As a serial backer on Kickstarter, I know the platform has some flaws as well as anyone. One of those flaws is its unregulated nature that results in some campaigns not delivering. Anyone can start a campaign and there is very little backers can do if someone runs with the money. However, in a major shift of policy, Kickstarter has announced that they’ll be taking aim at deadbeat developers and backers.
With the launch of the Specialized Campaign Recovery Unit, Kickstarter is sending a clear message to developers that run off with backer money, or backers that intentionally scam hopeful developers: we’re coming for you. While the names of the individuals on the SCRU team weren’t revealed, their pedigree points to a team with extensive bounty hunting experience. These new members of the Kickstarter team will be tracking down con artists on Kickstarter in real life and helping to dispense justice. Since Kickstarter requires you to give a certain amount of information if you create a campaign it’s a relatively easy job, but there are a few problems. At the moment, this service will only be running in certain states in the USA since there are a number of different regulations that need to be negotiated for the bounty hunters to work in other locations. Another problem is that the bounty hunters will be relying on local police officers to make the arrests which isn’t always guaranteed especially across borders.
Kickstarter was very clear that they would not be changing their stance that the site is for backing would-be projects, rather than pre-ordering through a story, so don’t count on the SCRU team to come to the rescue.
What do you think? Will the SCRU team really be able to make a difference? Do you think the threat of being tracked down will be enough to deter some scammers? Comment down below and let us know!