You can't have crowdfunding without "fun" and what Doug Monahan did is anything but fun. Monahan is the creator of the iBackPack, a WiFi-enabled, battery-powered backpack that not only charged devices but also provided a Wi-Fi hot spot. The device raised more than $700,000 across Indiegogo Kickstarter, and backpacks were supposed to arrive in September 2016, almost exactly two years ago, and have yet to ship.

I know that the delivery windows on Kickstarter campaigns are estimated, but two years is pushing it a bit far, don't you think? The FTC thinks so and has been sending out emails to backers in an effort to research the crowdfunding campaign. The emails, which all say the same thing, read as follows:

“My name is [name redacted] and I am with the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection. Our office received numerous complaints from consumers that they never received the iBackpack they ordered. We reached out to the crowdfunding platforms that offered the product to get a list of backers and that is how I obtained your email address. I just wanted to see if you ever received the backpack? I would really appreciate it if you could let me know, as we would like to take steps from preventing further fraud in the crowdfunding platforms. Thank you in advance. If you have any questions, please give me a call at [number redacted].”

Unsurprisingly, the FTC can't go into detail on an ongoing investigation, but we do at least know that the investigation is happening. And it's been happening since last year, according to Kickstarter, who confirmed that they had been in talks with the organization.


The iBackPack website no longer works, Monahan's email address no longer works, and he's in the wind. Here's to hoping the FTC can track him down and get everyone their money back. It's a shame, because the backpack really does look super cool.

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