At the time of writing this article, there are nearly 3,800 comments on the Indiegogo campaign page for the iBackPack. This is the page for a fundraiser for making a TSA-friendly backpack with many useful features like a GPS system that can help you find a wireless router that turns your backpack into a portable mobile internet hotspot. which can be used, among other things, for charging mobile devices.
There is only one problem: The creator of the iBackPack, Doug Monahan, has evidently become dark. Worse, he has disappeared with more than $ 750,000 he has crowdfunded to make his backpack a reality, and now the Federal Trade Commission is on the case.
The FTC has begun to reach supporters of crowdfunding efforts Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The last comment on the Indiegogo Campaign Page released today came from someone who has received an email from the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau wondering if anyone else has the same.
The Verge has seen emails sent to some of the supporters who basically say the news page is all the same:
"My name is [name redacted] and me am at the Federal Trade Commission, consumer protection agency, our office has received numerous complaints from consumers that they have never received the iBackpack they ordered, and we turned to the crowdfunding platforms that offered the product to get a list of supporters So I just wanted to see if you ever got the backpack I would very much appreciate if you let me know because we want to take steps to further fraud on the Thank you in advance, if you have any questions, please call [number redacted]. "
Monahan did not respond to Versuc he's reaching him through the backers, and the iBackPack website (http://www.ibackpack.org) .co /) is not working anymore. Supporters of the crowdfunding effort have been trying for some time to draw attention to the lack of a product and the lack of money, and the Austin media now report more than a year on the history of the Austin campaign.
Per The Verge "Backpackers at iBackpack believe that Monahan has sold their information to other crowdfunding companies, as evidenced by communication with some of these groups, and was told that the years of delays with Undefined battery issues, including possible lithium-ion battery explosions, Monahan posted an update on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in March 201
An FTC agent told a backer that the agency was always trying to get money back when filing cases in court. But The Verge report also contains this blunt warning from an agent: "Unfortunately, if the money has already been spent by the company or person, there is no money to recover."