A Newbie’s View
I was SO excited this morning when I read my personal email at the day job before our daily huddle. Someone had wanted a quote regarding how much I would charge per 100 words. I responded in kind, and then the day job took off and sucked up the rest of my day, which is cool, because that’s what my boss pays me for.
I got home early from work and excitedly opened all of the Freelance Sites I’ve registered myself on. There it was. The first scammer. Just because I’m a newbie on any of these sites doesn’t mean that I haven’t read the rules, nor does it mean I’m stupid.
It read as follows:
“This is Chris from Xxxxxx Xxx, Inc, We are looking for a person to fill the part time position as a payroll assistant, Someone who can work from home as payroll to make paymentvia Checks to the list of our clients daily and you will be pay of $800 per monthly through PayPal or Direct deposit, are you interested?”
Except that the site that this was listed under specifically recommends communicating and taking payments through their site. I’m totally down with this, because the rules are there to protect everyone.
I responded to the message, already smelling a scam: “Can you tell me approximately how many hours per week this will entail, and if there are specific hours that these tasks will need to be done?”
The reply? “You’ll be printing Checks to the list of our clients that will be sending to you daily & after you have printed the checks on the list, Then you will go ahead and drop off to FedEx drop off boxes around you to dispatches the Checks to our clients daily, and your salary will be getting $800 per monthly through PayPal or Direct deposit, are you interested?”
Yeah, no. First of all, as I mentioned above, this guy wanted to pay me outside of the home-site’s rules.
Second of all he couldn’t answer the questions that I asked in my reply. *sniff, sniff* Oh, I think that’s BS I’m smelling, here.
I contacted said site’s support team, and thinking that I’d misunderstood the payment recommendations, I asked the obvious question. The reply I received was that, no, I hadn’t misunderstood the payment guidelines, and yes, I avoided a scam.
I clicked on this guy’s profile, and he’d only just signed up the day before, so there were no reviews on his “company.”
I figured as much, so I reported him, with screen shots taken of our short “chat.”
All of this being said? If you’re on a freelance site, be aware of the communication and payment rules, don’t fall for the first person that PM’s you and offers you payment outside said rules, and if you are unsure? Contact your site’s support staff. That is what they are there for; to keep you from getting screwed.
As a newcomer to the world of freelance writing, it’s exciting to be contacted, but don’t let that excitement push common sense out the window. A younger me would have done just that, because surely nobody on a reputable site would want to scam me. I’m more cynical now.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone’s initial contact with you wants to break the rules, you don’t want to work with them.
Live and learn.
Love and light.
Julie Cusimano Wall is the author of Random Musings From a Type-A Workaholic, a contributor at “The Ascent,” Central Transport Supervisor at a local hospital, Neither Left- nor Right-Leaning, tender-hearted and an extremely outspoken advocate for people that don’t get to experience privilege.
Beware the Scammers on Freelance Sites was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.