Avoiding Scams on Kickstarter: Tips for Backers and Creators

kickstarter scam prevention tips

Navigating Kickstarter can be tricky, and avoiding scams requires vigilance from both backers and creators. As a backer, you should always research the creator's history and scrutinize project details for consistency and feasibility. Creators, on the other hand, need to offer transparent updates and realistic promises. But what key steps can you take to minimize risk and ensure your investment or project stays on track? Let's explore the crucial strategies that both parties can employ to foster a trustworthy crowdfunding environment.

Main Points

  • Verify the creator's identity through official documents and assess their past projects and online presence.
  • Scrutinize project descriptions, goals, and timelines for clear, realistic details and avoid those with unrealistic promises.
  • Analyze comment patterns and feedback for transparency, addressing concerns, and consistent creator engagement.
  • Request regular updates during project delays to ensure clear communication and manage expectations.
  • Monitor updates and newsletters, and visit comment threads for proactive communication from both backers and creators.

Project Verification Process

Kickstarter's project verification process ensures transparency and authenticity by requiring creators to verify their identity before launching a project. This step maintains trust on the platform. By confirming their identity, creators demonstrate they're real individuals, adding a layer of credibility. Once verified, creator names appear publicly in the creator bio, giving backers confidence they're dealing with genuine people.

This process prevents scams and increases accountability among creators. When you see a verified creator name, you know Kickstarter has taken proactive measures to confirm their identity. This transparency allows you to make informed decisions about which projects to support, safeguarding your investments.

Kickstarter's project verification process fosters a reliable community. By confirming every creator's identity, Kickstarter reduces the risk of fraudulent activities and promotes a culture of trust. You can focus on supporting innovative ideas without worrying about the legitimacy of the projects.

Researching the Creator

When researching a Kickstarter creator, start by verifying their identity to ensure they're genuine.

Look into their past projects to see if they've successfully delivered on promises before.

Check their online presence and read feedback from previous backers to gauge their reliability and trustworthiness.

Verify Identity Authenticity

Verify Identity Authenticity

Verifying the creator's identity on Kickstarter is essential to avoid scams. Kickstarter mandates identity verification before project launches, adding a layer of transparency. Verified creator names appear publicly in the creator bio, offering reliable data.

When verifying identity, you're ensuring creators are genuine. This step enhances trust in projects and reduces scam risks. Rely on the verified information provided by creators to make informed support decisions.

Beyond verification, research the creator's background. Investigate their previous projects and online presence. This scrutiny reveals their authenticity and credibility.

Assess Past Projects

Examining a creator's past projects reveals their reliability and credibility on Kickstarter. Researching a creator's history will show if they can deliver on promises and meet deadlines.

Follow these three steps:

  1. Check Track Record: Investigate the creator's previous Kickstarter campaigns. Determine if they were successfully funded and fulfilled. This will indicate their ability to manage a project from inception to completion.
  2. Read Backer Feedback: Scrutinize the comments and reviews from past backers. Positive feedback signals a dependable creator, while recurrent complaints about delays or unfulfilled rewards are warning signs.
  3. Assess Communication and Updates: Analyze how the creator communicated with backers during past projects. Regular updates and transparent communication reflect a responsible and engaged project creator.

Examine Online Presence

Is the creator's online presence consistent and authentic? Examine their social media profiles, website, and overall digital footprint. Analyze their presentation across different platforms. Do their profiles and posts appear genuine? Are they active and engaging with their audience? These behaviors indicate a trustworthy creator.

Research the creator's background. Investigate their expertise, past projects, and collaborations. Have they successfully delivered on their promises, or have there been failures? Reviews and feedback from previous backers provide valuable insights. A history of failed projects may signal a red flag.

Verify the creator's identity through official documents or linked accounts. Many legitimate creators link their Kickstarter to professional profiles like LinkedIn, adding an extra layer of transparency. This verification ensures you're dealing with a real person.

Evaluating Project Details

Evaluating project details on Kickstarter means looking for prototypes and demonstrations that validate the concept. These provide tangible proof that the creator has invested effort, ensuring a realistic chance of delivering rewards.

Scrutinize project descriptions, goals, and timelines for clarity and realism. Clear, well-defined goals reflect a creator who knows what they're doing and can execute their plan.

Verify the legitimacy of the project's claims and features. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of campaigns making unrealistic promises or setting unattainable timelines.

Focus on these key aspects:

  1. Prototypes and Demos: Look for existing prototypes or demonstrations. These indicate that the creator has put in effort and offer tangible proof of concept.
  2. Detailed Descriptions: Seek thorough explanations of project goals, methods, and timelines. A detailed and clear project plan signifies credibility.
  3. Feasibility and Realism: Evaluate whether the project's claims and timelines are achievable. Unrealistic promises are a red flag for potential scams.

Reading Comments and Feedback

When you're assessing a Kickstarter project, pay close attention to the comments from previous backers. Look for patterns in their feedback, noting any recurring issues or positive remarks.

Also, observe how the creator responds to concerns—prompt and clear communication is often a good sign of reliability.

Analyzing Comment Patterns

Reading backer comments reveals vital insights into their satisfaction and experiences with the creator's endeavors. Analyzing these comments uncovers patterns that determine the project's credibility.

Here are key points to consider:

  1. Patterns of Dissatisfaction: Recurring complaints signal issues. If multiple backers mention delays, poor quality, or unfulfilled rewards, it's a red flag. Consistent dissatisfaction indicates systemic problems in the creator's project management.
  2. Sentiment Analysis: Evaluate the overall tone. Positive feedback affirms legitimacy, but verify genuineness. Overly glowing reviews without detail can be as suspicious as overwhelmingly negative ones.
  3. Unaddressed Concerns: Observe concerns left unaddressed by the creator. Ignored critical questions or unresolved issues signal poor customer service and potential risks. A creator engaging with backers and resolving problems is generally more trustworthy.

Creator Communication Quality

Creator communication quality is essential for understanding their project management skills. Scrutinizing comments and feedback from previous backers reveals patterns of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Regular frustration over poor communication signals potential issues with project updates.

Assess how frequently and thoroughly the creator engages with backers. Regular updates and prompt responses show a proactive approach. Lack of communication or unaddressed concerns reflect poorly on management.

Evaluate the sentiment of comments for a clearer picture. Positive and supportive backers indicate effective project management and trust. Conversely, disappointment signals potential problems.

Quality of updates also matters. Detailed and informative updates show the creator values keeping backers informed. Vague and inconsistent updates may indicate poor management.

Addressing Concerns Promptly

Checking previous backers' comments and feedback offers a clear window into how promptly a creator addresses concerns. By diving into the comment section, you can gauge a creator's communication skills and commitment to the project. This practice helps build trust, ensuring you're backing a reliable project.

Prompt responses and resolutions in the comments demonstrate transparency and accountability. A lack of response or unresolved issues indicates poor communication. To navigate this, consider these key points:

  1. Monitor Feedback: Regularly check comments to see if the creator engages with backers. Prompt replies show they value communication.
  2. Look for Patterns: Identify common concerns raised by backers. Consistent issues might suggest deeper problems with the project.
  3. Assess Resolution: Notice how quickly and effectively the creator resolves issues. Swift resolutions build trust and credibility.

Creators who actively participate in comment threads address issues early and prevent misunderstandings. Engaging with feedback builds trust and enhances your project's reputation within the Kickstarter community. Open communication makes all the difference.

Checking Updates and Communication

Frequent updates and open communication from project creators on Kickstarter demonstrate their legitimacy and commitment. Regularly sharing updates shows transparency and dedication to keeping you informed about the project's progress. Look for campaigns that provide consistent and detailed updates, indicating a higher level of transparency and project viability.

Communication plays an equally vital role. Observe how project creators engage with backers. Are they responsive to questions and concerns? Do they provide clear, timely answers? High-quality communication builds trust and shows the creators' seriousness about their project. If you see creators actively participating in discussions and addressing backers' concerns, it's a good sign of their commitment.

Sparse updates or lack of communication can signal potential issues. If a project creator isn't keeping backers informed or is slow to respond, reconsider supporting that campaign. Assessing the frequency and quality of updates and communication helps you make informed decisions and avoid potential scams on Kickstarter. Always prioritize transparency and engagement when backing a project.

Identifying Red Flags

Kickstarter campaigns often have red flags that signal potential scams. Spotting these can prevent financial loss or backing a project that fails to deliver. Here are key indicators to watch for:

  1. Unrealistic Offers: Projects with extremely low funding goals or overly generous rewards often raise suspicion. If the goal doesn't cover production costs or the rewards seem implausible, they likely are.
  2. Inconsistent Information: Look for inconsistencies in project details. Conflicting timelines or vague descriptions suggest poor planning. A well-prepared project presents clear, consistent information.
  3. Track Record of Successful Projects: Investigate the creator's past projects. A history of successful campaigns or fulfilled promises boosts credibility. For new creators, check for relevant experience or credible endorsements.

Trust your instincts. If something feels off, conduct thorough due diligence. Vigilance helps support projects that align with your interests and values without falling for scams.

Handling Project Delays

Project delays on Kickstarter can frustrate backers. Understanding why these delays occur helps manage expectations. Creators often underestimate the time needed for project completion, causing delays. Estimated delivery dates serve as rough timelines, not firm deadlines.

One significant issue during delays is the lack of communication from creators. Kickstarter urges creators to stay transparent and accountable, but updates can be infrequent. If you haven't heard from a creator in over four weeks, you can request an update. Don't hesitate to ask for information; clear communication reduces frustration linked to delays.

Creators can find managing comments and messages during delays overwhelming. Regular updates, however, are crucial for keeping backers informed and engaged. As a backer, recognizing the challenges creators face can foster patience and empathy.

Support for Overwhelmed Creators

When creators feel overwhelmed by backer communication, it's important to manage expectations and encourage patience. You can help by being understanding and avoiding negative messages, which only add to their stress.

Supportive and clear communication from backers helps creators stay on track and keeps everyone informed.

Managing Backer Communication

Managing backer communication requires a methodical approach to maintain trust and transparency. Here are strategies to efficiently handle backer interactions:

Scheduled Updates:

Set a specific day each week or month for updates on your project's progress and challenges. This regularity reassures backers that their funding is effectively utilized and reduces the volume of individual messages.

FAQ Section:

Develop a detailed FAQ section to address common queries. Include information on funding milestones, expected delivery dates, and potential delays. This proactive measure significantly reduces repetitive questions, saving time.

Automated Responses:

Implement automated response tools for initial inquiries. These tools can acknowledge receipt of messages and provide basic information, informing backers that you'll respond more thoroughly soon. This approach manages expectations and keeps backers informed without overwhelming you.

Encouraging Patience and Understanding

Supporting a project on Kickstarter means recognizing that creators often juggle many tasks. These individuals might face a high volume of messages and comments, which can be overwhelming.

Patience and understanding from backers can make a significant difference. If a creator hasn't updated recently, empathize with their situation instead of sending negative messages. Understand that each project has a person managing multiple responsibilities. Your supportive communication helps them handle their workload and keep everyone informed, even during stressful times.

Kickstarter urges backers to maintain positive relationships with creators by avoiding harsh messages. Patient and empathetic communication ensures a smoother process for everyone involved.

A little understanding fosters a positive atmosphere, benefiting creators and enhancing the experience for you and other backers. This nurtures trust and supports the project's success.

Backer Responsibilities

As a backer, maintain patience and understanding when projects face delays. Crowdfunding platforms carry inherent risks, and projects sometimes fail despite best efforts. To support creators and protect your investment:

Request Updates: If concerned about progress, reach out through the project page. Asking for updates clarifies situations and provides peace of mind.

Respect and Empathy: Treat creators with respect and understanding. Acknowledging the human aspect behind each project fosters open communication and helps resolve issues faster.

Support Creators: Your role as a backer is vital. Supporting creators during uncertainties and delays contributes to a positive crowdfunding experience for everyone involved.

Projects on crowdfunding platforms often face unexpected challenges. A considerate approach ensures smoother interactions and better outcomes, even when projects fail to deliver as planned. Your patience and empathy encourage creators to communicate openly and work diligently towards fulfilling their promises.

Stay informed, respectful, and supportive of the creative journey. Your positive involvement transforms potential setbacks into opportunities for growth and success.

Monitoring Project Progress

Monitoring project progress is crucial for staying updated on its advancements and potential issues. Continually tracking progress post-funding can differentiate between a successful investment and a loss. Check for updates and newsletters from creators, as they're the main sources of information about developments.

Lack of communication from creators can signal problems. If updates become sparse or cease, this might indicate issues. In such scenarios, visit the comment threads on the Kickstarter page. These threads show how responsive creators are to questions and concerns. A proactive creator promptly addresses backer queries with transparency.

Backers should also be proactive. If you see consistent delays or unclear responses, ask for detailed updates. If the project shows signs of failure, like missed deadlines without explanations, request a refund. Vigilance and engagement protect your investment and encourage creator accountability.

Monitoring progress ensures you can support innovative ideas with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Kickstarter Avoid Scams?

Kickstarter avoids scams by requiring creators to verify their identity, adding transparency. Verified names are displayed, helping you trust the projects. This process ensures creators are real, reducing risks and boosting your confidence in backing projects.

Is Backing on Kickstarter Safe?

Did you know 90% of Kickstarter projects get funded by repeat backers? Backing on Kickstarter can be safe if you research creators, ask questions, and stay informed. Your due diligence ensures a safer and rewarding experience.

Do Kickstarter Backers Get Money Back?

You typically don't get your money back if a Kickstarter project fails. Kickstarter doesn't offer refunds, so you're relying on the creator's integrity. Always review the project's risks and creator's history before pledging.

Can You Block a Backer on Kickstarter?

You can't block a backer on Kickstarter directly. Instead, you can restrict them from pledging through project updates or the campaign page. They can still view updates and comments, but you can address issues publicly and set guidelines.


By staying vigilant and doing your homework, you can dodge questionable projects and enjoy a smooth Kickstarter experience.

Remember to verify details, keep an eye on updates, and communicate openly with creators. Creators should be transparent and realistic to build trust.

By following these steps, you're more likely to back or create a successful project without any unpleasant surprises.

Stay informed, stay cautious, and Kickstarter can be a rewarding platform for everyone involved.


CrowdLift is a go-to author for anyone looking to learn about crowdfunding on the web. He breaks down the big idea of raising money online into easy steps. Crowdlift loves the industry and wants to help creators, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. Crowdlift is nspired by the big names in crowdfunding, such as: Sheridan Bartlett: He knows a lot about the best ways to run a crowdfunding campaign, and his advice has helped lots of projects succeed. Anna Makes Money: She focuses on teaching women about money and how to use crowdfunding. She's helped many women start their own businesses. Keep up with the newest trends to bring you helpful articles, detailed analyses of campaigns, and opinions from pros. Whether you've run a crowdfunding campaign before or are just thinking about starting one, Crowdlift is here to help you understand and succeed in the exciting world of crowdfunding.