If you have been on the RV YouTube channels lately, you have no doubt seen an explosion of content on the scandal surrounding the meltdown of Nomad Internet, a service that claimed to be the nation’s largest wireless internet provider and promised RVers unlimited and untethered bandwidth on the road just like they have at home.
A lot of YouTubers and RV influencers unwittingly got burned in the scandal and are now having to walk back previous endorsements.
Jason Epperson of RV Miles took a deep dive into the topic to try to get to the bottom of what is going on. This journey took him down a lot of unexpected rabbit holes. In the video below, he has done one heck of a job of investigative journalism and reporting on this emerging RV scandal.
Jason and his team spoke with dozens of disgruntled customers as well as RV influencers who have been burned by the scandal. They also scoured through years of emails and message board posts, public documents, and business registrations in order to bring you the whole story… or at least as it is known up to this point.
Jason begins by explaining the connectivity issues facing those living full-time, or most of the time, on the road. The lack of a good solution led to the rise of third-party internet solutions, of which Nomad was just one. The problem was, a lot of these plans were marked-up versions of what the consumer could have gotten directly. In some cases, it was worse and consumers were sold plans not authorized by their carriers.
The danger in this is that when the carriers catch on, hundreds of thousands of consumer accounts can get cut off without warning. Even legitimate sellers can end up behind the 8-ball due to changes in carrier policies.
Nomad Internet has been around for a while. I almost went with them a couple of years back. I decided against them because of the exorbitant set up and equipment fees and due to the fact that, at the time, they did not allow you to pause the program. And I could not justify $150+ per month during the months I typically spend out of the country. I took a hard pass on Nomad Internet and, boy, am I glad I did!
Nomad Internet’s marketing blitz before meltdown
Recently, Nomad undertook a marketing blitz. You’ve probably seen their ads on social media. They also aggressively courted new influencers and spokespeople offering them a free trial and paying either flat fees for advertising or commissions on referrals.
When negative comments started to come in on those posts, those influencers began to start questioning the company. Robin Barrett of Creativity RV started the ball rolling by publicly withdrawing her endorsement of a product that at one time served her well but now appeared to be falling apart.
Other YouTube channels quickly followed suit, sharing horrifying stories of promises made and promises broken. It gets worse.
For instance, the team at Grateful Glamper said the product always worked for them, but they discovered the product they were sent for review was not the same product customers were actually getting!
Watch the video for more details of that ill-fated interaction. Spoiler alert, when Grateful Camper tried to get Nomad to make things right with their customers, Nomad’s response was to sever the relationship.
Jason Epperson’s research with customers showed emails attempting to repair or cancel service going unanswered for months. Nomad Internet seemed to have a habit of frequently double billing their customers. These emails also went unanswered.
But wait, there’s more!
Jason reports that their customers pointed many influencers toward Nomad’s shady past. Nomad Internet CEO Jaden Garza always seemed at the center of it, and it turned out that this story and scandal was much larger than just the burning of influencer/company relationships.
Jaden Garza founded Nomad Internet in 2017. You can find a lot of press on him; however, it is in Pay to Play outlets or self-created press releases.
Garza and his wife, Jessica, appear to own an umbrella company called HXO as well as numerous other business entities.
When he dug into the story, Jason found that nothing about Jaden Garza exists publicly before 2017. But he did discover a striking resemblance between Jaden Garza and the former CEO of a Vermont high-speed internet company named Homero Joshua Garza.
There was a lot of shady stuff going on with the Vermont company, so be sure to watch Jason’s report for details. The bottom line is, 1000s of people lost their internet and even email addresses through Garza’s company, despite the fact that it was the recipient of government funds. Garza did end up returning the government funds but not before he had already moved on to his next questionable venture, mining cryptocurrency.
The Nomad Internet crypto currency connection
In and of itself, these crypto companies that sold data mining hardware would not be considered illegal EXCEPT that they made false claims about the company’s capabilities, partnerships, and financial backing. According to the FBI, Joshua Garza eventually resorted to “Ponzi scheme” tactics to bring in future investors.
Again, Jason Epperson’s outstanding reporting gives the details of just how this new scheme worked in the video below.
Garza even invented his own cryptocurrency, Pay Coin, which he failed to properly register before offering it to the public. He also invented corporate partnerships with companies like Google and Amazon. Partnerships that never existed. Neither did the $100 million dollar reserve that Garza claimed was backing up Pay Coin investments.
The end result of this is that people all over the world were defrauded of millions of dollars, while Garza lived a lavish “lifestyle of the rich and famous.”
The FBI was on to him and after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud, Garza was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, 3 years supervised release, and payments of restitution to the victims.
After his release, Joshua Garza disappears. However, Jason uncovered compelling evidence that he and Jaden Garza of Nomad Internet may in fact be the same man. He had help from an army of people Garza scammed who teamed up on Reddit and in crypto forums trying to figure out where he went after his release from prison in 2020.
The Garzas own a lot of companies, and the video outlines all the connections. It is these connections that revealed the likely fact that Joshua Garza and Nomad Internet’s CEO Jaden Garza are one and the same.
While Joshua Garza has not made a dent in the $9 million dollars in restitution the courts ordered him to pay, Jaden Garza continues to live a lavish lifestyle, paid for by his many questionable business ventures.
Now I don’t want to give away all of the story because there are a lot of details you need to check out in the video, but once again, I am blown away at the investigative reporting that Jason Epperson and his team put into this, and all the leads they tracked down.
Big spoiler alert—The roads lead back to, you guessed it, Nomad Internet!
When Jason tried to contact the Garzas for their side of the story, the only response he got was from a criminal defense attorney declining to comment.
The lesson for content creators
Jason talks about the fact that a lot of RV YouTubers and content creators are angry because they and their customers were duped by this company. Especially the ones that only recently started working with Nomad. By all accounts, the service did work in the beginning, with many credible influencers, such as Robin Barrett of Creativity RV being early endorsers. Robin was also the first to sound the alarm when things started going wrong.
Jason says it could have easily been him, although he chose not to work with Nomad for the same reason I did not use them, because of their exorbitant fees.
Nonetheless, this is a painful lesson to all content creators to dig deeper before recommending services and products.
Be sure to watch the video to the end as Jason shares some honest and practical solutions and alternatives to third-party providers, for those who need to stay connected on the road.
This drama is still unfolding. I predict there are more chapters to come!
Thank you, Cheri! Although this story is widely different in many ways, it reminded me of the collapse of an energy company called Enron in the 1990s. Happily, the collapse of Nomad Internet probably has not cost hundreds of people their life’s savings, as Enron’s collapse did.
Thank you, Cheri!
Excellent, informative article Cheri and the RV Miles video was very enlightening. Thank you so much for sharing.
So I got scammed by Nomad Internet. Just paid $269 after a “YouTuber” discount code on March 28th this year and obviously did not get the modem. I had requested a refund but their customer assurance (Bryan Fury) assured me..
“Our technical team is facing some configuration issues, and they are taking extra time to test the units to ensure a seamless connection and no issues once you receive the order.
I assure you that your order will be shipped by next week. Please allow us some time. Thank you for being patient in this matter. If you have any concerns or simply prefer to cancel, please let me know, and I will be happy to assist you.”… Well that never happened. I do say I’m lucky I never started the service or I would have been out more. My big statement is to Bloggers or any related “RV information” business is to stop advertising for sponsors that they do not know the solidity of that business.
Is there a transcript of the video. I like reading not watching videos.
Thanks, Jason! Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I didn’t notice that our filter had put it into the Spam folder (because of the link). 😲 Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Odd. I’ve never even heard of “Nomad Internet”. Musta had my head in the sand or something. Interesting read nevertheless.
Me neither, glad we use Verizon MiFi JetPak for our internet, only had one time where we were in Granbury, TX visiting my brother where we were camped down in a large depression next to the Red River and couldn’t see a tower that we didn’t have service.
Neither have I. But then I am “anti-social”– no “social media”, not even sure what an “influencer” is, and watch few YouTube videos, unless it’s how to repair a Maytag washing machine. I am so old I still read the daily newspaper, although I do it online now because I can even read it on the road in the RV!
Good read, I’ve told people about nomad for several years now. Actually just again a couple days ago. I don’t have it myself and don’t have a need for, but some do. My daughter and husband both work from home and it could give them the option of getting to camp more.
I have thought considered an antenna/ booster. I had one at my bricks& mortar, it soon became obsolete . Considering the cost for equipment & the fact technology changes rendering equipment / software / contracts obsolete . Well as they say on shark tank for those reasons I’m out.
Just goes to show: ‘influencers’ are not infallable or experts. Some know a lot of stuff, others don’t. Some do it to get free stuff, others don’t (I think). So many people (RVrs) claim they can’t wait til the next video comes out. Say something not so flattering about an ‘influencer’, and some RVrs will defend them to their last breath! I follow a few Youtube channels for their how to content. I don’t follow for their adventures as I’m already out there doing my own adventures.
If it sounds too good to be true, it might not be true. He should run for Congress.
Nomad never sounded too good to be true to me. It’s expensive. But it seemed plausible. And they are still in business, just quickly swapped out their CEO but refuse to answer questions about Garza as far as I have seen. And they have a slew of angry people still waiting on refunds and connectivity issues.
Sounds like they likely won’t be in the not too distant future.