It is always a better idea to start earning money by doing some extra work via freelancing. Of course, freelancing is always a great idea. It has many pros and very few cons. But we can not ignore the few Freelancing Scams that are making freelancers lose money. Freelancing is gaining popularity day after day and so many freelancers are exposed to this freelancing scam!
A buyer will develop quite a good relation with the freelancer on the platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, etc. Then the buyer will try to take the business out from the platform by offering direct payments, so that the freelancer need not to pay the commissions to the platform. Some of the freelancers agree to these terms, they work for the customers day and night to reach the deadlines only to find out that they are not getting paid!
Let us have a look on how this Freelancing Scam works
The development of a great relationship
Whenever you are working on any freelancing websites such as Fiverr or Upwork you are always in the search of new clients so that you can increase your network and earn some more money. During this time one buyer has hired you for a few times and you find him very friendly to work with. He will tip you for your work every time only to gain your trust.
After a few orders the buyer offers you a proposition; that he is totally liking your work and wants to work with you personally. He tells you to contact him on some other platform such as Twitter, Gmail, Skype, etc. Now that you trust him already you don’t hesitate to contact him. The moment you decide to take your business out of these platforms they are not at all responsible to what happens between the two of you!
The Client introduces No Commission Cuts!
When you start talking to the buyer on the platform of his choice, he will tell you that he really likes your work and wants to carry the work one on one. He will make all the reasons such as the communication on these platforms is very hectic and not efficient.
After all the discussion he tells you that there will be Zero Percentage Commision. It means that all the money for your work will be directly credited to your PayPal. When you work on the freelancing platforms they usually have a percentage commision on the money that the freelancer makes. For example Fiverr has 20% commision, UpWork also has 20% commision. Now when you consider the bigger picture this 20% is a huge commision.
An agreement is established
Now that the Buyer has already glowed up your eyes with the no commision candy you agree to work for him. You both settle on each other terms regarding the payment, how it should be done, the work involved, etc. and then you both reach a mutual agreement. Everything is decided between you and your client. You are looking forward to this relationship growing into a great business relation. You are ready to work hard…
You give you 100% and work hard
Everything goes well. The client agrees to your requests. You are getting a very nice pay as compared to the freelancing platform you were working on. The day comes and you start working. Any individual who is trying to earn more money and build up a reputation in freelancing amongst the clients will work hard. They will give their maximum efforts and deliver quality services to the clients to keep them happy.
According to your agreement you are supposed to get the money once every month. After the total time for which you have worked is calculated. The client is also very happy with your work and keeps on appreciating you every now and then. You are very happy that you are working for such a friendly client.
Here is how the client scammed you
You are working with all your honest efforts and doing great. The day has now come when you are supposed to get your pay. You generate an invoice with all the details of the work and send it to the client. You are excited as this is your first income without any commissions cut. But you don’t get any reply on the first day. You think your client must be busy, you wait for 3 more days still no reply.
Now you start generating a suspicion that you just got scammed. Yes, you got scammed! You try contacting the client through various sources but the outcome is the same everywhere, you don’t get any reply from him. Even if you were working for 2 hours a day for him, a month of work is 60 hours of work. Consider the bare minimum that he agreed to pay you 3$ per hour. Then the total rises to 180$ which is a really huge amount.
It is a bitter truth that you are not getting money for any of the work you did for this entire time. All the hours you put in, all the sacrifices you made to meet the deadlines, everything down the sewer.
How to not fall prey to this scam
We do not say that you should only work on the platforms and not outsource your clients. The commissions are really frustrating sometimes, fiverr even takes a commision on the tips you receive from the buyers. But when you decide that you are taking business out from there you must need to be a bit clever and not rely on anyone blindly!
You can do simple things that can keep you safe or minimize your losses :
- Always make an agreement to bill your invoice weekly or in two weeks. What this will prevent is that even if the client does not pay up, you will only end up losing a week’s worth of money rather than a month’s money. But not every client is a scammer, understand this if your weekly invoices are cleared regularly you can increase the duration between two invoices.
- If possible try to convince the client to pay in advance some amount. Please remember that may sound rude to some clients but if you explain what has happened with you in the past any genuine client will agree to it. As the saying goes “Once Bitten Twice Shy!”
Share this article with your freelancing friends and let them know about it too!
Stay Safe Digitally!