IllusionMage et al Affiliate program and sales continue to be facilitated via Click2Sell.eu who currently don't have a mechanism to report items sold through their platform.
Current product names under which this scam persists; Illusion Mage, IllusionMage, IllusionMage 3D, 3DMagix, 3D Magix Pro, Mirage Wizard, 3D Animation Software, Illusion Mage 3D Software 2.2, Illusion Mage Video Training Program, Illusion Mage 3D Animation Software, Illusion Mage Suite, Mirage Wizard.
It's been confirmed that you might be able to get a refund or get your money back on Illusion Mage/3D Magix Pro purchases through your bank or payment gateway so it's imperative that you follow the steps below, and where/if necessary, point them (the banks etc.) to this topic so they can confirm the refund request/reversal event against the facts presented here. However, and as mentioned below, it's important to understand that getting a refund on the Illusion Mage scam may be dependant on how your bank works, not all of which have the same refund policies in place. So check with them to make sure.
If you've found yourself at the receiving end of the Illusion Mage, 3DMagix, 3D Magix Pro or whatever else '"Seth Avery" decides to call this 'product' and want your money back, there are a couple of things you can do to properly seek remedy against the payment. Note that these may vary depending on your geographical location so, although Mr Avery states clearly there is a 60 day refund policy, if you're in the UK making a purchase, your 'right' to expect what you paid for is protected under a 14 day return/refund Statutory Right (this has to be a legitimate grievance by the way, faulty goods, goods not as described and so on.. it's not normally binding where you simply change your mind after purchase - remedy in those situations are at the discretion of the seller, not the buyer).
It's then just a question of seeing what response you garner from the Banks, unfortunately there's not too much more consumers can do beyond this. If the Bank or your payment gateway doesn't cancel or issue a charge-back on the transaction then you'll have to consider the money lost.
- First... Make sure you submit a support/customer ticket with ClickBank and/or the various sites running the scams so your request is officially logged, this is important. You should receive and automated email reply of such.
- Second... Contact your bank, if you used a Credit, Debit Card or other bank based payment. Or PayPal and issue a charge-back or refund request making sure to state that you didn't receive what you paid for, goods were not as described and/or they may in fact be distributing 'illegal' copyrighted material or other statements to the affect that it's made clear the product is entirely different to what you were expecting (software updates excluding)
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If you clicked the links above, congratulations on not
Duped? Why what do you mean?. Well, it's like this. The 'software' or 'suite' that is "illusionMage
" and/or "3DMagixPro
" is essentially an out-right scam, an old product, with the same content re-branded and resold when too many people become aware of the scam. The core product is in fact nothing more than a ZIP file containing Blender 3D
, with minor re-branding, several obsolete Open Source applications,
ripped third-party filched PDF's
stolen misappropriated community authored material
]. All of which can be found within a few minutes using a search engine, and all freely available.
To put it in a way that might be found on Wikipidea;
IllusionMage is a electronically distributed 'eproduct' attributed to a fictitious 'owner' whose identity has changed on a number of occasions. The product itself is a ZIP or RAR archive (depending on source) comprising a number of freely available and Open Sourced applications and other materials; this includes (but is not limited to), a typically outdated version of Blender 3D, and miscellaneous community authored documentation.Who is behind IllusionMage, 3DMagixPro et-al?
Other names the bundle has or is being sold under include "IllusionMage3D", "3DMagix" and "3DMagixPro". There are also a number of associated domain names, typically registered by third party sales affiliates.
Criticism: IllusionMage has come under heavy criticism by many prominent Blender news sites and community figures, including Ton Roosendaal the founder of the Blender Foundation, BlenderNation et-al, due to the way attribution is often obfuscated, making it unclear to prospective customers that they are in fact purchasing material that is freely available elsewhere on the Internet from less dubious sources.
No-one knows exactly. All that is know is what's publicly available on illusionmage.com. The 'owner' of the scam turns out to be a deliberate fiction; the personal photograph of 'Seth Avery
' used in all their marketing is a stock photo
, with other marketing materials misappropriating the identity of a real Seth Avery, a University Resercher
who naturally wants to distance themselves from this confusion.
The business itself, also called "IllusionMage" (according to their ToS), has a P.O. Box registered in New Zealand
, which implies the owner of the scam, or at least the person responsible for the paperwork, is also a New Zealander (or someone with access to the Box). There are references to other "companies" these are not revealed so prospective customers may be dealing with any manner of entities.What is IllusionMage/3DMagix Pro exactly?
Essentially, Illusion Mage is a 'suite' of applications and tutorial material
, though ostensibly an old re-branded version of Blender 3D
(pre-2.49 although this may have been updated to early 2.5x), also includes re-branded versions of CreaToon
.Why the controversy over IllusionMage/3DMagixPro?
The controversy is essentially one of "Open Source Software leeching
", i.e. the misappropriation of software applications and/or materials released under various 'open' or 'free to use' licenses, or abandoned, obsolete or no longer supported, and typically at the expense or loss of the originating author or authors - a particularly irksome and ironic aspect of these types of scams is that many of the applications sold in the bundles like IllusionMage died through lack of funding.So why can't IllusionMage be stopped or sued?
IllusionMage, and other Open Source Software Leeches, generally can't be sued or touched 'legally' because they typically dance one step on the right side of license compliance. This is often because 'free to use' software's only meaningful condition in this context is "attribution
" - an acknowledgement of point of origin (typically a place or author). Unfortunately, the manner of attribution (who, what, when, where) is rarely defined in any detail, leaving leeches like IllusionMage only being required to simply mention "Blender
" somewhere, anywhere once, to pretty much be in full compliance. As can be imagined, under such circumstances, sales material can make all sort of claims, misdirect, misinform or otherwise obfuscate the true nature of the product for sale, it is a form of bait-n-switch
, making the prospective customer think they are purchasing one thing when they are in fact buying something else.Why is IllusionMage everywhere and yet no-one has heard of it?
Marketing. The apparent success of IllusionMage is down to the fact that the author/owner of the 'suite' has generated and extensively used all manner of fake Illusionmage reviews
, fake IllusionMage articles
, even fake IllusionMage anti-scam
and fake IllusionMage anti-ripoff reports
. All this fake material is initially published to a collection of article syndication websites, which then distribute it all over the Internet through a network of subscribers looking for 'unique content' (ironic given that most articles are duplicates of a master document with a few changes here-and-there), who don't care or don't vet their content. This technique is consider a form of "traffic tunneling
" or "revenue funneling
" because all of it points to the same destination, the (currently) Click2Sell purchase page.
For consumers, the use of spam like this goes beyond simply product marketing; there is so much of it in fact that it's extremely difficult to find any truly genuine reviews of, or complaints about, IllusionMage
, they are simply pushed out of the way by the shear volume of article spam. This obviously creates a false impression of the product that is a challenge to counter, and easily catches unsuspecting fish.
It's worth pointing out here that Search Engine providers like Google, Bing et-al consider this type of activity an abuse of their services and often penalise individuals and entities that engage in it. Naturally once they find out of course.How can IllusionMage be stopped?
As alluded to above, as the entity behind the scam has been careful enough to stay just on the right side of licensing requirements (no matter the flimsiness of this fact), the only entities permitted to pursue action against them would be the Copyright or License holders for the software and training materials being used. As much of it is
Open Source, prosecuting misappropriations or infringements is complicated, something that's easily taken advantage as in the case of IllusionMage and its 'owner'.
Having said this it doesn't mean there aren't things that can't be done. Primarily scams survive on duping people so the more education and awareness that can be brought to the fore the better
; forum, website and social media posts for example, spread the word, but are often spammed themselves with further supportive spam (note that very few will actually have purchased and used the 'suite' and instead will reply a number of the same sales points).What to do if you purchased IllusionMage after finding out it's a scam
Getting a refund on an IllusionMage purchase will depend a great deal on the merchant system used to process payments. Naturally with IllusionMage being a scam they change vendors each time one shuts down on them. As such check the Terms & Conditions
as relevant to refunds and repayments - if the provision is available, file a complaint against the seller with the Vendor, if enough are received Vendors will be obliged to deal with the matter. If payment was by Credit, Debit or other 'card', contact the payment provider to see if a reversal is possible. File a complaint about the seller again. The point is to lodge complaints with as many 'authorities' as possible (payment gateways, service providers etc.), cutting off potential options they can use to accept payments.