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How to Avoid Getting Scammed on

Jason is currently exploring the world of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. He is a freelance writer.

Be aware of scams on outsourcing sites

Be aware of scams on outsourcing sites Scams

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. Some 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 do 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 gets 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).

An example of a legit employer.

An example of a legit employer.

How to Avoid Scams on Freelancer

  • Check the employer's profile. Upon opening a project, see to it that the employer has at least one 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 they will 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 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 a sufficient reputation (e.g., reviews, feedback). If it already sounds doubtful, then just leave it and find a decent employer.
Can't read it? Just click it.

Can't read it? Just click it.

My Experience

I have been scammed a lot of times already. One time I wrote ten articles of 500 words each, and the rate was $3 each. I finished them all within 24 hours and submitted them. 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. Sometimes, you might make a mistake and be swindled. Mistakes are good for learning.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a scam-free day!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2011 Jason Licerio


Arsh on July 10, 2018:

I got the freelancer account of the employer blocked who scammed me but I didn't get my money back.

Left on April 09, 2016:

My only suggestion is avoid at all cost - it's going to cost you (dearly) if you don't.

This website has given me my worst online experience EVER. Still struggling to get my money back from them. Customer care is barely literate, feels like you are talking to a scammer most of the time than a real employee.

Disappointed on February 16, 2016: is not a website. It is rather a platform for harassment.

Chris on January 15, 2016:

I took their basic numeracy skills test so I could add something else to my profile to show to prospective clients. Their tests - or at least the ones I looked at - cost $5.00 plus a processing fee of around $0.42. Here's an actual question exactly as it appeared on the test I took:

"John eat 2 pieces of apples a day. Now, is Thursday, but he remembered the his apples left after eating apples during Monday are 30 pieces after that, he gave the half of all his apples to her daughter. How many apples left, if today is Friday after eating the two pieces of apples?"

At least three other questions on the test had issues, such as multiple correct answers or no correct answer. Needless to say, this is completely unprofessional, especially considering these are paid tests. How can I showcase my skills to prospective clients with a test like this? After the test was completed, there was an option to add more questions to the test. It looks like they don't even verify new questions for accuracy.

I contacted customer support and 4 days later I was told they do not refund the exam fees. Instead, they offered to let me take another exam for free and they offered me one free month of the lowest paid membership option. First, there's no way I'm ever taking another exam for that site, free or not. Second, because of the exam that I did take I was already eligible for one free month of a higher-level paid membership, so offering me the lowest one is completely pointless.

Based on this experience and the countless other reviews I've read about this site, I just decided to cut my losses and run. I advise you all to avoid this shady site.

WDewal on October 31, 2014:

Well, if employer does not want to release a milestone, he/she can file a dispute. The problem is that freelancers have almost no chance to win it! I've got a friend who works at, and he shared a statistics related to disputes: only 7.4% of disputes are won by freelancers. I asked him why and he told me that there is an internal policy at that demands to always trust employer arguments. So it works with fair customers, but a drawback is if a customer is not truethful you have no chance to get your money.

Tina on August 11, 2014:

Freelance Junk is a SCAM. They are so full of lies and all they want is your money. I never got the chance to work for them because they were telling me I had to pay to get on the site. What a joke. I am so tired of all these Scams I am going to make it my point letting everyone I come in contact with know they are Scammers.

Chav Chambers on July 31, 2014:

Great tips Jason. Can you please state which of the freelancing sites you worked for and they didnt pay you? I worked on Elance and its the best i have come across, I have never come across any scammers on there. Odesk seems like it has the potential for scamming. Freelancer is loaded with scammers, I stopped using it, I didnt actually work on it but I saw plenty of signs, I even questioned the employer to put them on the spot and analyze their response. Another site that I deemed as a scam is Freelance Junk, see the analysis of them here and why they are deemed as scammers: We really need to be cautious, cant put in all that hard work for nothing.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on July 04, 2014:

@erwin: Milestones are the only way I got legit paying projects through article writing. I'm not sure with high paying jobs on how secure it is but with the small projects like mine, milestones always come out as most secure method for payment.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on July 04, 2014:

Hi fellow freelancers! What do you think I should write next about freelancing?

erwin on June 08, 2014:

Milestones are a joke. Even if the employer created one, freelancer can take that money back because some bullshit reasons, but you still pays the fees, lose your work and the milestones. I just recently lost about 200 USD and feel unsafe as hell in that scam.

erwin on June 08, 2014:

Milestones arw

Gery on May 25, 2014:

Have you been victim of

Me too :( I have the case opened .... with not respond from

Do you know that: “Freelancer founder earns $235 million – while customers of the site are ripped off “

Freelancer, an Australian registered Internet company makes millions while abusing Australian consumer laws. Caution – use this site at your own risk as Freelancer takes no responsibility.

If you want to try to contact the management team:

Here is their direct email address and phone numbers:

Nikki Parker, Regional Director, North America, Australia & New Zealand, Tel +61 427 173 025, Email, or Evan Tan, Regional Director, South East Asia, Tel +63 908 882 8519, Email, or Jorge Azurin, Regional Director, Continental Asia, Tel +63-908-867-3373, Email, or Bill Little, Regional Director, Europe, Tel +44 (0) 7940 924555, Email, or Sebastian Siseles, Director Regional para Latinoamerica, Tel +54 911 32 60 07 30, Email

If there is not result them please follow this direction below:

1. File a government internet crime complaint with:

2. Report fraud, visit:

3. File an online complaint with State Attorney General:

4. File a government consumer complaint with

5. Report to Australian Competition Consumer Commission:

6. Report to Law Enforcement:

7. Report to Scam watch: ; ALSO or territory consumer affairs

8. Report computer, internet-related, or intellectual property crime:

9. File a complaint with Office of Fair Trading: also:

10. Contact investigative reporters from TV Channels and Newspapers / magazines and all you guys will provide evidences to them. Please save all your email received from

11. Register complaints with as many review sites as you can "Google Reviews, Yelp, Business reporters and other private organizations .... etc"

12. Post Blogs. Minimum 1 SEO article per day till you will see the result on google, yahoo and Spread the word by posting on your blogs, create new blogs, Blog Comments, Guess Posts and invite others to share their similar stories they faced with etc. Please keep posting on all social media....

deea on May 14, 2014:

Please don't accept working on :

I worked with him on the last project and he didn't pay me.

I did more research on him and apparently he does that a lot.

The user is

Name: Mahak Champ


Skype: mahak.104


Projects associated:

Current, AM Psyche, TeeSpring


Techospot, Treasure Jewellery, GameToSoft


Johnc853 on May 12, 2014:

Superb post but I was wanting to know if you could write a bdebgbbgkekf

Johne885 on May 12, 2014:

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NAHLI on April 01, 2014:

I have had two Bad experiences. First a guy "hired" me for a translation job. I accepted and when I talked to him, he told me he didnt create any project. charged him and me 5$.

Today, somebody hired me for technical assistance, asked me my skype account and while we discussed the project he tried to hack my computer. I turned it off and asked for assistance. He had put two malware in my computer and I haven´t accepted any file from him

Here is the profile of the person

I´ll provide his skype soon,. Im afraid to log in skype, he really made me nervous. I could report him and change all my passwords ASAP in another PC

As u see is a person with good reputation and cannot imagine how many new freelancers has fallen with him.

I reported him and his project and freelancer hasnt sent me any comment. Thats dissapointing.

Dina on March 16, 2014:

They Charge The Money On Accepting the Task .. What if The Employer does not pay !! money should be deduced from milestone payment or upon completion of the task and money delivered !!

Yasitha Bogamuwa on March 15, 2014:

Hello All, I bid for a IPSec VPN project for 100 USD and I won it. After I successfully complete the project the employer (He had around 15 positive feedbacks) paid the total with 5 star positive feedback. Later I tried to withdraw the funds which I earned from this project and freelancer rejected the withdrawal saying that "Unfortunately we were unable to process your withdrawal request. Decline reason: Funds originated from an account that is currently under review." Therefore I contacted freelancer through their support ticket system and they asked me to contact the employer and ask him to resolve his account issue. Next I contacted him and begged him to resolve his account issue because I'm burning for nothing I did. What he said is, Now the Project is over and he paid the total. He doesn't want his freelancer account anymore, Simply he left freelancer. Again I contacted freelancer and said what he mentioned. The reply was "For security reasons, the funds on the employer's account has been put on hold until the account issues have been resolved.". I know I will never receive my funds because the employer will never resolve his account issues by submitting the documents which freelancer asked him to submit. Finally he got what he want, freelancer got what they want (Freelancer fees. They refund the fees but I can't withdraw it because minimal withdrawal amount is 30 USD) and I lost my money. This is for you mates, don't use their site. I don't want to see this thing happening to you. If you want proofs, please type your email address, I will forward what I got.

unknown on March 07, 2014:

So, Its all true...

If you want to delete old closed project of yours, you need to pay them $5 USD...isn't that funny! :D

btw...Matt Barrie, ohhh well, just look at his face...

Is he scum???.....NOOOOOOOO :D

Alexander on February 21, 2014: - the biggest scam

Very serious and responsible I work 120%. On since 2008, but employers were allways happy and my ratings is still 5.0.

Since the site passed into the Australian hands, the strongly degraded. A lot of things changed: the number of projects increased, new functions were added, greed of the grew many times, scam scale increased.

The administration isn't capable to control monetary operations. They have no tools for this purpose. It is ok for the site, if after a good review and released payment, reversalt he transaction depriving you earned money. You do not even notified about it. They quietly remove the money from your account. I will say more. can reversal the transaction after the money is withdrawed and keep your balance in a deep minus , and then they demand from you to put the money back on your frelancer account. As a result the will remove from you 110% (10% fees, which were removed at the beginning of a project + 100% of your earned money that were returned to the employer). Sounds absurd? Today it is quite so on the site. To all claims they answer in the manner „We can do nothing. A chargeback has been filed on the employer‘s payment provider. We only take fees. We would recommend that you contact the employer directly and ask to pay again.“

All of these milestones - complete nonsense! An employer can post a project, create a milestone, get the project done, release the money and after get all money back. promotes scam. What milestones for? To give the appearance of reliability? After a project is done, you won‘t see the money anyway. In addition, you pay 10% fees. Cool!

Today the is not the guarantor of honest execution of deal. It is just a message board with the job offers, where you take all risks upon yourself. only can guarantee that you will pay them all fees for the opportunity to be deceived!

It is a pity to lose rating and reviews, but it is even more a pity for the nerves. There are alternatives and it is time to leave You are sure it is no concern of you? Just type in google „ scam reversal“.

Tritara on February 10, 2014:

The site freelancer (ca = com because I receive their emails from both) is obviously a scam site with their money game and the tricks and traps directly associated with it. The ever-thirsty "create Milestone" monster even lies that freelancers often ask the employers to create the milestone twice while the freelancers themselves do not know that employers are paying before they start working. I hired two freelancers and I was not allowed to contact the second freelancer because I refused to create the milestone for the third time. So I ended up paying the commission for the job award (15% or so) and 5CAD for deleting the aborted job (and the posting is still there at freelanceradar and freelancer with different country code top-level domains) for nothing. And I was asked to go shopping on the site with the remaining deposit. Worst of all, deleting your account cannot be done by you, but by them only. You have to obtain a "support ticket" by bringing up the matter to the support desk and they take as much time as they want by not answering or giving piecemeal answers or asking to do this and that. The first thing you should do is to cancel the "Authorized PayPal Accounts" by going to profile/settings/account settings. I am now registered at GURU. It's the anti-pole of the "freelancer" in every respect. The button for deleting your account is on the profile page (so it's a matter of a fraction of a second) and everything is transparent there, especially the money matter. I am writing this to do my portion of duty as a member of the world community in weeding out scams and help honest people thrive.

Paul S Williams on October 14, 2013:


I am using since years now, it was a good site at first, really fast, php-based. I won't complain on money issues here because, to be honest, I never had an issue with them about this, other than usual withdrawal delays and high fees. Not to mention I don't tend to hold a lot of money on there, not even on paypal; I usually withdraw to my atm card as soon as I can. I don't trust none online service to hold my money.

Now, made changes during the years, most of them terrible, i.e. website speed, limitation on bids for free users and others. Always to damage the worker and focus on their own pocket selling you memberships. The site used to fly back in 2006 when it was purely php based, no Ajax, no crap whatsoever. Now, it's full of that, you get Ajax up your ass even from going to page 1 to 2 through projects before bidding. Ajax sites are slow, didn't you know it GAF? Java is slow, Javascript is slow, didn't you know it? I remember clicking on my user profile and having to switch to a faster laptop I have at home because the page simply didn't load on a decent P3, 1ghz RAM. Isn't it a P3 1ghz RAM enough to display a black and white, non-flash page properly and fast? They seem to have fixed that, though

Now, this is the problem we have now and this one is *serious*. Since 10 days ago freelancer changed something that's ruinning our businness and they care shit fixing it. I am talking about the private messaging system which is *now disabled* when you bid. This means you can't send samples to your employeer, nor private messages anymore. Unless customer starts a private message.

And this is not even the worst! Line break is not respected in your bid text!! So, now that you are not allowed to send private messages (unless customer starts a private message with you), you have to place links in your bid text in order to actually have a *chance* to get the job! Read below the conversation we had with customer support:


Freelancer staff: "Keep in mind that our site does not support line breaks on the bid page. "

Me: And do you think this is something to be proud of ? Is it like a "feature" ?

So are you telling your whole 9 million users that not having the ability to

properly space paragraphs out, making the whole text a whole unreadable mess is

a feature or something to be proud of!?!

Imagine you have to write in your bid something bulleted such as:

Paragraph 1


- line 1

- line 2

- line 3

- line 4

Paragraph 2

- link 1

- link 2

Your buyer will read it like: Paragraph 1Details:- line 1 - line 2 - line 3 - line 4Paragraph 2- link 1- link 2

*** And are you saying this is a feature and not a bug of that

should be addressed? ***


This is totally unbelievable, all they have to do is replacing the line break by a br html tag upon displaying the bid text and they are not doing it. It's a whole line of code what they have to add. This is getting us *no job* since days, damaging our busines while in the past we had a strong customer messaging based on the samples we showed

My experience as a business man tells that you can convince a customer better with a good sample rather than with a small paragraph of text telling him that you are an expert in the field. Both thigns are killer, but if one of them is missing you don't make it

If their approach was avoiding spam and/or copy/paste messages with this measure, this is not the way to handle it

I strongly suggest everybody post a ticket into their support system in order to let them know as a community that we need the private messaging system back OR AT LEAST the line break respected in bid's text



alhoseany on September 14, 2013:

i lost $500 with them yesterday on scam projects. read my review here:

Necu on August 26, 2013:

Thank you, JasonLicerioPH, for this information ! But I was wondering if the reviews themselves could be made by some of employers "friends".. Like he could pay someone to review his jobs or profile positively.. I'm not yet a freelancer but I would like to start making some money with my knowledge in 3d modelling or architecture ... However, I can't stand one thing that most of the users complain: The right to take money from you paypal account without your notice.... I just couldn't believe that is happening in 2013 -_-. It is unacceptable for someone to get into your paypal account and just grab your money like that. I, as an owner of a paypal account, must be noticed where my money are going and to choose if I want to pay or not. However, I see you pointed about the problems that appear due to employer's lack of seriousness.... But I see many people arguing about the lack of seriousness of the's employees themselves... They are seen as ordinary thieves due to the taxes they dare to charge for nothing, no precise answers whatsoever from support desk, lack of finance guarantees on their own budget and more... How can we defend against these ?

ssitaly on August 19, 2013:


Have been working on FL since March 2011 and never had problems before.

Now my withdrawal breakdown! I've asked to support and they said one of the employer I'm woking with "have an issue" with his account.

I've done the work, the employer transferred the money, the money is on my account, but I can't take it!!! I've more than $550 USD on my account and can't have access on it.

The support told to contact the employer directly, they say they are verifying him, and that they can't give me more informations for "privacy reasons".

I want to underline that I USED MILESTONE payment.

15 days passed and the problem is still not solved.

I've contacted the employer but he doesn't know how to proceed.

1) Here's my email exchanges with support:



Posted on: 03 August 2013 06:12 AM

Hi! I've made a withdrawal request (Paypal) on 07/30/2013.

The processing data was Thu, 1 - Fri, 2 Aug 2013, but I didn't receive nothing. Now I've made a second request (the first one disappeared from the dashboard) and hope to get my money. Please, tell me if there is any problem with the system

Ericka T.

Email and Chat Support


Posted on: 03 August 2013 06:52 AM

Hello there,

Thank you for contacting Support.

Record shows that your employer, translationlands, is currently having issues with us. Since the funds you are trying to withdraw are from them, you won't be able to withdraw the funds until they settle the issue with us. You may contact them regarding this and have them settle the issue with us. Please understand that this is done for you and for the rest of our users as our way of providing our members a safe environment to do their online business. On the positive note, things will get back to normal as soon as your employer settles their account. Should you have other concerns, please feel free to contact us.


Posted on: 03 August 2013 07:31 AM

Hi! I understand the problem and asked the employer to settle the issue with you. But I don't want wait in vain... What happens if he doesn't solve the problem with I used milestone to get guarantee about payment..!!!!

Amy V.

Email and Chat Support Agent


Posted on: 03 August 2013 08:15 AM

Hi, Thank you for mailing us back. We truly regret the inconvenience this gives you. However, please understand that a proper department handles these issues and we do not have direct access to it. As per Privacy policy, we can no longer discuss further information on this matter. All we could suggest is that you try to communicate with your employer and resolve this issue with them. Your understanding is highly appreciated. Please let us know if you have other concerns.


Posted on: 03 August 2013 08:39 AM

If had an issue with this person, why I didn't receive any warning from when I accepted the job?

This way the milestone guarantee doesn't work! Which department should I contact?

Lyndon S.

Email and Chat Support Agent


Posted on: 03 August 2013 09:46 AM

Hello, Thank you for getting back to us. While we understand your concern, note that we have a specific department within our organization that validates user accounts and the transactions made to and fro. We are implementing this procedure to protect well-meaning users like you from fraudulent transactions. This is also specified on section 7.7 of our Terms and Conditions, which states:


7.7 Hold on funds, in its sole discretion, may place a hold on any or all of the payments you receive when believes there may be a high level of risk associated with you, your Account, or any or all of your transactions.


The funds you received from translationlands are currently undergoing verification. Rest assured that the funds that you have received from them are still in your account and will be available when your employer's verification process has been completed. Your understanding is highly appreciated. Let us know if you have other questions.


Posted on: 03 August 2013 09:58 AM

Thank you for reply.

What happens if the verify fail?

Can I withdraw money gained with other employers?

Ramon M.

Email and Chat Support Agent


Posted on: 03 August 2013 10:38 AM

Hi, Thanks for writing us back. I understand that you would like to know what happens if the employer translationlands is unable to complete the verification process. Since it is already being handled by the proper department, we are not privy of their information regarding this matter.

Rest assured that the funds that you have received from the employer are still in your account and will be available when your employer's verification process has been completed. I suggest that you contact the employer about this issue so that you can proceed in withdrawing the funds from your account. Should you have further queries or concerns, feel free to email us again.


2) Here's what employer said:


"Hi! I can't withdrawal the money gained with your projects, as you have some issue with . Please settle the problem with in order I can get my money. I did an hard work and I want to be paid for that. Please answer me as soon as possible... "

(translationlands 2 weeks ago)

"which money you mean ?"

"the amount i just released for you ?"

"i already released the money for you"

"i am trying to solve the issue with are talking about $500, but they froze and cancelled over $17,000 of my believe me i am trying to resolve this asap"

john on August 14, 2013:

I am planning to use freelancer to update my website in joomla 1.0.

Hope that all will be fine.

Kalle on August 11, 2013:

Got scammed there as well. They are several indians working together, giving each other feedback etc so it all looks really great. I'm sure they don't scam everyone either, just someone once in a while

I got scammed by user samitXI. He's working together with dobreiiita and neshgold99. I've found more of their accounts but I can't remember them right now. Just wanted to tell people to be careful.

aXXo on August 11, 2013:

Currently almost all projectsare scam. The website is similar to the forum, when artifically created users post projects on and on and naïve people bid, like me for 2 weeks. You wont win. Of course U can pay the staff what u have. Its useless.

On one hand they post projects with users created artificial, to get bids and to push money up from PayPal etc.

Mark this site as Unwanted in IE/Firefox menu.

James Jasper on August 03, 2013: is not very ethical. Their customer care is poor. They just give standard answers without actually looking into anything. They do not resolve anything.

A freelancer scammed me on - left my Wordpress installation in a complete shambles and despite numerous emails to - I get nothing. And the freelancer just doesn't respond.

I am not a Wordpress expert, but when I looked further into my Wordpress installation (after getting errors trying to upgrade the core - something that should be available), I saw so many other issues. The freelancer left my Wordpress in a shambles and wont respond to me.

I can't even leave a rating for the freelancer and can't give them a comment. This is not acceptable.

And the customer service at does nothing other than to tell me to contact the freelancer who wont respond.

This was an awful experience - no solution and just a shambles.

Jose - Brazil on June 30, 2013:

I just signed up on, and took two English tests. It's not hard to notice that the price for the tests gets higher as you increase their level. That is a little bit strange. There is not apparent reason for that. Can someone clarify that for me ? Thanks.

Jason Magnus on June 29, 2013:

Seriously makes the most money with the automatic payment scam. I wont go there again, I prefer, the only leading marketplace in today's time.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on May 27, 2013:

Thanks Msjobsy!

Msjobsy on May 25, 2013:

Hi Jasonlicerio, this very nice information. Job well done.

Msjobsy on May 25, 2013:

Hi Jasonlicerio, this very nice information. Job well done.

patel on May 10, 2013:

hi im indian lol

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on May 04, 2013:

@lola: That's too bad. Freelancer's like that shouldn't be tolerated.

@John: Haha, nice one John.

John on May 03, 2013:

ishtiak146 is a scammer. Be careful.

lola on April 27, 2013:

I paid 169€ for nothing, Ray didn't finish the formula and I was so stupid to release the milestone when it was not finish

he made a formula for my online shop that was not adding to the cart, I can make the same in a piece of paper and it will be as useful as his.

After 3 MONTHS fooling me, always telling me he was going to fix it next week, he still tells me that "he didn't ask for more money, even he did spent more time" I FEEL STUPID AND CHEATED , now I don't have money, I don't have formula and I lost 3 months.....

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on April 18, 2013:

Very interesting. I haven't heard of freelancer before, but it sounds useful!

POinCal on April 09, 2013:

Freelancer is a scamming company. People do not use this company.

This is now on the list of scam right below the Nigerian scam tricks.

Write to the CEO Matt barrie email:

and Director of Customer Experience Alaister Low

go to and email him.

This company is a scam company. People do not use freelancer.

freelancer is worst company than bank of america.

Calif on April 09, 2013:

Should have come here to read reviews before getting on I have spent time and money trying to get my money back. I post a job on Sunday, deposit money, 39 hours later, they deduct $9 dollars, so I am asking for the rest of deposit back and it is taking them forever. It is Tuesday, I am waiting for my deposit refund back. I made a backup of every communication with them. Here's the summary:

Sunday Post job, deposit money via paypal, freelancer deduct 4 dollars ask for specific contractor , shows up waiting for acceptance by that specific contractor, requires to wait 36 hours to see if contractor want the job,

Monday 32 hours later, the contractor still has not decided if he takes job, sent 3 emails inquiring about the status. I received 3 emails from 3 different people giving me canned reply "refer to this link for the 36 hours blah blah...", I waited.

Tuesday 37.5 hours, status, contractor still has not accept or decline the job. I had wanted that specific contractor, no one else. it still shows the contractor awaiting acceptance. I inquire to customer support why it been past 36 hours, the contractor still has not decided and freelancer does not allow me to revoke the award. 4 email back and forth.

Tuesday 38 hours later, freelancer sent me an email contractor will not take contract. I replied that I will cancel the job because i can't find a person who can do the project. They take $5 off my deposit for deleting project.

Tuesday 39 hours later, I am po'ed. I got on chat to customer service. I inquired about my getting back my deposit. The guy told me oh as soon as we end the chat session you will receive an email about your refund.

I got the email telling me about them refunding my $5 back if only if I repost my job for other contractors. Now I am so pissed. I said no. I just want the rest of my deposit back. This lady said she will forward the deposit refund request to some dept for review. I have asked 4 times when they are returning my deposit to paypal.

It took me 5 minutes to send a deposit via paypal to freelancer. When I tried to get the rest of my deposit back, it is taking a long time. I have not got back my money yet.

freelancer is a fraud and scam company. DO NOT USE THEM --Read the fine prints.

Romel Tarroza from Philippines on March 26, 2013:

I really hate scammers. I had joined with many sites that offer money making and suddenly that sites disappear. It is really a waste of time.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on March 24, 2013:

Don't worry about the ten days deadline. It's just for formalities. It still depends on whether the employer contacts you about the project.

The deadline is just for your profile. If you actually finished it within ten days it will reflect in your profile that you are a follower of deadlines and doesn't delay the job.

Meow on March 23, 2013:

Thanks Jason.

Pray that the employer will get back to me soon!

By the way, I bid in the project that I will finish task in 10 days, does this timing start ticking once I accepted the job? Or it is the time frame I and employer agreed PM?

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on March 23, 2013:

@Meow: Well, you have to finish it.

Both you and the employer are deducted the same amount so it will also be a trouble for him. Now if you report this nothing will happen because it's in the Freelancer manual. There are a lot of cases like this, just hope he replies soon.

Now that you read my tips just go with employers that offer milestones and has a good reputation like stars or the dollar symbol to make sure they're legit.

Meow on March 22, 2013:

Hi, thanks for your reply Jason.

I would like to finish the project (that I haven't yet started!) but the employer did not reply my message. In the worst case, what should I do if the employer just disappear and leave me with negative account? (Report to Freelancer support?? )

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on March 22, 2013:

@Meow: You need to finish the project to earn the money to remove the negative balance. That deduction to your balance is automatic every time you accept a project.

Meow on March 22, 2013:


I came across this site by chance and horrible to hear the feedback of ( i just accepted my first job and realise that i had a negative digit on my account already).

If the employer just disappeared or no respond ,Is there a way i do not need to pay this fee? (I am not yet deposit anything in their account)

jenny on March 21, 2013:

the scam facebook page, liku us and help to get the word out:

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on March 13, 2013:

@dan: Haha, I know this.

"Also I saw very suspicious responses from employers, very good English for the advert and later horrible English spelling in the PMB; it is not possible for the same person, and finally projects are closed."

It's really suspicious when it goes like that.

dan on March 12, 2013:


I spent there more than three months I could not get a single job.

Most of the jobs are fictitious, projects are cancelled, closed and disappear. Also I saw very suspicious responses from employers, very good English for the advert and later horrible English spelling in the PMB; it is not possible for the same person, and finally projects are closed.

That is the reason they need to get money from contractors, via testing skills and membership upgrade, because projects are not real so they do not get 10% of them.

The few real projects, if they exist at all, are taking from people with reputation, if you are new there is no chance at all to get a contract,never ever, so people find friends to contract themselves and get reputation.

Also they cheat you when selecting the skills, they are really mean, If you do not choose all the skills you can at first, then later you are limited and cannot add more skills until next month, unless you pay, of course.

And when you sign they hide information, you do not know their commission, rules,.., nothing. And you have to get their spam mail every day, no opt-out option.

The worst is the time you waste, not just the money.

Really trust me, stay away from them, as far as possible.


Jore on March 10, 2013:

I made some projects in

There are some good craphic fesigners. Web site designers they are like scammers.

I wondered why somebody looking for job in

Oleg S on March 10, 2013:

Re Hi guys! What other sites can you suggest for us to earn money?

The only ones I know that are legit are oDesk and Elance. and

df on March 09, 2013:

Thanks, as an employer with no reviews... yet.... it was goo to see how to minimize the first post skepticism....

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on February 26, 2013:

Hi guys! What other sites can you suggest for us to earn money? The only ones I know that are legit are oDesk and Elance.

Joport on February 26, 2013:

Yes, I have also had many unknown fees taken from my account. If you complain about how the system doesn't work they will give you a written warning and then suspend your account.

Unknown Fees on February 25, 2013:

I felt being scammed by Freelancer many times since starting using this website in 2011. Many unknown fees were charged without my consent., but I still keep using it because I don't know where else to get freelancers. Today I found out there were more unknown refundable project fees charged since 2011 were not refunded yet! I didn't even know they exist because the projects were never rewarded to any freelancer and were supposed to be free posts, so I really had no idea where the charges came from, and it says refundable but I didn't see any refund since 2011. I am so pissed off! I would stay away from it if I could.

Joport on February 22, 2013:

Freelancer doesn't work. The reviews don't appear until weeks later. That happened to me. I was scammed out of £250. When I complained to freelancer they did nothing, took no responsibility and just said well I should have looked at the reviews. But there were no reviews there. It was only a few days ago that one appeared by a lady who had also been scammed by 'Hidden Marketing'. She had posted the review 23 days ago, but it didn't show up on the profile. But not changing this system. By not making it so that reviews appear immediately freelancer is enabling a site where criminals get away with their crimes. They continue to do nothing and offer no apology.

Brian Scott from United States on February 03, 2013:

I've been using for a few years, mainly as one who hires a freelancer. I sympathize with the commenters here who had been "scammed" and lost money and time. I always err on the side of caution and typically hire a freelancer based in the same country, or one who has been on for a few years and has proven to finish projects. Likewise, I tend to seek projects posted by individuals who have a positive track record on Freelancer.

Bjorn on January 31, 2013:

I have had my battles with the customer service as well. They may have 120 people working there 24/7 365 days a year but nothing good is coming out of there. I probably received the same answer like 10 times, always stating the obvious and not helping me at all. On top of that has turned into the biggest screw job ever, screwing people as good as they can. used to offer a good service but now it looks more and more like a pure money making business that's doesn't care about the freelancer. There is no user-friendliness anymore and no transparency.

I contacted because I had an issue with the exam payment. I got free exam coupons and thus I decided to take a few exams. Logic would say that once I get those rewards, that I can use them right away, that's at least how ANY other website does it.

But logic doesn't seem to apply at, instead the company aims at screwing freelancers as good as they can. Because one has the first activate one free exam coupon after the other before taking the exam. This should be explained much better but again, is not user-friendly and not transparent. On top of that the actual section where those coupons need to be activated is well hidden.

What should be is that either the coupons are immediately activated after they have been ordered. If that's too difficult, then at least give freelancers the choice when doing the exam, if they either want to pay or use a coupon.

But currently it only looks like is looking for any possible way to screw its users, plain and simple. I wouldn't care if it was 1 exam, but I took 3 and never has reminded me about using one of my coupons. When do they think I wanted to use them? 50 exams later?

peter gregg on January 23, 2013:

January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm, in its sole discretion, may place a hold on any or all of the payments you receive when believes there may be a high level of risk associated with you, your Account, or any or all of your transactions. If places a hold on any or all of the payments you receive, you will be provided with notice of our actions and the way in which to resolve the issue. If you are involved in a dispute, in certain circumstances may place a temporary hold on the funds in your account to cover the amount of any potential liability. If the dispute is resolved in your favour, Freelancer. com will lift the temporary hold. If you lose the dispute, may remove the funds from your Account. may remove the funds from your account? to where their account? this company will try and find any reason for banning your account and conviently putting money into their coffers, they are criminals, DO NOT RISK putting money into their website.

Steven King on January 22, 2013:


the milestone is not safe at all, there are so many scammers who scam peoples on with stolen credit card.. i have lost over $2000 through when i ask support what the hell is my money? their response was contact your employer. after argument, they said that employer charged back.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on January 20, 2013:

Right now I am not working on Freelancer because of all the problems a lot of people are experiencing. I don't want to be in that situation.

In Disbelief on January 18, 2013: is unbelievably unprofessional.

If you are there, get away asap - that is my recommendation. Awful service.

kHan on January 07, 2013:

Hi, the rating of employer was 5 stars i.e. 100%. he aborted the porject and freelancer charged me with commission fee and now not refunding it to me.

Kwikode on January 04, 2013:

It's actually amazing how many of these sites you come across, and like most people on here I to have had issues with Freelancer (namely their numerous and exorbitant fees) and I would never have joined if Scriptlance wasn't bought out by them.

I loved Scriptlance. It was easy to use, cheap and only had the features on the site you actually needed, not like all the unnecessary rubbish on Freelancer. So recently a developer friend and I decided we want to create an outsourcing community inspired by the old Scriptlance business model, a developer community first and foremost built with its customer in mind.

So please note this is not a site promotion as there is currently no site. This is a chance for the outsourcing community to get involved in our forums and provide us with ideas of the marketplace that they want to use. Hope to see you guys there.

thoughtspeech on December 31, 2012:

They should indeed be sued! They make money off of the scams of other people, as the freelance worker is still charged for the project even if the employer runs off! The result is that Freelancer still makes 10 percent commission, the Freelancer pays, and no one wins! Not to mention the ways in which they scam their users in other ways! I just got an unauthorized bill for $199, for a service I did not authorize or request! I tried to stop payment via Paypal, only to find that they had suspended my account after taking all of my money! I still have payments coming in from employers, so that money has basically been stolen as well! I know I'm rambling, so go see my full story at It's a page I started to expose the truth about these crooks.

ainna on December 29, 2012:


My experience unfortunately confirms the above. But what scares me is that captcha typing is actually used by fraudsters to decipher and illegally login to various websites for fraudulent activities and you can find that information easily in on the internet. Freelancer participates and facilitates fraud and crime, hence it is complicit in these crimes. I found that even when I wasn't bidding on captchas I would get offers of jobs to do them - I reported majority of them. I tried one such job at the beginning, and after doing some part of it all the work I've done vanished the next day.

Another experience where after accepting work the employer never proceeded with giving me the actual work and 240 dolars was deducted as project fee that is normally deducted. I understand it is in accordance with their regulations. What regulations? Fees for a project that is a non-project? So, the fees for something non-existent? I understand if they punish the employer but why freelancer?

These people should be sued.

Jordan on December 27, 2012:

They do not care about the ultimate end user: the freelancer. They charge both sides (project creators and project bidders) and will do whatever it takes to keep the money they squeeze out of both ends.

Example #1: If you put in a bid and are accepted, then do work and are not paid (partially your fault for not creating milestones and handing in the 100% completed work before being paid, sure..), they do not give a hoot whether you get paid. Even when you complain to them about an employer not paying you, they gladly place the blame back on you and don't lift a finger to punish the thief either in the form of a negative review (you aren't allowed to leave one if the project is never marked as "complete") or any other punitive measure.

Example #2: If you accept a project that is set to earn you, say, $500 dollars, 10% is instantly taken from you. $50. Say the employer never gets back to you, follows up, or anything even results (no work is even done, etc), you CANNOT get back your $50. You can plead them, but your pleas will surely fall on deaf ears and automatons towing the company line about the necessity of following their high and mighty "policies" .. USE THESE GUYS AS A LAST RESORT, or if you do use them, TREAD CAREFULLY!

boneybutt on December 20, 2012:

@el -- in fairness, they used to wait until you settled with them, which you could hold off for a while, during which you would get the payments into your freelancer account from your employer. If you went negative balance by too much, you'd have to settle before either bidding or accepting other projects. I suspect that unscrupulous freelancers would simply bid the one or two projects, get paid off-site, and never settle ... and simply open another fresh account. The site can't afford to connect everyone for free! A good number of employers do not care about the number of reviews a freelancer has if the price is dirt cheap; and a lot of the minimum fee projects are considered "good money" in many countries where these freelancers reside.

Most of the projects that I bid on are valued between USD200-USD700, so competence is a normal requisite. Bidding at the USD30 level requires you to be in the company of riff-raff, and employers accepting these bidders are burned more often than not. I always laugh when I see the reposted project.

el on December 19, 2012:

I am a new member on and it already looks suspicious. I won two projects and the site immediately took 10% from my account before I even started work on the project, let alone earned some money. You cannot withdraw your money fast, you need to wait and then if you bid for a larger project and you are accepted, they take 10% of the promised earnings before you even made any money, and if you reject the work your account may be suspended. Terrible... If I don't get my money, all the world is going to hear about it :)))) They cannot do this for long..

boneybutt on December 19, 2012:

I'm a freelancer and actually had two attempts to "direct hire" through the account site for a project I never bid on... for a project task set that I never bid on. At first I was going to accept the first one (yay!!), but I looked up both the project and the employer, and there was no history present. A ghost.

Only benefits from this scam.

The ghost gets nothing.

I didn't even bother with the second direct hire notice. You get some 5 emails telling you that you should accept before the job is awarded (to some other sucker).

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on December 19, 2012: I see your point. Someone who wants that to happen may create a project and get the highest bidder. That way, they can extract a larger amount from that bidder and Freelancer benefits. Nice analysis. on December 18, 2012:

Hi All,

Reading this post, I am afraid to use my freelancer ID here lest the power that be at the site freeze my account. I want to report that there is a new kind of scam going on at and the only party to benefit from this appears to be Employers (one should avoid them) without any reviews or verification, post a genuine sounding project. The higher you bid, the higher are the chances of your getting the bid. Even I have seen more than one person being awarded. As soon as you accept the bid, 10% of the fees gets deducted by Freelancer as per their POLICY. After that the Employer completely vanishes. Now in this only Freelancer benefits. When you report this to them, they will say Money once taken can not be returned and you should be careful before chosing your employers. I am sure these unscruplous employers are not doing this for fun but on behalf of If Eric or Max of whoever from Freelancer are listening(reading) this, prove that I'm wrong by refunding the fees for the non-project I was awarded by scamsters on your site. Why should you allow employers without depositing funds award a project and if you do it's your mistake and don't make the poor freelancer pay for it. It reduces your credibility.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on December 15, 2012:

It's nice to have alternative sites for online jobs. Keep it coming guys, but just make sure they're legit based on personal experience.

Lanzee on December 14, 2012: is imho not good for people who don't want to pay money if they already are paid subcribers on a monthly basis. The whole business model of is sick and will fail. Why should pay 5 or 10 or any percents from the price if you are already a member (aka gold, platinum or whatever member)? I don't get it. Ahh, they want more money ;). Try It's build with "simplicity in mind". No fancy bullshit, just freelancing. It's free including non-publlic pojects, sealed bids, unlimited bids a day and posting a project, of course, for free ;). And yes, maybe Lanzee will have paid membership in the future, but the model where you pay only once. Not twice like on E.g. you pay your subscription for 6 or 12 months and you don't need to pay anything else or vice versa you pay only some percentage from a project if successful. business model is for dumb people who want to pay at least twice for the same thing.

Oleg S on December 09, 2012:

Freelancercom doesn't understand that their actions force freelancers to suggest clients to sign contracts on other sites.

Harry Sadler on December 08, 2012:

Thank you for posting this! I found it because I was searching for ways to post a scathing review of myself. I am a freelance voice over talent. During the only job I received on, the employer decided not to pay, and simply leave the site. You see, took money from my account as a “fee” before I was even paid by the employer.

As a result, for my honest work I ended up PAYING $30 TO FREELANCER.COM, and not even being paid what was promised by the employer. offers no protection (such as escrow, or dispute resolution) for the freelancers on the site, and really don’t even deserve to use the term “freelancer”. I am truly disgusted by this money stealing site!


tom on December 03, 2012:

Maybe you could try this new job board for freelancers . It's remarkably easy to use.

tanujashetty5 on November 22, 2012:

Another way of spotting scammers is through the amount that they promise to pay. I have worked for people in the past who promise high payments but I end up getting scammed. The only companies that I have worked for that are not scammers are the ones that don't pay much, like which happens to be the first company that I have come across that isn't a scam. Anyway, good luck to everyone who is freelancing!

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on November 22, 2012:

@Silwen: I hope you are having a good time and not being scammed by others. Remember to trust those who really pay you money.

I am shocked that they also acquired VWorker, eliminating competition maybe?

vworker user on November 22, 2012:

I was shocked to see that the vWorker site is now acquired by and all the data regarding the ratings, profile etc will be merged with freelancer account. But I had another account which was created due to acquisition of Scriptlance by then this vworker account was having different registered email. They created two different accounts after merging. But when I asked the support to club the ratings of both my accounts to one and delete the empty rated account, the support person simply rejects the same by saying we can not do it.

@Emir, What to do now? Please help..


Silwen from Europe on November 21, 2012:

Great hub. Thank you for sharing your experience. These tips will help me. I knew on Freelancer. I have done only one or two projects, so I have not enough money to withdraw. But after reading some of the comments, I am not sure if I want to work further. I hope I will not face any problems such as suspended account or similar.

Marco on November 21, 2012:

Mladen Djukic good for you mate! You do that! They are a scam company. They have scammed HUNDREDS of people including myself. It is a shame..

And yes Oleg S, they did acquire Vworker... A beautiful proof of a growing company getting rich by scamming and robbing people.

Oleg S on November 21, 2012:

and my money too

Oleg S on November 21, 2012: is proud to announce that we have just acquired vWorker...

Your money is possibly spent for it.

Mladen Djukic on November 20, 2012:


My name is Mladen Djukic (that's also my username on and every other websites where I'm registered) and I will try to share my negative experience with you. Of course, it's all about

I am registered at this website for two years, I've won few projects and contests, payments was regular and on time, everything seems to be fine...until few days ago.

At Saturday (17.11.2012.) I have won the contest for 490$ (contest holder: pythoncolt, contest: Logo Design for iisoft (ID 11325)). Contest was guaranteed and paid in advance by employer. Same day employer transferred money to my account. I even withdrawn that funds at that same day to my debit card. Day after, at Sunday, I'm logging in and suddenly there's no any money on my account! What's happening? Contest was deleted, as well as employer's profile. First step, contacting Freelancer support. Support suggested me that I should contact employer directly, which I did. He was suspicious, by their allegation, and they said that money is reversed to him. I've contacted him, he replied me back (which I didn't expect cause they told me that he is a fraud or something like that) surprised by Freelancer action and deleted account. Obviously, he's not a fraud...if it is, he wouldn't reply to my email...pretty simple and obvious. And of course, he doesn't get his refund. So, Freelancer don't want to refund me, nor the employer...and I'll repeat, contest was GUARANTEED.

After three days of tickets, emails, complains Freelancer still won't admit their system failure and their mistake...but I won't give up just like that. I'll wait up just a little more and complain, and then if I'm not get refund I'll try to spread the word about their stealing website everywhere.

And I've just started...

sudhakarshah on November 12, 2012:

There are lots of scams on freelance websites indeed. I found out about through a referral from a user on a freelance website. I had to make sure the person was trustworthy, though. Now, I earn regularly using

Vijeet on November 11, 2012:

Good Article........I know many people just think a scam because their Account is suspended..........But I don't think its a Scam and great earning potential and have written a blog to help reactivate the account when suspended -

Aris Alamanos on October 31, 2012:

Astrid on October 16, 2012:


We just created Alatask, a Facebook Application that connects Task posters and Task bidders to interact with each other thanks to the power of social network. Users can be recommended through friends they have in common so it increases trustworthiness in the relationship. Also we do not take any fees.

We hope you will like this new service and that you will try it.

Any feedback is welcome.



Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on October 14, 2012:

@ricardomontes: I'm glad you're happy about their service. Personally I haven't got any problems from Freelancer too, just the scamming employers.

maxfromfreelancer on October 12, 2012:

@Hmmmm. We appreciate the feedback. Be assured that Support Teams dedicate themselves in resolving account concerns as quickly as possible. As to the site's issues, I've forwarded your report to our Engineering Team and they will look into it and make sure that it doesn't happen again. Be further assured that we will continue tor improve our services and support to serve you better. Thank you.

ricardomontes on October 11, 2012:

I've used the site myself and I haven't had any kind of problems with scummy employers or their support. In fact, I'm pretty happy with Freelancer. made a lot of money over the past 9 months. It's odd that you found their support to be crappy. To me, they're pretty straightforward and helpful. They even helped me take down a scamming employer. I think it really helps that you go through their TOS and FAQ so you'll know what you can do and can't do.

Jason Licerio (author) from Philippines on October 07, 2012:

@Joe: You've got a point Joe, freelancers may also scam you. There are a lot of those who don't finish their jobs.

Oleg S on October 07, 2012:

Yes you're right, it so

Joe on October 06, 2012:

It's not just freelancers that get scammed on there are a lot of lousy freelancers on that site too. The ratings don't mean a thing by the way, I am on my 3rd 5 star developer that doesn't deliver. Valuable lessons learned in the past 6 months, as soon as I can get out of this deal with either part of my money or a finished project I'll avoid that site like the plague. Sure, letting me talk into releasing a milestone up front was stupid but no help in any way from Even though my freelancer's profile begins to show signs of more people being scammed sits back and keeps cashing project fees. Don't even try their online service desk: as said before in previous posts it's like talking to 10-year olds.

Hmmm.... on October 06, 2012:

Hi everybody, I'm a member of too, I'm really sorry with my grammar first. Btw, I've experienced on withdrawal (as a freelancer, of course). It was my first withdrawal (to PayPal), when I want to withdraw $251 (charge $1 to PayPal). Since I've to waiting for 20-30 days due to security reason, I wait the day till it finished (It said it would be finished at 24th. But when I checked to my withdrawal history (25th, I live on GMT+7), it said "not enough money to transfer (while my money gone) and it said, it will done on 1970! Lol, then I was thinking, should I use time machine? Then I sent an email to customer service ASAP and thanks God, they sent my withdrawal immediately. Frankly, I think there's something that wrong, says, system error (computer or hacker maybe), cheating staff (we can see it on our gov), there're so many possibilities for a mistake since human works would never perfect and all I hope will improve its quality to the best, thanks :)

maxfromfreelancer on October 01, 2012:

Hi Molly. This is Max from I'm taking the time to respond to your concern as well. I'd like to reiterate again that will only freeze accounts to validate a user's identity or investigate the nature of the transactions made through the site. If there are no issues with the transactions and projects, and the user took the time to verify his/her account, they will be able to deposit and withdraw payments without any problems. But if there are account issues, we will require the user to go through our account verification process. I hope I've addressed your concerns. Should you have any further enquiries, please send an e-mail to and we'll address them immediately. Thank you.

maxfromfreelancer on September 27, 2012:

Hi Daphne. This is Max from As my colleague has posted before, deletes or removes all projects that involve captcha data entry work as these jobs just generate junk e-mail and spam. These also violate Freelancer policies. Some users disguise their captcha jobs as other data entry jobs (i.e MS Word typing, online work, etc.)

If you have accepted this job, we would like to ask if you can report it to Support or send e-mail to We will immediately act on it and close down the project. I'd like to assure you that there are hundreds of other great projects waiting for you at the site. Thank you and I hope I have addressed your concerns.