How To Keep Freelancers Safe From Scams

How To Keep Freelancers Safe From Scams

There is nothing I appreciate more than a hard day of working, no matter how long my copywriting needs to be or by what time that day.  Freelancers who have various methods of accepting client pay should probably examine abnormalities a little closer, especially with churlish acts of scandalous greed running rampant throughout major freelancing platforms such as oDesk and Elance, by no fault of these major platforms.  If I’ve managed to wrestle your attention away from that funny Facebook wall post for a few minutes, I’ll point out a seemingly clandestine factoid about freelance clients who hire copywriting or SEM professionals to perform written duties or search engine optimizational efforts for the cost of gaining your stupidity: free of charge.

How They’re Extorting Freelancers

Sure, many conventionally wise individuals would coin the phrase ‘extort’ as something having directly to do with physical products or cash.  In the world we’re working in today, the internet is birthing some of the finest freelancing fleecers on the planet, and their process is simple:

  1. Clients will hire freelancers for copywriting, SEO or other traffic manipulation jobs which are normally to attract fast traffic to affiliate landing pages in hopes of converting astronomically high sales in short periods of time.
  2. Said client will post his or her desire to pay $20-$120 per hour for this work instead of using Escrow-backed payment guarantees.
  3. You will bid on the job and, unless you’re totally incompetent, will get the job quickly.
  4. Depending on the platform, all hours worked are either auto-paid the following pay period, or are billed at the end of the current calendar week.
  5. Client will attach what’s perceived to be a verified method of payment, normally in the form of prepaid debit cards since most platforms only verify two micro deposits less than $2.00 each.
  6. You will bust your ass all week, achieve results, and feel excellent about your accountability and overall work ethic as a freelancing professional.
  7. Payment never seems to arrive.

Since the shyster usually resides somewhere in an igloo or hut away from common laws, freelancers are stiffed since oDesk or Elance will only cancel the account of the alleged perpetrator without seeking litigation or liquid damages for the worker.  Yes, my friend, grab ankles and cringe…you just took one in the brown eye.

Now, the good news has arrived – you don’t have to take it!

How To Keep Freelancers Safe

Some of the logic we’ll beat into your saddened skulls may seem obvious.  It may come across as purely ‘duh’ to some.  However, knowing more about freelance safety will prevent wasting 50 hours of your otherwise legitimate time on work which will never receive compensatory indemnification.  So, listen up and follow these baby steps again.

  • Never accept work, as a newbie freelancer, unless the client has some form of feedback appended to their profile OR unless they have paid considerable amount of money for work.
  • If the hourly rate seems exponentially insane, the client more than likely is, too.
  • Sticking with clients from your own country prevents begging Interpol to get involved with $50 transactions which usually goes nowhere.
  • Freelancing never costs upfront to participate in finding, securing or getting paid for copywriting or other work.
  • Ask for escrow deposits as often as possible to protect both client and contractor interests.

I have been on the butt end of copywriting jokes which cost me time, money and even had to defer a few credit card payments for a month until work caught up.  If you wish to work in freelancing and make your work pay for your livelihood, self-preservation should be your ulterior motive for surviving the games which others deem fitting to play.

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