ProTip Dont Say You Write for Geekcom to Steal Stuff

first_img Woman Tries to Buy an Audi With Bills Printed on Inkjet PrinterFugitive Agrees to Turn Himself In If Facebook Post Gets 15,000 ‘L… UPDATE 2: Yes, there’s somehow a new update to this. Apparently since it’s a new year Mr. O’Brien believed he had clean slate to start trying to nab free products again by falsely claiming to write for Geek. That’s honestly the only explanation we can think of because somehow even after now being exposed multiple times by us and the companies he’s gone after, after deleting his fraudulent LinkedIn account, after emailing us to apologize, we recently got a tip from a kind PR person that in the year of our lord 2019 Dustin O’Brien is still trying to run this scheme. It was only after finding this article that the PR person knew not to give him what he asked for.It’s so wild we even still need to say this, but one more time for anyone reading. DUSTIN O’BRIEN DOES NOT WRITE FOR GEEK.COM. Don’t give him products if he says he’s reviewing them for us because he’s not. If you want to know who actually, honestly writes for Geek check out our handy About page. Enough with the (non-Street Sharks) lies. UPDATE: Even after exposing him in this story, causing him to delete his LinkedIn page and email us an apology, Dustin O’Brien is at it again. We got a tip from a TV vendor last week saying O’Brien (who has not and will never write for Geek) was following up on a request for a “review unit,” a request he first made before this story published but that he continued even after we revealed him as a fraud. Maybe he was looking for just one last score?We’ll admit it, one of the best perks of this job, one of the reasons many of us get into this job, is getting cool stuff before anyone else- and free – as long as you returned it. It’s already awesome enough to turn the tech and video games and toys of your youth into a career. But receiving much of it for free, before anyone else, really sweetens the deal.However, the essential part of that deal is that you’re still working a job. You’re not just playing with this cool stuff, you’re professionally evaluating it and writing thorough, honest, informative articles for readers. If you don’t hold up that part of the bargain, write about the stuff and then send it back, then you’re just a thief, and you make it that much harder for vendors to trust sending products to outlets and freelancers with integrity. Apparently, Dustin O’Brien didn’t get the memo.This farce started, at least as far as I know, nearly three years ago. One day we at Geek got a stern email from a representative at DJI. The company had lent out an expensive Phantom 4 drone to a Geek writer named Dustin O’Brien, but months had gone by without any coverage. Worse, the writer had stopped responding to emails asking for the drone back. How could Geek.com let its employees behave this way?There was just one problem. Dustin O’Brien didn’t actually write for Geek. From what we can tell he just told that to DJI to score a free drone “review unit,” and claiming he worked for us sounded more credible than if he just had a random blog. Naturally, all the wronged parties reached out to Dustin for an explanation and the drone was returned without harm.You’d think that’d be the end of it? Imagine our surprise then when earlier this month we realized Mr. O’Brien was once again trying to pull off this same scheme. We got an email from our Nintendo contact saying Dustin was asking for a Nintendo Switch review unit, a year after the system had already shipped and we already published our review. Fortunately, since we already work closely with Nintendo our reps were suspicious of this unfamiliar “writer” with an ask this big. I had personally forgotten Dustin’s name but I remembered the drone incident, and I was shocked to see it was the same dude. Who would be that shameless?Even more shocking were other uncovered incidents with Dustin in my inbox PR contacts had sent me during the past few months. Not only was he after a Switch but also bikes and Razer PC hardware. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were attempts (even successful ones) to get products from vendors we haven’t even been tipped off about yet. Again, he was already caught doing this years ago, but just went right back at it.The chef’s kiss came from O’Brien’s LinkedIn page that listed him as a “Wirter” (his spelling, not ours) for Geek.com since October 2017. We reached out to Dustin to see if he wanted to explain himself. He didn’t respond (UPDATE: After this article published Dustin has since responded and apologized) but all mentions of Geek.com have since been scrubbed from his LinkedIn page, which implicates him but helps us since apparently LinkedIn doesn’t let you report fraudulent accounts. Here’s what the page used to look like.And here’s what it looks like now.So hopefully this will be the end of this techno-journalism thriller. Not since ExtremeTech Editor Jamie Lendino had his book stolen has a Ziff Davis blog been so egregiously bamboozled. If you’re a vendor wary of sending pricey products to someone with a non-corporate Gmail account, you can read this story and know to at least avoid this guy. And if you’re someone thinking about pulling a similar scheme here’s a pro-tip: Don’t.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img

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