I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup
Penny Kim

I feel like I was quite close to being roped into one of these “Startups” but thankfully backed out before anything started.

I was approached by a man after giving a talk at a local iOS developers conference about a potential opportunity in a local startup. He was looking for a person to essentially build and maintain his entire backed for a gambling app that, through a legal loophole, got permission to operate.

He tried to sell the position with the notion of high salary and large amounts of equity. He presented a (I presume) forged bank statement showing his account summery with a million Canadian dollars in it, explaining that it was his seed fund, and the next round of funding was only a few months away.

He required that I drop all my current projects, and (after direct and persistent questioning) eventually admitted that until the second round of funding I would not be paid for my work, and the work would not be my own.

At this point I backed out, and even when trying to do so he attempted to manipulate my empathy and try to convince me to stay. I’m quite glad I backed out of that.

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