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5 Signs of Fiverr Scams and Tips to Avoid Them
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5 Red Flags of Fiverr Scams

July 17, 2020
Danica Popovic


As a top freelancing platform is also a magnet for many scammers looking to make a quick buck. Here are 5 things to look out for that will help you avoid this kind of Fiverr sellers.

While Upwork has a more rigorous vetting process for freelancers, Fiverr is pretty much open to anyone and everyone. No surprise then that along with incredible talent, Fiverr also attracts many scammers.

You may not think twice on spending smaller amounts on a funny celebrity impersonation or even spell casting! But if you’re looking for professional freelancers to outsource work to, it’s very important to know that you’ll get the service which is promised.

So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Look out for these 5 red flags.

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1. Too good to be true

If you stumble on a Fiverr gig that’s promising results which are simply not attainable (e.g. ‘I will double your social media followers in 5 days’), it’s quite possible you’re looking at a scam.

On the other hand, if a Fiverr seller promises a reasonable result at an unreasonable price, you may want to dig a little deeper and figure out the potential downsides of this great bargain. It could be that the person behind the Fiverr account doesn’t have heaps of experience and wanted to price their service accordingly. Fair enough. However, if the price of a Fiverr gig is significantly lower than the average, my advice is to at least get suspicious.

Logo design is another common gig that many people get scammed over. Paying $20-30 for a logo usually means that you won’t be working with a professional graphic designer, but rather someone who’ll try to piece together a logo from a free template.

2. Wiring money upfront

Fiverr’s website has some useful information for first-time users and if you head over to the FAQs section, you’ll see that they advise you to report any buyer that asks you to use an alternative payment method.

All in all, this is another case for common sense. No matter what reason they give, you should never send money directly to sellers. Fiverr offers a couple of payment options (PayPal, credit card) so there’s really no reason why anyone would want to bypass the platform as a middleman unless they are scammers.

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3. Generic Fiverr gigs

If a Fiverr gig includes a generic stock photo of a person, is riddled with spelling mistakes, or has the same text as another gig it’s very likely a scam. The odd spelling mistake happens to the best of us, but anyone who is a true professional will take due care in proofreading their ad.

Of course, this is even more important for gigs related to writing and digital marketing (from SEO to social media content). If someone is trying to sell their writing skills and doesn’t even bother to proofread, it’s safe to assume they’re not a serious seller.

Finally, if the language of the gig seems a little too generic, try typing the first few lines into Google and see if anything comes up. If you find the same gig advertised by a different Fiverr account, look for another seller.

4. Negative reviews

Whether it’s a scam or just poor service, other people’s bad experience with a Fiverr seller is a major red flag to look out for. I’m all for giving people the benefit of doubt, but if there isn’t a single good review in sight, scammer or not this freelancer probably isn’t worth your time.

On the other hand, Fiverr reviews in general are super important. An account that has no reviews or has just generic star ratings with no text can be another indication of a Fiverr scam. For a gig that’s just over $5, it’s pretty easy to arrange with a few friends to pose as buyers (or even create fake accounts yourself) just to be able to leave positive reviews.

A way to avoid this is to look beyond the star reviews and, where possible, seek portfolios (writers, graphic designers), or try to find out something about projects that they claim have worked on externally (see if you can find a mention of their name).

5. Delivery time and results aren’t what you expected

The worst kind of Fiverr scams is, without doubt, the one where the real scam is the results. The most common form of such a scam are gigs for acquiring website backlinks, traffic, social media followers, or SEO. The problem is that many of these scammers deliver what they promise—you’ll get more visits to your website, page previews, emails sent, new Twitter followers, etc.

However, as soon as you delve a bit deeper into the analytics, you’ll realize most of these results are worthless as the people these freelancers are supposedly marketing to are actually robots.

Since these Fiverr scams are probably the most difficult to identify upfront, a good way to avoid them is to actually ask yourself if you would be better doing it yourself. It might be worth spending a little more time and money on a campaign that can actually yield results.

How to handle a Fiverr scam?

Although the customer support isn’t as comprehensive as other platforms (e.g. Upwork), Fiverr works fairly well to resolve disputes.

The most important thing is to **make sure all communication is happening through fiverr.com **so that you’re able to provide screenshots and prove that you have been scammed and get your money back.

We hope this helps you peruse Fiverr’s great database of freelancers with more confidence - good luck!

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Danica Popovic

July 17, 2020

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.