Most people on Freelancer.com are genuine, reliable and trustworthy. Unfortunately, like any major marketplace, both on and offline, there exists a small minority of people who will seek to betray your trust. To avoid these people, here are 5 golden rules to follow:
1. Stay on the site!
The number one rule for a positive Freelancer.com experience is to stay on Freelancer.com! Avoid anyone who insists on doing business under the table, whether that’s communications about the project, handover of the final product, or payment. We’ve provided a really easy-to-use platform that allows you to do all of those things right here, so it should send up a red flag if someone seems all too eager to cut deals for offsite negotiation. Any communications or exchanges (both of money and products) performed off site cannot be used as evidence in our dispute resolution process, making them a key tool in the scammer’s toolbox.
2. Milestones – use them.
Using our Milestone Payment System is essential to avoiding cheats and scams. It allows Employers to set aside funds to pay for a project, so that Freelancers know they’ll be paid for their work. The money only gets released to the Freelancer when the Employer is 100% satisfied with the output. It can give peace of mind to the people on both sides of the equation. Plus, if there’s a disagreement about the project description or the quality of the work, using the Milestone Payment System allows you to access our Dispute Resolution System, a key safety feature of our website.
3. Spend 5 minutes investigating the employer or freelancer.
The best way to know if an employer or freelancer is legit is to do some basic checks on their profile. Are they payment verified? Do they have high completion rates (both on budget and on time)? Do they have a high repeat-hire rate? Have they filled in their profile? Is it high quality? What previous feedback do they have, and how much money have they spent or earned on the site? Are they a paying member? Have they taken relevant exams? All of these things indicate that the employer or freelancer is more likely to be legitimate.
Legitimate freelancers and employers communicate well. Well-prepared, on-topic bids indicate a freelancer who has taken the time to read your project description and craft a relevant bid. By the same token, a concise, well-written and informative project description indicates an employer who is serious about their project.
5. Common sense.
Common sense can go a long way towards avoiding scams. If you see a bid that seems abnormally low, it is likely the bid is abnormally low for a reason. If you see a user with multiple open projects with the same description and title, this is likely to be a scam. If a project involves things that violate the terms of service or code of conduct (like CAPTCHA projects), these are also likely to be a scam.
Finally, remember that majority of employers and freelancers on our site are legitimate, and that by obeying these 5 golden rules, you will avoid the tiny minority of scammers and fraudsters that exist in any on or offline marketplace.