UK crackdown on loansharks accidentally targets Kickstarter

First of all, no, it’s nothing to do with the motorbikes they keep gassed up and ready to escape on

As controversy in the UK rages over the activities of pay-day-loan providers such as Wonga and The Money Shop, an online crackdown against supposed unlicensed loansharks has accidentally knocked Kickstarter offline, only hours after it launched in the country.

“The central problem is our keywords system” said Sam Lewis of the Serious Fraud Office, “we picked up a site which was facilitating people asking others for large sums of money in a short time with dire consequences of withheld goods in the event that payments were not met. I don’t know about you, but when someone demands £50,000 within the next thirty days, alarm bells sort of start ringing in my mind. Also in our office, we have alarm bells now, and a fireman pole!”

Questions about government squandering aside, Lewis’ investigation does raise serious questions about Kickstarter’s business model. While of course the company itself is not responsible for its clients, its decision to set up shop in an under-used shopping precinct in Dagenham raised more than a few eyes at the Fraud Office.

“Even if it’s not a scam, we’re fairly certain that there must be at least SOME kind of pyramid scheme or something going on here.” continued Lewis, “I mean, people “pledge” money, which they don’t actually have to pay immediately, it only happens at the end of the term? And the more they pay, the more they receive? And even then, the projects don’t always deliver? Their track record isn’t exactly doing a great deal of work to sell themselves to us, and their focus on word-of-mouth advertising and the new tech-savvy generation has made extensive auditing of their business model kind of tricky.”

The company remains defiant in the face of criticism, with Head of Community Yancy Strickler denying that they had booked short-term tickets to any country which didn’t have an extradition treaty with the UK, and that actually they just wanted to help people make crappy movies, games and products, and accusing the Fraud Office of working on behalf of the nation’s TV networks who, until this point, had that ground fairly well covered.

About Cieran Douglass

Cieran built this website in a cave with a bunch of scraps. Actually no that's not right at all, it was with Wordpress and middling Photoshop and design skills. He often plays video games and his favourites are Paper Mario TTYD, GTA San Andreas, Portal 2 and Minecraft. His display picture is not an accurate portrayal. He currently works for a much bigger website at the University of York, but if you'd like him to write something for you he can be contacted at