How to Avoid Scammers as a Freelancer

5 Mins read

The thriving gig economy has seen a significant rise in the number of freelancers in Dubai. Freelancing has offered millions of people across the globe the chance to change their sources of income away from the boring corporate world.

While the number of freelancers continues to rise every day (especially for the Millenials), this fact doesn’t mean that the industry is all gold and honey. Before deciding whether or not you wish to get into freelancing, it is paramount for you to know all the nitty-gritty regarding the industry.

The freelance world is vast and lucrative as one can literally get any job there. However, many scams and traps lurk in the industry, and they have to be avoided at all costs by both beginner and seasoned gig workers. 

Such scams not only waste your time as a freelancer and have you being conned off your hard-earned money, but also expose you to other great financial risks. Therefore, it is essential for every freelancer to acquaint themselves with such scams and try to avoid them by all means possible. 

There are many variants of such types of scams that take advantage of the nature of your job. Some of them come to you with enticing offers, but if you wish to get the best of your freelancing career, you are better off detecting them early enough. In this post, we will expose five common tricks and other scams one can come across, and how you can avoid them. 

1. The Unique Sample Scam

Before landing any good clients, even the best freelance content writers in Dubai have all submitted samples of their work to potential employers. This is a way for them to determine whether or not one is fit for the job. 

Generally, employers vary, and so do their requirements. Some of them will only ask you to deliver samples of your previously done works or links to already published content. However, to determine whether you can follow their instructions to the latter, some employers will ask you to submit a test article whose full details they will provide to you. 

But where is the scam there? Well, not much has been reported from those that shared samples of previously done tasks. But there are very many reports of writers being duped into writing a ‘sample test’ after which the ‘potential employer’ apologetically turns them down. 

Even though you had followed all their instructions to the latter, they will still give you excuses such as ‘we have already found another writer,’ ‘ your work doesn’t match our expectations,’ etc. In most cases, they do not provide or show you how your work is substandard but will only generalize it. 

Woe unto you if you are not familiar with this type of scam as thousands, if not millions, have already been duped this way. After rejecting your work, these so-called employers will go ahead and publish your original content either way – without paying for your services or giving you credit. 

So how do you avoid such an online scam? The trick is always to own the rights to your articles. If you are asked to share previously done work, you’d better make sure that it has already been published elsewhere. 

If you are to work on a unique piece, after they reject your work, have somewhere you can publish the content. This way, one only sabotages their website’s reputation by republishing their content. Doing so saves you both your time and money. 

2. The Offsite Payment and Communication Scams

There are several platforms and secure websites that freelancers in the UAE can use to find gigs and hopefully, long-term projects. These platforms are made to protect both the employer and the employee, by most importantly shielding them from freelance-related scams. One way this is done is by ensuring the client gets what they ordered, and the freelancer gets paid what was agreed on. 

However, if an employer insists on offsite payment schedules or communications, you don’t really need other red flags to notice that it is a straight-up scam. There will be no proof of communication between the two parties once you decide to go offsite. Furthermore, there is no one to guarantee that you will get paid for your services once you leave the site.

If you are working on a platform, you are better off sticking to their rules and regulations which, in most cases, requires both the client and the freelancer to transact all their business onsite. 

All payments are made using the platform’s escrow services, and any forms of scams are detected by the website almost immediately. Whenever you report someone, you can be assured of swift action taken by the platform owners.

3. The Low Pay Scam

As a freelance article writer in Dubai, you will come across job advertisements such as the one below:

“We are looking for a talented article writer to work with us on a long-term basis. To begin with, we need at least 20 articles. Our budget is $10 for a start, and if you deliver quality work, the pay rates will increase.”

Should you ever come across such a job advertisement, simply run away from them. These are scams. You will be fooled by a promise of getting a long-term project and that the pay rates will increase over time based on your evaluation. In that case, you will have worked for meager pay for the first time, even after submitting a bulk of work. 

In some cases, these clients might even fail to pay you for your services, even after getting you to work almost for free. So how do you avoid such a trap?

Whenever you are applying for such jobs, always indicate your preferred pay rates. After all, there are many ways to deal with a client who thinks that your pay rates are too high. If the client doesn’t match or even gets closer to your offer, then don’t be afraid to leave. Keep yourself protected from such scams as there is no compulsion for you to work for meager rates. 

Furthermore, you should always keep yourself updated on the prevalent pay rates for your niche of freelancing. 

4. The Membership/Registration Fee Scam

This is another infamous trap that is set for newbie freelancers in all categories. In the job advert, you will come across them, claiming that you ought to register with a certain amount before you get access to the full job details. Whoever is asking you to pay upfront for you to be given a job is a complete joke. Runaway from such people. 

5. The Dangerous Personal Details Scam

While there are many do’s and don’ts of freelancing, never disclose your personal data to a party you don’t really trust. Payment methods have been made easier by secured mediums such as PayPal and other escrow services. Whenever someone asks you for your personal information for payment to be made, then they probably want to use your details for criminal activities, or fraudulent acts such as identity theft. 

If they refuse to pay you through secured means without asking too much about your personal details, then you will be wise enough to reject the job offer, regardless of how enticing it sounds. 

Final Tips

Good communication and common sense will help you a great deal to avoid these and many other online scams. Join some of the best platforms for freelancers in Dubai and enjoy your security without sacrificing better pay rates. 

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