Five Ways to Avoid Loss of Freelance Earnings

There have been several reports recently about freelancers being scammed by clients , which makes the whole process a lot less appealing. One might wonder why would anybody agree to write articles, do graphice most obvious way to avoid being scammed is to not work for free. Don’t do it, ever! If you are inexperienced, newbies can easily fall into the trap of “it’s just $5”. This is not true. The consequences of doing something like this in the long run will far outweigh any short term advantages you may gain.

If you are experienced, you might be wondering how to avoid wasting time. The simplest thing is this: do not contact people who have 0% feedback. It’s that simple. If they don’t even have a profile with 100% positive, then chances are they will not be paying for your work either.

The next point involves contacting the person who wants to hire you before offering any services or products, i.e., ask them to escrow payment [see below on more info about payment escrows]. This protects both parties and it minimizes chances of loss of freelancer money. Make sure that you state it in every project post and every single message sent that way there won’t be any misunderstandings on what was agreed on.

In addition to the above, there is a way to avoid being scammed even before you start working. This can be done by asking for a photo ID or a utility bill as additional proof of who they are and where they live. If this information does not arrive, do not take the job. Also, if it’s too good to be true, i.e., you can work for international clients and earn loads of money without extra effort (i.e., selling products that could easily cost over $500), then chances are it’s a scam.

Similarly, you can avoid loss of earnings by choosing projects with large contracts versus those that sound small but may turn out to be very time consuming and hard to close (i.e., you will not be compensated for the lost opportunity cost of other jobs).

The last point concerns using payment services like PayPal or Escrow.com (more info here on what they do and how to use them ). Chances are that if a client insists that you use their own PayPal account, they have nothing to hide. If they refuse, then go with another client who has no problem escrowing payments.

Another important thing is to ask the client about their feedback/reviews on various web outsites, specially those where reviews can’t be deleted by the original poster. There are certain sites whose sole purpose is this so check them regularly before hiring people based solely on price. Be careful though! If the site only contains reviews from one individual (i.e., not verified by a 3rd party), then the credibility of those reviews may be questionable.

Do you have any other tips to avoid loss of earnings? Let me know in the comments!

Article background information [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]: I have been scammed a few times and I felt horrible. Have you been scammed too? Buyers who have a habit of getting work done for nothing always target new freelancers. Freelance sites are clear about how you can avoid losing money. Most of them insist that you ask the buyers to escrow payments. If you do not do this, do not even bother reporting a fraud to the site’s administrators. They will direct you to the terms and conditions and you will feel defeated and stupid. If your main supply for contracts is various freelancer sites, the following tips can help you avoid scams.

Backgrou goingnd: This article is meant as a guide for those who wish to protect themselves from becoming victims of Internet scammers and those who would like to learn more about how they operate. It has been written by someone with experience in this fi job or just wants some money for spending or has aeld . There are other ways one might be duped, but the ones presented here are based on my own personal experiences thus far.

This article is also written as a result of fraudulent activities that have occurred on different freelance websites (i.e., oDesk ). While these websites do their best to warn users about potential sca onems , it remains the responsibility of the freelancer to choose clients carefully. The advic ife given here follows guidelines set by most freelance websites, but you are encouraged to do further research before taking any important steps that may affect your business.

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