We see all sorts of crazy things running a marketplace the size of Freelancer.com. We now have over 7.1 million users, from just about every country in the world, so we see a fair number of things go on. We also take our security very seriously, as scammers today are quite sophisticated and will go to great lengths to try to rip our users or our site off.
Recently, one post came to our attention entitled “Freelancer.com Scam – Part I : How $10 cost me $14000 – Among other misgivings and apathy of Freelancer.com Staff”. In this article, the author, EditorJCWriter, claims to be a freelancer called Jacqueline, from Kent USA, who has been a member since November 2012 and has a “growing reputation and stellar reviews”. Jacqueline puts forward some impressive qualifications:
And she’s won some pretty big projects:
Jacqueline then goes on the claim that their account was pulled up for a security check
Subsequently, Jacqueline claims that the projects were made invalid and the funds in the account removed, leaving her with $99. The user, quite irate at this point, writes several more blog posts, culminating in a quite bizarre love letter to myself.
Well, it’s a great story.
If only any of it were true.
You see, on investigation of this account, Jacqueline is not who she said she is. She’s not even an American. She’s never logged in from the US. She’s not even a “she”. It turns out that Jacqueline is actually Neerav from Delhi, India. Neerav is actually a scammer who has stolen someone’s identity, faked their profile and qualifications, and is attempting to commit fraud on Freelancer. The account EditorJCWriter has never won a $5,000 project, or a $7,500 project for that matter.
What about this “nancysaumya”? Well, our account security team had good reason to be concerned this account as well. You see “Nancy” was not Nancy at all. Nancy, as it turns out, is also Neerav. We can only imagine what Neerav was trying to do before our account security team caught him.
We treat the integrity of our marketplace as paramount. Scammers will go to great lengths in today’s day and age to rip people off. They will also go to great lengths to try to bully our fantastic support team here at Freelancer.com. I’m proud of our team here, and the length that they will go to stop the bad guys on the Internet.
Oh, and one last thing, in case you think EditorJCWriter looks familiar:
So, the scammer, being upset with us catching him, decided to post a few crazed rants on the Internet.
To improve the integrity of our marketplace, today we’re announcing that we are taking a number of steps to protect you from people like this in future. Effective immediately, we are enforcing accounts to have the correct country associated with them. We have set the country on every account on the website to the true country that person is from. We’re doing this to stop people from impersonating others or misrepresenting where they are from. Over the new few weeks we will be taking further actions to prevent identity fraud.
Secondly, we now allow every account to have a security phone number associated with it. This number will be used to verify important changes to your Freelancer account, such as your method of withdrawal, or name on the account. With this, we’re raising the bar on the level of security on your account, to protect you from hacking and phishing attempts. To set your security phone number, go to “Settings” under the “Profile” option in the menu.
Make sure you protect your account and set it today!
On the Internet, always be on guard. We’re here to help you but ultimately you should be careful- particularly where money is involved. Make sure you read our blog post on How to Avoid a Scam on Freelancer.com. Finally, don’t believe everything you read! Because that person that you’re talking to might not actually be who they say they are.