As a once enthusiastic supporter of “crowdfunding” through sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, I can now say that the experience has left me with a sour taste. There are legit “programs” that have sincerely tried to fulfill their goals, some who were either incompetent or even lacking morals and waaaay more than just a few others, that I have personally participated in, that were just scams. The “Zano” drone scam being the most recent and by far the largest crowdfunding scam to date. I was a victim of this almost 3.5 million dollar fraud as well as thousands of others. They claim “difficulties” caused their demise, but I know otherwise from firsthand knowledge and investigative journalism by a third party that fraud was deliberate and pervasive within the company. Some programs like the “Growlerwerks” lack integrity and morals by shipping products that actually belong to their supporters instead to retailers … effectively using some else’s money to build a product that ultimately may never be delivered to many, if not most of the people who contributed to the project. So, they get the bucks from the retailers for the product and can stiff the supporters. They make twice the amount of money. Immoral or criminal?

I participated in a “smart ring” project with a company called “MOTA” for almost two years. I’ve had face to face contact with them at the last two CES shows, but at the last meeting they told me something that made my jaw drop. They actually told me to my face that the project wasn’t “hot” anymore and they were shifting to building drones. Problematically,¬†drones that they had on display, like the ring mockup, didn’t work either. The Attorney General of California may have to decide as I’ve filed a complaint of fraud with them. I also notified Indiegogo of another¬†ongoing scam and their (paraphrased) response was “Fraud on guys!!! No recourse!!!”. In my view, this is the actions of criminals. But who here are the crooks? Indiegogo for knowing it was a scam, refusing to acknowledge it and allowing it continue? Or the crooks who knew that Indiegogo, once they got their bucks, would claim ignorance and let them run away with the bucks?

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