Common Scams Freelancers Must Be Aware Of

The lack of employment was always a major problem for many people. But, with the advent of time, work from home jobs started becoming available. This made it easier for people to find jobs that would suit them the most. Being a part of the freelance community may help you become a part of the gig economy.

As per reports, there are millions of freelancers around you. Freelancing has become an inevitable truth in today’s time and is extremely beneficial for those seeking a job. No doubt, freelancing jobs are great and might help you earn more money than your regular job. But this is where the problem starts. Often people aren’t careful or considerate about freelancing, which leads them to not being careful with expenditures.

Often freelancers are victims to several scams which may lead to them not being paid for their share of the job. No matter how effective it sounds, this can get annoying. Employers may lure them into believing that may earn a lot but this can get problematic and they may not get paid.

Several freelancing platforms are there on the internet to make finding jobs easier for people. While the introduction of these websites has proven to be a boon to freelancers, this may not necessarily be good. The rise of freelancing platforms has also given rise to fraud. Employers will hire you for a job, promise you good money and then at the end of the day pay you nothing.

Why do freelancers fall for a scam? 

All freelancers have at least once fallen into the trap of being scammed. This might have led them into a severe dilemma of understanding why they weren’t paid. It is very easy for freelancers to become prey to the unnatural deeds of employers.

Two of the main reasons why freelancers are most prone to scam include a lack of jobs and income predictability. People in freelancing platforms with more experience tend to find jobs more easily than those who are new to the field. These new freelancers struggle to find a job and once presented any opportunity, they take it up. With no security implied on their job selection, they tend to overlook the problem and just accept the job. After finishing the work, they aren’t paid.

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Freelancers may not know but they are the most underpaid ones. Employers tend to pay more to companies than freelancers. This prevalent gap in incomes makes it effective for freelancers to fight for job opportunities. The ones who offer the cheap and best charge are hired while others are rejected. The low-income predictability may help you find a job, but would very seldom help you earn what you deserve.


If you are new to the freelancing industry, you need to be extremely careful. Being cautious will help you avoid all kinds of scams. Some of the most prominent types of scams include the following

  • Work from Home

Ah! The bliss of working from home. Well, this is where everyone gets trapped. Some of the most common types of freelancing jobs are writing, editing and graphic design, but most people are lured by the idea of working from home.

There are several ways through which you can earn a handful of money and not become a victim to scams, yet people opt from work from home jobs. These jobs are entirely a set of scams, for they will promise you high earnings but pay you nothing. Most works from home freelancing jobs require you to pay an upfront amount to secure the job.

  • Fake Job Posting

If you are active on any of the Freelancing platforms, you are sure to come across various fake job postings. Several authorised websites tend to offer you security from these but then there are various websites where you wouldn’t be able to distinguish between real and fake jobs.

Various platforms do not have a proper feature which will indicate to you whether the job is real or not. Although these jobs are very descriptive and clear, it is extremely necessary to note whether the company or employee is verified or not. Sometimes, there might also be cases of the employer trying to steal information from the applicant.

  • Tax document scams

Tax document scams are the most prevalent and common ones. One won’t get an idea about it if they aren’t familiar with it. One needs to be highly cautious and suspicious to identify these tax document scams.

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Often the client would ask you to submit your tax documents to get the job. Although this might seem like a part of the job application procedure, you should refrain from submitting any such personal documents. These documents can further be used for phishing your personal information and then used for illegal activities. No client would need any such tax document to provide you payment.

  • Unusual payment methods

Often in freelancing jobs, you are either paid digitally through check or cash deposit and credit card. These are the most authentic and verified source of payment. As a freelancer, you will be able to keep a check on how much you have earned.

Some clients will offer you unusual methods of payment. These clients would always make sure that they pay in kind and not cash. Most clients offer gift cards as payment as well. If you too are offered any such method of payment, it is suggested that you avoid it. You are working to be paid in cash and not kind.

  • Test Project

Almost all freelancers have fallen into the scam of test projects. You may check the job description and it reads that the employer will hire only if the applicant appears for a test project. Most freelancers, usually the new ones opt for the test project in the hope of securing the job. But, once you complete the test project, there are high chances that you may never hear back from the client.

Most of the times it may happen that the client doesn’t want to hire anyone but is only looking forward to getting quality work. These employers eventually start making unreasonable excuses just to avoid paying the actual fees.

Freelancing is a vast arena and it is very natural to be conned. If you are suspicious about any such scam around you, it is better to avoid them and not respond. Invites may make you feel privileged but then you should strictly avoid the risk.

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