The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

Biggest Kickstarter Scams: Launched in April 2009, Kickstarter has become one of the most amazing ideas of the modern internet era. As a global crowdfunding platform based in the United States, Kickstarter was created in order to help people with their life-long projects and make it easier for them to gather funding. Users from all over the world can fund projects. It has lead to some amazing creations in film, music, video games, etc., that likely would never have seen the light of the day without the funding source.


Being an internet based crowd funding webpage; Kickstarter has become very popular and has been able to help people achieve some amazing projects. Their policy is that anyone who wants to present a project on Kickstarter has to choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. Through various benefits for those who donate money, they accumulate funding until the deadline day.

Whether or not the project is ever completed, or the rewards for donations delivered upon is outside of Kickstarter’s policy, and they do not refund donations. Users are responsible for their own donations, so they have to do some research before donating to the most amazing or fanciful project. Lots of these projects end up never coming to fruition after all. Whether they were intended to work, or were simply outlandish ideas meant to elicit a money-donating response from backers, we do not know.

But in this article we will take a look at some of these projects which were never completed and have gone down in history as some of the biggest Kickstarter scams. Keep reading to check out the list, and check out our ranking of the 10 Biggest Kickstarter Projects Ever as well, to see those projects that did have great success. Technically, none of these projects reached their goal so they didn’t end up getting the pledge amounts.

5- Elementary, My Dear Holmes




Funds Raised (US$): more than $50K

Project creator: Polygon
No. of donors: 861
Deadline:  September 13, 2013

This was actually set up as a scam. Instead of backers being scammed, the creator is accused of scamming Kickstarter and Ouya game consol. The company created a $1 million Free the Games Fund, whereby they matched funding for any game that was for Ouya’s gaming consol and program. Polygon was accused of setting up fake accounts, and thus fake pledges, to make it eligable. After accusations surfaced, Kickstarter kicked them out.

4-Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men


Funds Raised (US$): 4,739

Project creator: Little Mountain Productions
No. of donors: 83
Deadline:   June 10, 2012

This production company was trying to get funding for a videogame, and did so by lying about everyone involved in it. They claimed their employers had been developers for the World of Warcraft series and Diablo II, but in reality they had almost no experience. On top of that, all the images from the game where actually constructed by stealing backgrounds and scenarios from other games. Even the “office” was a crop from a design group!

3- Kobe Red

Funds Raised (US$): 120,309

Project creator: Magnus Fun Inc
No. of donors: 3,252
Deadline:  June 13, 2013

Ever wanted a beef jerky made out of pure Japanese Kobe Beef? Well this company had that amazing idea. It wasn’t until some people making a movie about Kickstarter projects got in contact with the company that was trying to create this project that they found out some sketchy details surrounding these people and published their findings. Eventually, after backers became furious, Kickstarter decided to suspend the payment process before it was too late.


Funds Raised (US$):363,302

Project creator: GXP Technologies
No. of donors: 2,569
Deadline:  November 14, 2013

So this idea was very successful, yet impossible to achieve. It pulled in an amazing 363 thousand dollars in funding until the creators stopped the project. They still claim that they will launch their product through private financing. Thankfully, Kickstarter realized about the scam early on and was able to give back the 363 thousand dollars to the 2569 backers.


Funds Raised (US$): 546,852
Project creator: WeTag
No. of donors: 9,771
Deadline: June 30, 2014

This one is the latest and the biggest of all. According to the company WeTag, their workers had developed a new technology consisting of a Bluetooth item locator that required no battery. Backers went crazy and money was flowing; the project which had asked for just 25 thousand dollars had collected over 500 thousand dollars within the first weeks. There were a lot of people asking questions about the development of these technologies. The iFind campaign stated that it used RF signals to power the locator tags, but in reality the only possible hardware that could be used for such a thing is far too large for the small tags. After that the company began to avoid responses and claimed that their technology was about to be patented. But that never happened and Kickstarter suspended the project and gave back all the money donated before it was too late.


These are only a few examples of how the great process of crowdfunding can go bad, but there have been amazing projects that were only able to be accomplished thanks to committed project leaders and teams, and the donations of their backers. Check out some of the Biggest Kickstarter Projects Ever Made.