In 2012, a company launched its campaign on Kickstarter, swept a swooping $2.4 million in pledge and was later sold to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. Yes, that company is Oculus. And its campaign opened door to future revolution of VR industry.
One year after, a backpack concept called iBackPack, which offered charging and hotspot for iPhones and extra security, won thousands of backers' heart and collected over $720,000 in pledge on Indiegogo. But not long after, it literally vanished with no more updates and discontinued YouTube channel, leaving behind a lot of unhappy people.
And Zano, a drone producer from Wales, grabbed eyes from over 12,000 generous backers and claimed over $3 million in pledge on Kickstarter. Now the company finds itself has written a check it cannot cash, and is still unable to deliver the promised goody drone to the project backers.
So we prepared some tips for you to avoid crowdfunding scams:
- Check the campaign's official website. Over-simplicity could equate sketchiness.
- Use Google to search the project and creator. If it's filled with negative search results, you know it's hot water to circumvent.
- Again, use Google to search the product images to make sure they are not taken from other e-commerce sites.
- Check the comment section to learn some real feedback from real users.
- Look into other backers to see if they are just paid-baits to lure more backers.
- See if the creator has relatively comprehensive information: is it just an email? Because of KS and Indiegogo's limited accountability measures, the creators can easily disappear to play "catch me if you can".
- Check what other projects are connected to the specific project. If other projects are filled with shady comments , it's trouble to steer away from.
- If the project runs simultaneously on different platforms, beware if the creators just want to take advantage of the buzz.
- Check the history of the creators and projects on sites reporting crowdfunding scams like kickscammed.com.