Next week, Fall Out Boy will make their first appearance in Russia, at the B1 Maximum concert in Moscow. However, contrary to what some of their fans have been told, they won’t be appearing at an “autograph session” immediately beforehand.Several Russian Web sites claimed to be “official” Fall Out Boy fan clubs, all of which were charging fans money for memberships in return for sit-and-sign sessions with the band.
“We were made aware [of several sites] setting up a fake meet-and-greet, somewhere around the band’s upcoming Moscow show, that we had to shut down,” Fall Out Boy’s manager, Bob McLynn, told MTV News. “They were asking for money [from fans]. It’s a big problem.”
One of those sites posted a news item in Russian on August 2 claiming to have knowledge “directly from the organizers of the concert” that FOB would be taking part in an autograph session before their Moscow show. According to the site, the autograph session would not be publicized on FOB’s real fan-club site, OvercastKids.com, and that in order to gain a spot on the list for the session, fans needed to post their names and e-mail addresses in a forum on the site. “The list will be transmitted to the organizers of [the] concert,” the news item promised.
Another site posted information about a supposed secret warm-up show before the concert at B1, with support coming from a band called “To Dezhavyu,” which the site identified as “Russia’s Fall Out Boy.”
Of course, none of that information was correct, which is why on Thursday, Fall Out Boy posted a note on their site, warning fans about “potential scams regarding Fall Out Boy fan clubs. … The Overcast Kids remains our ONLY official fan club. We just learned about some fake clubs based in Russia … many offering meet & greet and other benefits that you can only get through The Overcast Kids.”
Back in April, the band was forced to post a similar message on its site warning fans about a scam offering backstage passes to the Honda Civic Tour – and the guys have been dealing with all manner of online fakery (bogus MySpace pages, IM screen names, etc.) for much, much longer. It’s an issue that’s always been annoying to FOB, but now, it’s looking like things are getting much more serious.
“There are so many scams on the Internet right now. It’s pretty frustrating – from people impersonating me and members of my band to selling fake backstage passes and now these fan clubs,” bassist Pete Wentz told MTV News in an e-mail. “I think it is about time for someone to introduce legislation that regulates the Internet in some way – it is too easy for scam artists to take advantage of people. The same great anonymity that has allowed so many great ideas to flow and allowed my band and bands like us to reach millions is now easily manipulated to make a quick buck or use people. It’s the Wild West.”
Both Wentz and McLynn want fans to know that if they don’t hear about a fan event through OvercastKids.com, then it’s probably not true. And though there might not be any secret “autograph sessions” planned for Moscow, they promise that they won’t be shutting anyone out when they arrive.
“The band will do a meet-and-greet with fans there,” McLynn said. “They always do.”