An update on dHack

This article is a follow-up to my previous article, “Scam warning: dHack.” You can read the article here.

Update: I’ve been sent a cease and desist for this article. Read more here.

Just a few days ago, I published an article about the shady tech organization known as dHack. In the article, I mentioned that the organization had claimed on the Instagram page for their “TrainHacks” event that they were partnered with VIA Rail, among other companies. Their CEO, David Kalman, also mentions this 25 minutes into the THacks 2 closing ceremony, just after claiming to have helped organize Hack The North. One former TOHC member has informed me that David has since requested that they remove the video from their Facebook page.

The original claim of being sponsored by VIA Rail. Image taken from @trainhacks_ca on Instagram.

Suspicious of the dubious claims of sponsorship, I contacted VIA Rail and Hack The North. The hackathon commented on the video saying they’d “ like to clarify that Hack the North has never been affiliated with DHack (past or future).” VIA Rail’s response is included below:

VIA Rail’s response

As you can see, VIA Rail has no record of ever sponsoring TrainHacks. Other companies have yet to respond, however I believe it’s safe to assume they would have similar responses. dHack is not and has never been a legitimate and trustworthy organization.

The main question I got asked about my original article was; “Why?” Why write the article in the first place? After all, I’m unaffiliated with all the organizations I mentioned. The answer to this question is simple: Awareness. dHack has allegedly scammed organizations run by students out of thousands of dollars, and will continue to do so unless organizations know not to work with them. If you see a local event trying to partner with dHack, warn them away from it. If you see them claiming to have certain sponsors, contact them! Claims of sponsorship are easily validated or refuted by simply asking the company. I don’t want this company to have a negative effect on the Toronto tech scene, nor do I want them harming the reputation of Toronto tech organizations.