Freelancers Tips Protect From Scammers

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Freelancers Tips Protect From Scammers

Tips For Freelancers: How To Protect Yourself From Scammers

Tips For Freelancers: How To Protect Yourself From Scammers

Freelancers Tips Protect From Scammers: The coronavirus crisis has led Russians to actively look for freelance work. So, according to the freelance exchange, over the year the number of remote performers increased by 76%. 

Such demand has caused an increase in the number of scams on the Internet. The general director of the exchange, Anatoly Orlov, told what rules freelancers need to follow in order not to run into deception. 

1. Work under a contract, through a secure transaction or escrow services

In our country, the culture of legal regulation of relations between the customer and the freelancer has not yet fully formed, so this niche has not gone unnoticed by scammers. If you regularly work with the customer "on parole", then in the end you always risk not getting paid.

There are three options to protect yourself from this (the choice depends on where you are collaborating with the customer)

1). Draw up a standard contract if the customer found you through social networks or came on the recommendation. It is needed to fix the conditions and, in case of violation of obligations, demand from the second party the performance of the contract or compensation for the losses incurred by you (including through the court). Here are typical examples.

2). Take orders on freelance exchanges and work through a secure transaction. In addition to the easy search for projects, exchanges have another plus - this is the safe transaction function. How it works: the amount for the service remains on the exchange account. 

After the end of the cooperation, if the customer is satisfied, the money goes to you. But if you did not cope with the TOR or did not meet the deadline, then the service arbitration may cancel the payment. In other words, no one will deceive anyone, however, the parties must pay a small commission for this.

3). Use escrow services if you do not want to register on exchanges. The meaning is the same as in a safe transaction on the exchange - there is an intermediary between you and the customer who is responsible for the safety of money. Only this time it is not an exchange, but a third-party service. 

However, be careful and work with trusted sites - read reviews, and ask for advice in groups for freelancers. If even the slightest detail is embarrassing, offer the customer to go to the exchange and arrange the service through a secure transaction.

2. Be careful with files from the customer

In the pursuit of making money, at first, you can lose your vigilance and forget about digital literacy - keep in mind that scammers are extremely resourceful. They may offer a job related to installing an unknown application on a PC, tablet, or phone. 

Or send a malicious file instead of a document with TK. This will allow them to hack into your social media accounts and banking services.


Tips For Freelancers: How To Protect Yourself From Scammers

Be suspicious of files and strange links from customers you work with for the first time. For protection, use licensed anti-virus programs, check downloaded files for viruses before launching, negotiate with the customer about working through Google Docs, if you edit and write articles, and do translations.

3. Never pay a customer - even 100 ₽

Fraudsters may ask you to transfer them a symbolic amount as a guarantee of serious intentions (supposedly due to mistrust). For greater persuasiveness, they even use special translation services, which are most often created by them.

Remember: under no circumstances and persuasion pay the customer - neither through special services nor directly.

4. Protect your test item

Watermark photos, layouts, and other similar assignments of your authorship, and send the text of an article or a series of posts in a non-editable PDF format. Some test tasks can be shown through screen sharing in any service, such as Zoom.

Stealing someone else's work in this case is also possible, but much more difficult.

Think about it in advance and discuss the chosen format with the customer. Explain that you work this way with everyone to protect your intellectual work. The main thing for the customer is to see the result and understand your level. 

It is worth considering if he is dissatisfied and refuses to work under such conditions.

Tips For Freelancers: How To Protect Yourself From Scammers

5. Fix changes in the TOR

Fix a decrease or increase in the amount of work, so that later no one has any complaints. When cooperating under the contract, persistently ask to make changes there and re-sign the document.

If you work on the exchange, then conduct all communication only in a chat - with the obligatory confirmation of each new iteration by the customer. Without this, the arbitration of the service will not be able to take your side in the course of a possible dispute - after all, you have not fulfilled the TOR. 

Screenshots of correspondence in social networks and instant messengers, alas, will not help prove your case.


Freelancers Tips Protect From Scammers: Compliance with the above points allows you to filter your customers. Fraudsters will never agree to work under such conditions, and unscrupulous customers are unlikely to like, for example, a protected test task or your reverent attitude to technical specifications. 

I advise you to follow this instruction in any case - even when you are offered a large fee, but flatly refuse a contract or a safe deal.

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