How to Avoid Getting Scammed on Freelancer.com
One of the reasons why most people don't believe in earning money online is because of scammers. It's true that there are a lot of scam sites on the internet. There are some who sell you a program and promise to multiply your money. Others sell eBooks with guides on how to earn money but actually they're just full of rubbish. There are also those who make you click ads and do other petty jobs but not pay you anyway. Their scheme is simple- to take advantage of people.
Because of scammers, the reputation of outsourcing sites like Freelancer, Elance, and oDesk get stained. Some just give up on working because they are repeatedly cheated by their employers. No one can blame them, they're the victims of this hideous crime.
Here are some helpful tips which you can do to avoid scammers on Freelancer (some may be applicable to other outsourcing sites).
- Check the employer's profile. Upon opening a project, see to it that the employer has at least 1 review. Of course, maybe the project you opened was made by a first-time employer so he/she doesn't have a review yet. But just to make sure, work with those who already have reviews. Leave the filtering to the ones who dare. Check also if the employer is "Payment Verified". It is indicated if the '$' sign is blue and not gray (see picture above). For further investigation, read the text feedback of other freelancers to see what they got to say to the employer.
- Serious employers make their project descriptions clear and understandable. They specify who they want, what they require, how much will they pay, etc. It is doubtful if a project description is just a sentence or two especially when they don't have a review yet. You also have to check their offer. Don't be too excited when you see that they are willing to pay an amount so much higher than the average rate. That may be a scam especially when the employer still has no reviews.
- There is a big chance that the project is not a scam when the employer paid to post it. If the project has "Featured", "Private", "Sealed Bids", or "Fulltime" tag in it, it means the employer has cash and is most probably trustworthy. See the picture below for more info.
- Last but not the least, milestones. For me, this is the final test to see if an employer is trustworthy. If the employer won't approve paying in milestone, ask why. Explain that it is the most secure way of payment compared to Paypal or any other online payment processor. Some really won't create one because sometimes they keep their money on Paypal. You should just trust those who say this if they have sufficient reputation (e.g. reviews, feedback). If it already sounds doubtful then just leave it and find a decent employer.
I have been scammed a lot of times already. One time I made 10 articles of 500 words each and the rate was $3 each. I finished them all within 24 hours and submitted it. The employer never replied. There was no milestone either. And the employer doesn't have any reviews until now but he has a lot of closed projects. I wonder who he's scamming now.
Use your instincts. Even though it's only written conversation and what the employer wants to say can be rehearsed, try to feel his/her intentions. Never be afraid to make a mistake and be swindled. Mistakes are good for learning.
Thanks for reading! Hope you have a scam-free day!