Clotaire Rapaille is an exceptionally well-known professor of Psychology who turned into an exceptional marketer. He is known worldwide for uncovering the hidden codes that are deep within human minds. And many times, these codes are expressed in the form of words that we repeatedly use in contexts that are different.
For instance, we constantly refer to politicians as Maharaj or Prabhu in local languages or Tsars or Heads. As the English saying goes, The King is Dead but Long Live the King. The code for respect and wealth in India is that of a King.
The Code for Freelancing
What has that got to do with Fraud and Freelancing? It lies in the code hidden in a regular word. The incorporation of the word "Free" in freelancing which was actually meant to be an indication of someone who was free to work with anyone has been interpreted as free to work.
As a result of this hidden code which makes freelancing look like "Free" work, freelancers and especially writers who have very little tools to protect their work routinely face fraud. A deeper analysis of Freelancing and the way they are treated would mean that the code for freelancers turns out to be "FREE" which should not be the case.
Rajan Arora the alleged fraudster
Natasha Singh, a digital marketing freelancer, and freelance content writer was approached by Rajan Arora to write content. They agreed for a sum of Rs.4,000 to be paid for 16,000 words at 25 Paise Per Word. He promised Natasha that he would pay on a monthly basis and asked that she trust him.
Rajan Arora asked Natasha to deliver the work since the country was headed towards a lockdown. After the work was delivered which required Natasha to put in 15 days of work, Rajan Arora took the deliverables and never paid her the money. Natasha waited several months and took to Facebook pouring her heart out for the fraud that was committed on her.
She has not only posted pictures of the conversation but pictures and other references to the work. Rajan Arora has not responded to the post or the comment and has not perhaps seen it either. She is requesting admins of Facebook groups to block him.
This was posted over a year ago but not a day passes without Frauds of this nature happening. Freelancers should not suffer the tyranny of an assumed Code - FREE which people use to take advantage of them.
Many freelancers who are desperate for work take up work that comes along and don't muster the courage to ask for an advance. They are afraid that they may lose the very work they have received. This very vulnerability drives others to take advantage of them. Here's how Natasha and othe freelancers can prevent something of this sort in the future:
How to avoid content writer non-payment fraud
1. Qualify them with a platform such as Vouch for an advance payment. Not paying Advance should raise red flags
2. Samples should be submitted and payment questions must be asked.
3. Test should be done by setting up the payment method
4. Some sort of hold over the money and/or the deliverable must be placed
What Natasha did as a budding freelancer was something that every freelancer should avoid doing in the early stage.
This is Fraud Chronicle#12. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and frauds that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about getting paid for your hard work!
Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org