Titan Note: The Scam That Will Not Die
The TL;DR Video for this story is at the end.
Titan Note was a product campaign that began on Indiegogo and garnered over $1 million USD in backer pledges to produce a device about the size of a hockey puck. This device was a notetaker — but not just any kind of notetaker — this would supposedly be able to distinguish between speakers, understand regional accents, summarize the notes that it had taken, play music and a whole host of other functions.
Obviously, a lot of people believed in the Indiegogo campaign.
Some, however, who were tech savvy and knew how electronics worked (in the current state-of-the-art) saw right through all of the fluff and figured out very quickly that this device not only could not exist but never would exist. A dedicated group of them banded together and informed Indiegogo of their technical and personal findings. This culminated in that platform canceling the Titan Note campaign and refunding backer pledges to everyone involved.
With the Indiegogo campaign dead, it would have appeared that all prospects for what had been identified as a scam were dead also. Like the main subject in a horror film franchise, though, the Titan Note scammers attempted to breathe new life into the nonexistent note-taker.
They reopened their campaign on Australian-based site Pozible, and sent emails to all of their former Indiegogo backers in order to get them to re-up their pledges. To cover why they were no longer on Indiegogo (and why Indiegogo had refunded all of their contributions), in their email they claimed that they were the ones who left Indiegogo rather than the other way around. They also said they were pursuing legal action against Indiegogo — a claim that has never been proven to have been attempted.
Their only problem after going to Pozible was that many of the backers who had formerly financed them on Indiegogo had discovered the truth concerning Titan Note, and shared information with the same group who had brought them down on the first crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. Within hours of sharing the background information they had uncovered concerning Titan Note with Pozible, the new campaign had been suspended by that platform.
But the Titan Note people are nothing if not persistent.
Within a short time after the Pozible booting, they had established themselves on their own site powered by Shopify, where they remain to this day promising the backers to produce their wonder product no later than December 2017 at last check.
Interesting thing about that Shopify site: they claimed at the outset that they had raised $1.1 million — the exact amount they did not get from Indiegogo when their campaign was booted off that platform at the very beginning of this saga. The other item of interest — at least to this writer — has to do with what story the Titan Note people will gin up next when they fail to deliver anything after December.
It should be a doozy.
Update: Looks like I was right — and it is a doozy. The Titan Note Shopify powered web site has vanished as if it never were. No warning, and no idea where the people involved have gone with the money. 12/6/17
Update: Feb 1, 2018 -the Titan Note web site now returns a 404 entry, indicating that it’s perhaps gone for good, in light of the fact that it’s principal, Erik Jansson, also seems to have removed his profile from LinkedIn.
The TL:DR Video version:
Copyright 2017 John Lewis
John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire who makes pretty great hashbrowns. He is also the author of Scams, Flops and Failures: Crowdfunding They Never Warned You About. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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