3 Rules to Avoid being Scammed
16 Mar 2015
As a freelance worker, one is determined to get their hands on continuously paying gigs, which can help establish a reasonable cash flow, saying this because I too have been there. However there are many who have opted this path to establish their career or to just fulfill their dream and passion and many at times kill time. Whatever the cause, the desperation we have to get our hands on the projects, is what drives us into being scammed. Yes you read it right!
Times when our client list is going stale, we agree upon doing work at the stupidest of conditions, and that’s where the scammers step in. If you are new to the freelance market, I’m sure you have at least fallen prey once, to a scam you don’t even realize was a scam. Don’t worry most do, including me! When I first stepped into the freelance market, I was completely unaware (read: living in fantasy land) about being scammed or anything of that sort. It first struck me when a person offered unbelievable rates, claiming that they were no doubt very low. Being a beginner, I obviously had no idea what the usual pay rates were. Happy about how I had just struck a deal so exclusive within no time, I boasted a little about it to my fellow colleagues (which for the first time, I’m thankful I did!). It was then when my experienced mate suggested that it might be a scam, because the rates she was offering were almost triple the usual rates. That is exactly when I pulled myself out of the fantasy land, and started being cautious.
Also note, the person offering the job seemed as professional and educated as any of us. She had surprisingly given me no chances of thinking that I was being scammed. The only thing that made me realize she was fake was that she was determined on paying only every twice a month and the link to her Facebook profile was freshly made.
So Rule #1: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Try researching about the company or person you are dealing with, to the core. Try google-ing the company and hunting down the person on any other social site. However it would be best if you could arrange a small meeting somewhere in a café or office. Just make sure before-hand that the place isn’t secluded. If that isn’t a possibility, make do with frequent skype calls, don’t just stick with emails.
Rule #2: Never give away samples for free. By now I’m sure you would have given at least once. Be thankful I gave away more than 10. When a client asks for a freshly written sample, ask them to either pay in advance or make do with previously written articles. Other than that if a client is asking for 500 words article, agree on writing only a quarter of it. This way if he runs away with the sample, there is nothing much he can do with it.
Rule #3: ask for weekly payments. When working for someone, make sure the client agrees upon paying on a weekly or even better daily basis, at least for the first month, to ensure a healthy and trusted work relation.