Kickstarter Doesn't Really Care If You Get Scammed Out Of $25

Illustration for article titled Kickstarter Doesnt Really Care If You Get Scammed Out Of $25

Worried about Kickstarter not caring if one of its projects steals your money? Well... you probably should be.

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According to Sunny Bates, advisor-slash-board member for the crowdfunding website, if you give your money to a project, that project gets funded, and you then get ripped off, you'll be left to fend for yourself.

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"Here's the deal," she said to Polygon. "It's one thing to be scammed like Bernie Madoff, where you've gone and you've been seduced by something and put in all your life savings. It's another thing for something not to come through for $25."

Right. Because if you're not losing ten grand, who cares?

Kickstarter has grown immensely popular within the gaming community over the past few months, following the monumental success of designer Tim Schafer's adventure game project earlier this year. Plenty of game-makers have sought to bring their own ideas to fruition by begging the Internet for money.

Among the many problems that have sprung from this trend, perhaps the biggest is that Kickstarter has no safeguards in place to prevent somebody from, say, creating a complete scam and stealing all of your money.

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But Bates says Kickstarter isn't a business; it's a "platform."

"You know what I mean?" Bates said. "When it's syndicated out so broadly with backers, even if somebody is scammed - and it looks too good to be true and you still take a risk on it anyhow - you feel pissed off and upset at the creator and then, you know, some of that may lead over on some people feeling 'why can't Kickstarter control this?' Well, it's a platform - we can't."

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So you might never get the reward you're promised. The video game you fund might never be finished. Every time you tell your friends about a Kickstarter project, you could be helping someone run a Ponzi scheme.

Bates went on:

I think that because where the bulk of the projects are is between the $25 to $1500 range, are you going to go take legal action on something that you put $50 into? I mean you tell me. Maybe if you put $10,000, sure. Or $1000, maybe. But if you lost $25 or $50 then you're a little disappointed and you think the [project creator] sucks. But that's the beauty of crowdsourcing, it's not really worth your effort - you're disappointed and you're angry that somebody would do this because it does feel like they're duplicitous and they're trying to pull the wool over the crowd's eyes, and clearly they can't. But I think legal action, when you syndicate it out and you have hundreds of backers for any one project, it's a very different story.

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While we've seen plenty of Kickstarter-funded games turn into tangible projects, these comments are certainly something to consider the next time you decide to give your money to a crowd-funding operation. And it's certainly unfortunate that every Kickstarter project has to be a gamble. Even if it is "only $25."

Why Kickstarter 'can't' and won't protect backers once a project is funded [The Verge]

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Photo: RT Design Studio/Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

spongeboy1985
Crazy Uncle Nikola

I''m a little confused. From what I hear If you start a Kickstarter You won't see any money from it until you reach your goal. say the project is canceled or gets shut down do to it being fraud before the goal is reached What happens to the money? please someone explain this to me who know more then I do which isn't much.

If i gave $15 to a kick starter fund and the goal $5000. They don't get that money until it reaches $5000 right.

Okay lets say for what ever reason the goal is never and they are shut down for what ever reason at $1500. What then happens to that $1500 If the fund only gets it if the goal is completed

So if it does Get completed and you don't get rewarded then you're SOL and those who created the fund get paid. What happens if it isn't completed? Where does that money go If the people running don't get that money until it's completed That's what I want to Know. The reason I'm bringing this up is because of a story Kotaku ran about a fund that did get shutdown before it's goal because it was a fraud. What happened to the money already given to the fund.

I've never pledged anything before so. Do you pay in advance or do you pay once the goal is completed?if it's the latter then my question is answered.