas."

This evinces two important things: (1) That the real Charisma wanted to stamp cc.com as her official web presence, and (2) that she tacitly admits to not having the technical expertise to be doing the things attributed to her elsewhere. It is important to note that I provided her with a lengthly list of ideas on how we could get her more involved with the website and an invitation to discuss things with me further at any time. She has not done so. Moreover, I attempted to contact her regarding the other site and again received no response. So I find it highly unlikely that she's busy sending out IMs, Myspace e-mails, and phone texts, yet neglecting to contact me on a matter that she initiated.

So if you wanted to know why I am so skeptical, there you have it.


Basically, with all the skepticism floating around, people started contacting her agent, management team, and publicist. Tojoson got a reply from her management team (very quickly I might add) and he posted it all over to make sure people knew this was a fake.

Tojoson: I received an e-mail back from her management

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We have nothing to do with this website… it’s fraud. Please get the word out there and I will look into getting this site shut down.

Thank you for your help.
Best, Gladys
--------------------------------------------------------

Gladys Gonzalez
JOHN CARRABINO MANAGEMENT
5900 Wilshire Boulevard
4th Floor, Suite 406
Los Angeles, CA 90036
O) (323) 857-4655
F) (323) 857-4659
Email: ggonzalez@carrabinomgt.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nikki emailed Gladys back to ask her about the MySpace pages but as far as I know, hasn't gotten an answer. The Unbreakable one is obviously fake because it is managed by the same people putting up this fake website. I think it is safe to assume that since the Charisma Carpenter Online MySpace shares the same name as the website and links to it, it is a fake as well. If check the login times, it is the same as the Unbreakable team.

Tojoson also found this site which was put up last July. Again, it is on a free hosting service. As Tojo says "Look like something we have seen recently???...Either they used this as a template, or it's the same people." If you go to the MySpace listed there, the profile has been removed. When you check out the graphics, they go to a photobucket page that is run by an obvious Charmed fan. http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b210/charmedbookofshadows13/

A quick tour of that freewebs site shows the same things as before. Trying to get money, chats that are scheduled and then cancelled, and the email address is the same as the one that the new newsletter was sent out from (I have screenshots of the newsletter if more proof is needed). So it is clear whoever is posing as Charisma for the Weebly site is also posing as her for this freewebs site as well.

I've contacted her agent and her publicist. I emailed them but haven't gotten an answer yet. I am going to give them a few more days before I give them a call and leave a voicemail.

Right now we are waiting to hear back from her publicist and her agent but we already have confirmation from her management. Hopefully they can get the site taken down. But until then, we everyone could spread the word, let people know that this site is a fake and the people who run it are frauds. It is important to spread the word because these people are going to try to solicite money, posing as Charisma Carpenter.



The site was recently updated with the following:

Thanks for a wonderful chat, I am so glad that you had the opportunity of chatting with me and vise versa. I am sorry about the past mix-ups with the chat dates but it all worked out in the end. in reference to the chat scheduled on the 20th of Jan. I was on the site for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the chat was scheduled to start. Nothing occured. I even posted about it on ST. I believe there were other STers who were on the site, waiting to see how it would pan out.

On the front page of the site, the maintainers are asking for people to help with Charisma's newsletter, which is odd when you find out they had solicited the help of someone in the Chicago area for this before, as pointed out in
this post in the journal of sweetiejen. Prima from ST contacted SweetieJen about the validity of her employment. You can see the discussion here. If we are able to get the emails exchanged back and forth, we could gather IP addresses and further prove (not that we really need to since we have confirmation from her management) that these sites are fakes.

On the Unbreakable portion of the fake site, the two girls posted their names as L. Tanner and F. Wilson. Nikkiwawa of ST had found out that the girls' first names were Lyssa and Fred respectively. Doing a google search yeilded no results for Lyssa. Fred Wilson yielded results of an African American artist, a Canadian politician, and a venture capitalist. Lyssa's profile which again begs the question why someone in FLORIDA would be doing work for someone in California. Fred's profile. If you notice the log in dates for them also match the log in dates for Unbreakable and the Charisma MySpace pages.

What makes this even more interesting is that I contact MySpace about removing the fake MySpace pages. This is what I was told is the process.

Hello,
We need a salute from Ms. Carpenter to shut down a site with her image to verify that she has requested this. Once we get the salute we will shut down the site and any other site that she requests impersonating her. If she doesnt have a myspace page she should only put the email that is being used.


I emailed them back and they defined a salute as:

To create a salute, please do the following:

Create a hand-written sign that says "MySpace.com" and your Friend ID. Your friend ID is the number between "ID=" and "&mytoken", in your profile's URL.

Get an image, or digital picture of yourself with this hand-written sign.

This image is the salute. Next, reply to this e-mail with the salute as an e-mail attachment, or as an e-mail link to where it is uploaded.

We will then e-mail the account information that you entered for that page.

Please understand that a salute is our only reliable means to verify identity. Without a salute, we unfortunately cannot grant your request.

Finally, once a salute is reviewed and your identity is verified, we will proceed with your request.


It seems impossible to me that two teenage girls are going to be able to get celebrities to do this, especially since they seem to have no connection to Hollywood at all. If you check under the updates section of the website, they have started an e-petition to keep Charisma on Greek. People in the business know that e-petitions carry about as much weight as someone sending it in on toliet paper. Signatures can't be verified. So again, more evidence these girls have no connection whatsoever to Charisma. (As if we needed more evidence)

I also contacted Weebly about the site being shut down. I was given this reply:

Hi Kelly,

If we receive a complaint or notice that:

(a) Specifies clearly the infringing material (b) Lists the laws or rights which the material is infringing, and (c) Provides proof of ownership of copyright, trademark, or other

We will review the complaint and take action as appropriate.

Please understand that we have a responsibility to our users to not remove or take down their site at the whim of any person who does not approve of it. We do take all complaints seriously, and will promptly remove any sites violating applicable California state and federal laws, where the complaints have been clearly articulated and proof of infringement has been demonstrated.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Dan


I wrote them back, explaining that it was fraud and to contact Mrs. Gonzalez directly. It seems to me that they will only step in if a legal team is involved. That was on the 21st and I still have not heard back from them.

I googled "Dez Yarbourgh" from SweetieJen's post and reply and found some interesting things. On Feb 4, 2006, she made this post about Pretender S3. That isn't interesting but what is, is her username. CharmedBookofShadows13 Profile here is the same username as the photobucket account on the freewebs page.

As of right now, I am putting together packets of as of much information as I can gather to send to Charisma's team. I figure the more leg work that we can do, the faster we can get these sites taken down. And also, spread the word to as many people as possible so they don't get duped out of their money!



Prima from ST is made of awesome and this is why I LOVE Stranger Things. She did some digging on this Dez Yarbourgh person as well as the email address and photobucket account and found out that this is not the first time this person has posed as a celebrity.

Speaking of which, did you see this discussion? It looks like "Dez" has been playing more than just Charisma.

I'm doing more digging on this "Dez" because they've left a veritable trail everywhere on this CharmedBookofShadows13 nom de plume.

ETA: :
The early years. Trying to get Jesse McCartney to chat..

Ashley Simpson is a member too!.

I don't know who this is but the photobucket account shows up here: Amanda Kaletsky Street Team and "Dez" signs the message there.

What's weird about all this is the first two profiles associated points to someone who is a teenager who lives in Colorado (Charmed08 lists 16 years of age in '06 but Charmed01 lists them at age 17 in '05) the mySpace associated with a Dez in Colorado says 22 but what's even weirder/creepier is that a little more digging points to a person in their early thirties (aside: You have to be logged into Classmates to see the profile).

ETA2: I can't tell if this one is saying she is this actress or if she's just giving some biography information just based on the image. Just vague enough to play it either way perhaps?

ETA3: Dez pretending to be this singer?


Bless her so much, sweetiejen sent me the emails from "Charisma". I am still waiting on the headers so I can get the IP. However, there is something very telling in the emails.

SweetieJen has sent me the emails back and forth between her and "Charisma". Shalazar from C-C.com, who has spoken to Charisma and her people before, confirmed that he has never recieved anything from her from that email address. Nikki confirmed also that this address was given in the dubunked website's newsletter on how to contact "Charisma". It is: charismacarpenteronline@gmail.com

Also in the emails, it gives the MySpace and email of this Dez Yarbrough person.MySpace and her email is ummdez.cracksmeup@gmail.com

As if we needed more proof, she is listed as 15 and living in COLORADO. I am sure Charisma would employ a 15 year old who doesn't even live in LA (That was my sarcasm voice)
 
 
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
 
 
 
Heather: BTVS - Anya/Willowamericangrl69 on January 20th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
I hate posers. They ruin it for everyone. I'll definitely be linking this.
Kelly: Buffy: W/T Dinnerxlivvielockex on January 22nd, 2008 08:34 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the pimp on your LJ. I am really hoping we can get this to spread like wildfire and these two kids won't get anyone's money.

Apparently, they tried this before too. With a freewebs page. Someone found more damning evidence so I edited the post.
(no subject) - americangrl69 on January 23rd, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kerri: I Save Youkaczurda on January 20th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Posers suck >:[
Kelly: Buffy: Willow Kills Peoplexlivvielockex on January 22nd, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
To say the least. Thanks for pimping it on your LJ, I really appreciate it. I am hoping we can get the word out before these kids get their "store" up and running and dupe people out of their money.

And they have tried to do this before apparently. Someone found an old link to another website. Same format and info and everything.
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sarah: DW:  Liz Shawboy_named_susie on January 20th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
How lame is that to impersonate celebrities on the internet?
Kelly: VM: Not Funny Robxlivvielockex on January 22nd, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
I guess from their MySpace pages, they are like 15 and 16 I think. And they have done this before. They probably got called out for being frauds before which is why they are so hardcore going after the whole "posers" thing on MySpace. Cast suspicion on someone else sort of deal.
starlet2367starlet2367 on January 27th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for compiling this all in one place. It's so wank-worthy - seriously, I'll be surprised if this doesn't make it to FW (or its equivalent).
Kellyxlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Not a problem. I am going to be adding to it whenever I get the information.

And probably when I start pimping this on LJ comms to give people the heads up, it will end up on F_W. LOL
Sweetie: Charisma -- elektriconsweetiejen on January 27th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Hi there,
I e-mailed "Charisma" the other day to ask why I hadn't heard from her about my involvement with this so-called magazine. She replied yesterday with the following response:

Jennifer-

I've emailed you 2-3 times since August but maybe you didn't receive them. Anyways I have a new team called Unbreakable and it helps get posers completely off of myspace and more. My new newsletter revolves around that. It's called The Charisma Chronicle and you'll have the opportunity of working with two other girls with interviewing family, friends, celebrities, etc...on what they think of posers, if they have any experiences with posers, etc..

You can add the team at myspace.com/unbreakableteam and Lyssa and Fred will send you the latest article so you can have an idea of what you'll be doing.

Thank-you so much for your help and take care.

Charisma Carpenter


I can assure you she didn't message me 2-3 times since August, as gmail is the most reliable e-mail account I've ever had and have never once had lost e-mails in the 3 years I've used it.

I'm really confused on the whole validity of this. Why would two teenagers go through all this trouble to pose as Charisma? It all seems so strange.

Do you have an e-mail address so I can forward you the e-mails to check the IPs?
Kelly: Charismaxlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I really do appreciate it.

The only thing we can figure is for the money. They are trying to open a store and charge $150 for a fanclub. When you think about it, that makes it worth it to them maybe.

My email address is jjsoapchat AT yahoo DOT com. I really appreciate this more than you know. I am getting together as much information as possible to overnight to her people to get these kids stopped.

I am not sure if gmail shows full headers on the emails but I don't need the text of the email as much as I need the originating IP from where the emails are coming from. I have a trace program so I can find out where they are and what ISP they are using.

Edited at 2008-01-28 12:43 am (UTC)
(no subject) - xlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sweetiejen on January 28th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Gailancor4eva on January 28th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I hope these losers get caught and pay. What they're doing is wrong and to RUIN CC's name by taking other people's money is just...Arrgghhh!!

Thanks Kell, for taking the time to post this around..your work is much appreciated.

I really do hope they shut those sites down..and fast!!
Kelly: Cordy: California Girlxlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
I am trying to hard to get these sites shut down but I don't think it is going to happen without getting a legal team involved.

I am hoping that by spreading the word, we can shame this person into taking the sites down themselves.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - xlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ancor4eva on January 28th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ancor4eva on January 29th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
xanzpet on January 28th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
Kelly, thank you so much for all of the hard work you've put into this and for getting the word out. As a huge fan of Charisma's, this is just so upsetting, and I'm pissed at myself for initially buying into it.

Would you mind if I linked to this post via my personal, fanfic, and rec LJs?

Again, sincerest thanks.

Best,
Aidan
Kelly: Charisma Gay Assxlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
You can imagine how pissed I am if I took all this time. LOL If I could reach through the computer screen, well, I'd be going away for murder.

And please, link this EVERYPLACE. If you can people on your flist to do it, people on their flist. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible to stop this imposter.
Nikki: so gay for CC 2nikkiwawa79 on January 28th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Very cool, Kelly :D It's all started, now. Do you know it's already up at Whedon.info?

Thanks for all your hard work, on this. That bitch is going to be taken down so hard. I can't belive she posed ass all of those celebrities. Ugh!
Kelly: Charisma Gay Floorxlivvielockex on January 28th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oooh, excellent! I sent them the link just about an hour, maybe two hours ago. I am really happy that it went up so soon.

If I could get it linked on Whedonesque, I really would be so happy because so many more people read that. But I don't think that is going to happen.

I just don't want anyone to get duped by her and have their money taken by a fraud.

Edited at 2008-01-28 09:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - nikkiwawa79 on January 28th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Penny Century: RichGirlSuperheropennycentury on January 28th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Saw this on the community groups and linked it from my page (as if there's anyone on my friends list who hasn't already seen it!). Remember when I told you I'd friended "CC's" MySpace just to keep an eye on it, and the first broadcast message was basically a plug for Bethany-someone's site? Bethany Joy Lenz was the name. There's a really dodgy-looking "Bethany" MySpace that says age 16 in the profile but 24 in the bio, but you probably already know about that one.

Thanks to you, Prima, Shal, Tojo and SweetieJen -- et al., I'm sure -- for bulldogging this.
(Anonymous) on January 29th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really hope these fake sites will be shut down FAST! I hate people who pretend to be someone else.

Wonder what Charisma (the one and only) thinks about all this...
-Anna from Finland-
Adelheidiithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
Most likely, she isn't aware of it, or if she is, it's not as much of a concern to her at the moment. You know, with the writer's strike and all.

Now, if the writer's weren't on strike, I'm sure she'd be more concerned about it and might have hired someone by now to delve into it or something, but with the writer's strike, I'm sure money is tight. And it's not like she can work just anywhere, since she's so famous. She'd get hassled by customers, if she were working in a face to face environment, and to be honest; what other than being a famous celebrity is going to make a shit load of money?
(no subject) - ithinkitisayit on January 29th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 31st, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
VampSlayer713vampslayer713 on February 1st, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
I had a few run-in's with this fake myspace account. I even reported it to C-C.com to see if they could help.

I accused the fakes on the live chat. They were the ones pissed at me and I was the one "Charisma" was writing the blogs to.

All in all, glad to hear it doesn't exist anymore. =]
Kellyxlivvielockex on February 8th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reporting it. The sites wouldn't have been shut down if people didn't question and contact people. So it is greatly appreciated. And if you ever see anything that seems suspicious, please, just let me know. Thank you again.