Original article – Freelancing Scams – Equipped Yourself With These Tips (Jan, 2009)
Second article – Signs of Freelancing Scams (April, 2011)
Third article – Identifying Freelancing Scams (Nov, 2012)
I have written about freelancing scam back in 2009, 2011 & 2012 and it is never too late to have an update and recap.
Here’s 7 tips (updated) on how to spot a potential freelancing scam:
- Your instinct. Believe it or not, this is actually very important and also the easiest way to detect a potential scam. If it feels too good to be true, then it is probably 99% scam.
- Vague or unclear job description in a job ad. I don’t trust any potential clients who are not willing to spend some time explaining the job with all the important details.
- Paid to get paid – it means you are being asked to pay in advance in order to score a job.
WARNING: Never pay anyone in advance for a job that you don’t even know if you will be hired / paid. It is even better if you don’t pay anyone for any job at all! Remember, you should not be paying money in advance to get a job. Sites such as Elance (aka Upwork) and Guru charge a certain fee (usually around 10%) but that is only after you get paid through their Escrow payment system.
- Free samples (most common for jobs related to writing and design).
- Attempt to avoid Escrow – this is common on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork). They will do everything they can to persuade you to use a different payment method.
NOTE: If you are on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork), you are not allowed to use a different payment method. If you insist on using a different payment method other than through their site, you are held responsible for your own action. They would not be able to do anything if you are being scammed (i.e. not getting paid).
- Paid samples – sounds good right? No! Although not all jobs that require “paid” samples are scams, it is best to be cautious! This might be a trick to “fish” you into providing them free content. Beware! If in doubt, refer to tip #1.
- Contests that require you to sign an IP Deed, probably asking you to hand over your IP rights to the organiser, so make sure you do a background check before entering any contests.
Look out for these words or sentences –
“Very easy data entry job…”
“Native-speaking english writers…”
Any additional tips? Leave a comment!