I have written in general about Freelancing Scams in 2009 and this post is an updated version.
In 2009, I have discussed a few ways to identify freelancing scams. However, 2013 is approaching and this is the perfect time to revise some of the most common scams in the freelancing industry.
Common Signs of Scam
Unique Article as Sample
Situation: Employer will request a unique article sample (NOTE: if you are a designer, you might be asked to present a unique logo design as a sample).
Reality: You are providing a piece of unique work for nothing.Personal View: Personally I have experienced this in my early months. I have written a few articles, sent them to the so-called employer and never get paid.
Payment Out of System
Situation: Freelancing sites such as Freelancer.com and Elance.com require payment through their system. Any payment out of the system is a breach of their terms and conditions. Now, some employers prefer to pay out of the system to avoid fees.
Reality: Most employers who seek payment out of the system are scammers. They do not have the intention of paying at all. It is not recommended to accept payment out of the system for first-time clients (employers).
Brief Job Description
Situation: The job description is too general.
Reality: It is usually fake (although not always).
Situation: You are being offered low rate (e.g. $1 for 500 words).
Reality: First, they just want to save money. Secondly, they are fooling you into thinking that you are worth such rate because you are “new”.
Too Good To Be True
Situation: You smell something fishy.
Reality: Trust your instinct. Chances are you are right, there’s something wrong.
Pay First Scheme
Situation: You are required to pay in order to “secure” the job.
Reality: Once they received your payment, they will disappear into the thin air.
Situation: You are required to submit articles and your earning depends on the traffic to your articles and the number of clicks on the ads.
Reality: If you don’t mind writing for peanuts, you might want to try this. However, in most cases, they are fraud.
Personal View: I have tried on Triond. While the earning is rather low, but at least they pay as promised, every month.
Situation: In exchange of “experience”, you are required to work for low pay or no pay.
Reality: They are insisting on the fact that you are “new” and to lure you into thinking that you are gaining “experience”, you are required to work on low pay or no pay. In other words, this is a waste of time and total scam.
Please beware of the signs when looking for freelance jobs / gigs / work