Having been scammed so many times that I lost count I had to start learning about these scammers. The First time I was scammed was in freelancer, I was just new in the writing world. I had just taken my course with some famous freelancer that I looked up to so much. None- of it prepared me for what was to come.
Excited that I had accomplished my course I was now ready to start sending pitches and being active on freelance platforms. I was scammed to an extend I had to email the company I took a course from and tell them it`s now working, all I was getting is scammers. I don`t quite remember if they responded. Over time I have had to learn the hard way and just spot them. Here are how scammers approach you and how to tell if they are scammers;
- Talking out of the freelancing platform
You see a project and you send your bid. Of course, they respond soon and ask you to skype them or send an email starting with certain words of their choice. That’s okay when you do, they’ll definitely ask you if you can start working right away. Being excited to have been chosen and finally landing a gig, you accept and they send you the work details.
First, you haven’t discussed the work payments and what method will be used to pay you. One may be smarter and ask you for your pay pal or something and say they will add you to the system.
Before you even start typing or agree to the deadline, ask them to send you half the payment just to build trust. Their response will tell it all. Some get angry and play the offended card just because you don’t trust them or you are insinuating they are scammers. Well here is what I learnt the hard way. No one cares about you genuinely, they will scam you and ghost you. So don’t fall for that card. Make it clear if they can`t send you half the money you are sorry you`ll just have to pass that gig. Believe me, it`s for the best.
- Send money that will be returned.
Don’t even think about it. Who hires people and asks them to pay? In what writing world does that work? After sending an email they respond with a lengthy email of what you should do and how lucrative their pays are.
Serious writers earn up to $250 per day, they say. Now, that’s some good deal right there. The amount they ask you for is maybe half of that or just lower. This works magic on you. You are about to get scammed. These days I don’t even bother responding to them. I get the email go through it and just move on. Always remember, no one pays to get hired.
I want a serious writer.
That’s all they write. What do you want to do with the writer? Don’t waste your time bidding on this one. A client who is serious about hiring someone, they give vivid details of the job in the description. Which is important. This is beneficial for both the client and the freelancer. Freelancer decides if they are capable to handle the job or not and the client gets bids from just those who think they can handle it.
- Sample jobs
So you meet the client and goes ahead to promise you many more gigs but first, you have to do a sample job within a certain period of time and promise to pay after. It’s suspicious since they give you a topic of their choice. Normally you send samples of a job you’ve done previously. They use this one because it`s been used previously. And this where I came to realize the importance of having your own blog. They want samples or want to get a feel of your work, send them a link of your blog or an article so that you can go through it online.
Some clients that you’ve pitch off freelancer platforms have an organized way of filtering writers or getting samples and its usually less than 500 words. Something any writer can come up with on less than 30 minutes.
There is really nothing that you can do about scammers apart from avoiding them and just keep on getting serious clients. It`s vital that you are aware of these ways and don’t have to learn the hard way as I did. There are good clients out there, you just have to a good writer.