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5 Red Flags Indicating Your Fiverr Freelancer is a Scammer

5 Red Flags Indicating Your Fiverr Freelancer is a Scammer

Business
April 22, 2022
10 minutes

0%

The internet is filled with scammers looking to make a quick buck, and freelancer platforms are no exception. Here are 5 things to look out for that will help you avoid a Fiverr freelancer out to trick you.

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular. There are many good reasons to let professionals take on part of your tasks; it should be a no-brainer. But when it comes to finding the right person, it’s where things get tricky.

A simple Google search shows you how easy it is to find any freelancer. Platforms filled with a database of freelancers are readily available and often free to use. But that doesn’t mean all of these freelancers can deliver quality work or are who they say they are.

When it comes to your business, you want the best. But as a startup, you may not have the money to hire an additional workforce or a vetted professional. Fiverr is a great way to get a freelancer involved without paying top dollar.

However, among honest freelancers working to pay their bills, many scammers are also active. Fiverr is an easy platform to sign up for, so there are plenty of people trying their luck in scamming you out of your money.

It’s not always easy to spot them, but a few indicators are a telltale sign that there’s some sketchy business going on.

We’ll have a look at red flags indicating Fiverr scams so that you can make sure to avoid them.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services based in Israel. It’s filled with sellers offering their services, often for very affordable prices.

fiverr.png Fiverr’s homepage

Services on offer range from casting a spell to creating a jingle to landing page design and anything in between. Think of any service, and there’s a high chance of a Fiverr freelancer offering it.

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For some Fiverr services, you might not think twice about who it’s from or what the pricing is. Say you want to do a tarot card reading on your next girl’s night, for example (yep, that’s also one of the services listed on Fiverr). But if you’re looking for someone who can help your business grow, your search for a reputable professional becomes more serious.

fiverr services.png Some of the many services offered on Fiverr

While competitor marketplace Upwork has a much more rigorous vetting process for their freelance database, a Fiverr freelancer could be anyone, anywhere. Let’s quickly look at the process of how to join Fiverr as a freelancer to show you what we mean.

How to join Fiverr as a freelancer

It only takes a quick profile setup to start freelancing on Fiverr. These are the steps:

  1. Sign up for free and create your profile.
  2. Set up your gig (the service you want to offer clients).
  3. Have people contact you or apply yourself to start a collaboration.

It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. It’ll only take a couple of minutes out of your day, which is great if you want to get set up quickly and start your Fiverr freelancing adventure. But it’s also great for a scammer since there is no real vetting process in place.

Red flags indicating your Fiverr freelancer is a scammer

Although Fiverr freelance jobs are, for many, a great way to make some extra cash, some people use it to scam you out of your money.

It’s never a guarantee, but you can try to avoid getting scammed if you tread carefully. Here are some red flags to look out for when going through advertised gigs on Fiverr:

1. Too good to be true

If you stumble upon a gig that promises simply unattainable results, it’s wise to move along. Think about a promise to double your social media followers in 5 days or a video that will go viral.

Red-flags-3.png

But it’s not just about what’s being promised. A promise can be very reasonable, but if it comes overly cheap, there is bound to be a downside to this great bargain.

It may just be a freelancer without heaps of experience, trying to get in some portfolio material and a review. These services are often priced accordingly, which is fair enough. However, if a gig is priced significantly lower than the average, be suspicious.

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2. Wiring money upfront

When your Fiverr freelancer starts asking you to wire money upfront or bypass Fiverr as the middleman, it’s time to get wary. This is a great general rule to go by when doing business online.

red-flags-2.png

Fiverr advises you to report any buyer or seller that asks you to use an alternative payment method. Some freelancers will ask you to go into business with them outside of Fiverr to avoid paying the commission fee. Be aware that none of these payments outside of the platform are safeguarded.

Better safe than sorry: stick to the platform to avoid losing your money to Fiverr scams.

3. Generic gigs

The first step in vetting your Fiverr freelancer is zooming in on the ad. You should check for false promises, as we mentioned earlier. But you should also check for the overall genericness of the ad.

red-flags-1.png

Does the gig include a generic stock photo instead of a real person or result? Is the text riddled with spelling mistakes? Or is it a blatant copy-paste of another ad? Then you’ve very likely stumbled upon a scam.

A professional will take due care in proofreading their ad and ensuring it stands out from other Fiverr freelancers. Of course, this matters more for one ad than the other. If someone is trying to sell their writing skills without bothering to proofread their ad, it’s safe to assume they’re not a serious seller.

If the language of the gig sounds a little too generic, try typing the first few lines into Google and see if anything comes up. Found the exact same gig advertised by a different account? Look for another seller.

4. Negative reviews

Luckily, most freelancers on Fiverr are tried and tested, meaning that others have left reviews. Always go through the reviews of a freelancer before hiring them.

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Other people’s bad experience with a Fiverr seller is the biggest red flags to look out for. Be reasonable here; if there is one negative review amongst glorifying others, you can give someone the benefit of the doubt. But if there isn’t a single good review in sight, this freelancer probably isn’t worth your time.

Fiverr scams are not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a profile looks legit and even has a couple of five-star reviews. But accounts with only generic star ratings without any text can also indicate a scam.

Lastly, a complete lack of reviews is also a telltale sign that you should tread with caution. In this case, you could look beyond the star reviews and try to seek a portfolio or published work of your freelancer.

5. Sketchy results

We’ll finish our list with the worst kind of scams: the ones where the real scam is the results. Unfortunately, these are the most difficult to identify upfront.

Red-flags-5.png

Typical forms of such a scam are gigs for acquiring website backlinks, traffic, social media followers, or high ranks in search engines.

Sometimes, scammers deliver these promises. You’ll see your website has a lot more traffic, or your social media page has gained many followers. But if you delve a little deeper into the analytics, you’ll realize most of these results are worthless, as the spike in traffic and followers are actually bots.

These so-called bots are fake accounts posing as visitors or followers, controlled by a computer or a script. Sadly, there are no real people behind those ad views and comments, leaving those numbers as nothing but empty shells.

It’s challenging to spot these scams, so a good way to avoid them is by asking yourself if you would be better off doing it yourself. It might be worth spending a little more time and money on a campaign that actually yields results.

How to hire a freelancer on Fiverr

If the thought of Fiverr scams hasn’t scared you off yet, and you imprinted the red flags in your mind, you can now hire a freelancer on Fiverr.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to hire a freelancer on Fiverr:

  • Establish what you need - You need to explain to someone outside of your organization what you need, so it’s a good idea to state the scope of your project as clearly as possible.
  • Communicate with your freelancer - Ask them about previous gigs, if they need any further information, the steps they’ll take to complete your project, etc. Take note of their tone and their professionalism.
  • Hire multiple freelancers to compare - Especially if you’re looking to take someone on for multiple gigs, it’s nice to have something to compare them to. Compare quality before you hire someone long-term.
  • Don’t skimp out - You get what you pay for. If you skimp out, don’t expect to receive a stunning landing page. Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend a little more to avoid having to redo things.
  • Start small - Giving your freelancer the immediate gig of redoing your entire website? Bad idea. Have them start with a single page, or better yet, a single section of a page. This way, you know what you’re in for, and you can see if the result is up to standard.

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How to handle Fiverr scams

You may think you have all the armor so as not to get scammed. But the harsh truth is there are plenty of people out there who will do anything to make a quick buck. Scams are evolving, and scammers have become more and more clever with their ways.

If you still find yourself being scammed, know that it happens to the best of us. Fiverr works fairly well to resolve disputes, so make sure to get in contact with them as soon as possible.

The most important thing is to ensure all communication is happening through Fiverr. This way, you can provide screenshots to prove you have been scammed and hopefully get your money back.

Still on the fence about whether you should use a freelancer marketplace like Fiverr? There are plenty of other options out there, with a lower risk of getting scammed.

One of the alternatives is a subscription-based service. Here at ManyPixels, we offer unlimited graphic design for a flat monthly fee. Our team of professional designers can help you scale up your content production, hassle-free. Sounds good? Find out more about us on our website.

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Guest Writer: Simone Timmers

April 22, 2022

Simone is a Dutch writer, currently living in Malawi. Whenever not stringing words together, or on her yoga mat, she is preferably exploring any off the beaten track she can find.