Freelancing attracts some people who want to get rich quick without doing the required work. Possibly because of this, there are many scams around. How is a freelancer to know which opportunities are legitimate and which are scams?
There are warning signs to scams. Here are five of the most common.
1. It sounds too good to be true. The rule of thumb here is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Any ad that says you can make thousands of dollars in one day without doing any work should be suspect. There are some of those on TV in recent months as well. They’ve always been on the radio and in the newspaper classifieds.
2. An ad asks you to send money to get information about the job. Typically, the amount of money is small, such as $2.00 to get information about working from home stuffing envelopes. Legitimate freelance job opportunities rarely ask for money just to give you information about the job. Many can and do charge a sign-up fee that includes start-up materials. This is after you have the information you need and have decided to start the job.
3. Descriptions of the freelance job are vague. Ads should specify what is involved with a freelance job, regardless of what the job is. Any ad that doesn’t mention in some detail what is involved should be suspect. In some, there is a question as to the legality of the “job” being advertised.
4. Ads arrive unasked for in your inbox. There’s a word for this. It’s called “spam.” Would you be applying for a freelance job or a freelance scam through such an ad? There are services where you can sign up to have freelance jobs sent to your inbox. Those are typically legitimate jobs though scams can slip through the vetting process such sites use.
5. They say no experience is necessary and quote very high earnings. There is no such thing as a free ride. If you get paid a high rate, you have the experience that goes along with it. Anyone that says otherwise is either a very rare exception to the rule or they are trying to scam you.
Now that you know some of the warning signs for scams, you need to arm yourself with tips on how to avoid them. One place to start is “How to Avoid Freelance Job Scams” by Jennifer Mattern on BizAmmo.com. It should be noted, though, that anything that makes you feel uneasy, raises red flags, or rings your warning bells should be avoided. Your natural instincts are a great guide for sniffing out freelance scams if you pay attention to them.