It’s rare to come across fraud or scams on our platform as a client but it’s still important to know how to read the warning signs and red flags before they’re successful. By being proactive in your response to the following warning signs, you can avoid some of the most common freelancer scam traps.
Note: This advice is targeted at clients. Freelancers concerned about fraud should read our article on freelancer scams and what to look out for.
Scam #1: My freelancer is asking me to make a payment before any work has been completed
Scammers may ask for the full upfront payment and then never deliver on their end of the project.
To be safe, create Milestone Payments which you can release progressively as work is completed. Do not release the full Milestone until the project is completed and you are satisfied with the results.
For more information on our Milestone Payment system, read the following guides;
Scam #2: My freelancers work is copyrighted
If you have discovered that your freelancers work contains copyrighted materials, it’s important that you discuss this with your freelancer and come to a resolution via our onsite chat system.
It is important that the all work completed through the platform be original work, or that the correct licenses are purchased for any non-original work (ie. stock photos).
For further assistance, contact our support team.
Scam #3: My freelancer is asking me to pay for their project fee and release it before they accept the project
All Milestone Payments should be made in mind of a project fee and should include any additional costs. Never release any Milestone Payment prior to the freelancer working on the project. Instead, negotiate a price with the freelancer and create a Milestone Payment for the project. You can choose to release half or part of it once the freelancer has made significant progress on the project.
Scam #4: My freelancer is asking me to send money to him/her offsite (directly via Paypal/Skrill/Bitcoin)
All transactions for a project or contest should be completed onsite via the freelancer platform. Never agree to send money to a freelancer offsite whether it is via Paypal, Skrill or even Bitcoin. By completing your transaction on our platform, you’ll have the option to create a ‘Milestone Payment' before the freelancer begins the project.
This Milestone Payment acts as a form of guaranteed payment for the freelancer, so they know they can begin work. However the payment is only released once the project requirements have been met and you are satisfied with the final result.
Scam #5: My freelancer accepted the project and original Milestone but is now demanding more money or else he/she will delay the project
If a freelancer has accepted your project and the agreed upon Milestone and deadline but is demanding more money in exchange for not delaying the project, then avoid starting any further Milestones. This is blackmail and is in breach of your original agreed Milestone.
Scam #6: My freelancer is requesting passwords, usernames or ID so that they verify my identity and start the project.
Do not provide any form of ID or documentation to a client even if they are asking for it. Scammers are oftentimes successful when they have asked to “verify” an identity and are given access to ID and other documents. Avoid starting a project with a client if this is one of their prerequisites. Freelancer’s Know Your Customer (KYC) aims to prevent fraud and money laundering by confirming customer identity through documentation collection.
How do I report fraud or scams to Freelancer?
Support Page/Live Chat
If you suspect your client is attempting to scam you or you have noticed questionable behaviour, visit our support page and get in touch with one of our live chat support staff.
You can also report your freelancer by visiting their profile page and clicking ‘Report User’.
Be sure to take note of any of these warning signs before continuing to work with a freelancer for a project. Keep these common scams in mind when working with a freelancer so that you can spot out the warning signs before you’re in trouble!