A lot of freelancers end up working for free when they get an opportunity from a company and they trust them just because of their name and fame. Even if the company provides a letter, do not trust them when it comes to your payments. there are a lot more scams that freelancers face.

Free sample

Most fraudsters ask 1st-time freelancers to provide them free samples or work on a demo project then turn around use these free samples and never hire the freelancer. This is so common and many fraudsters use this method to exploit freelancers who are starting out, some are even proud of it call it a hack to get free work done. 

How to avoid this?

Have a general list of samples in your portfolio and offer only these when asked for reference material. If the client is asking for a sample for a domain that is unique. You can work on them to build your portfolio but publish them on your profile 1st 

Extra payment/ Payment reversal scam

Here the fraudster pays more than the quoted amount for the work, usually two to three times higher before the freelancer even starts the work. Then the fraudsters ask the freelancer to pay the extra amount to their bank account. When the freelancer sends the extra money to the mentioned bank account the original transaction is reversed as the payment was made from a stolen credit card.

How to avoid this?

Always refund the extra payment back to the original payment method and be suspicious of clients asking to transfer the extra amount 

Identity theft

Here the fraudsters ask the freelancer for IDs and personal details for tax and other compliance purposes. Once the documents are shared the fraudsters open credit cards with the id and max out the credit limit. Final by the time the freelancers finds out about the identity theft their credit score is ruined and it is a very long process to get out of this mess 

How to avoid this?

Ask for details of the TAX and compliance process and provide only the required information for that compliance as most don’t require ID cards or personal info like date of birth.

Malware website

Here the freelancer is asked to log into a special website for verification or submit their work. But the website is malicious and installs malware in the freelancer's computer which steals personal info from the freelancer.

How to avoid this?

Always submit your work through the freelancing website or through Email. Don’t visit suspicious websites

What to do next?

1. Get a clear agreement on terms and conditions including payment

2. Collect an advance thru a digital escrow product such as Vouch

3. Maintain constant communication thru the contract

4. Create and nurture your own network for leads

5. Use the right tools that offer exposure, payment, and discovery of one's work. Vouch offers this too thru its profiles, messaging, trust score, etc.

· · ·

This is Fraud Story #46. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety in online payments is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Ankur Suri's experience with Fraud thru Freelancer.com

· · ·

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 letstalk@iamvouched.com