6 Tips – How to Avoid Freelance Scams

In the last few years, freelancing has become a preferred way of earning a second source of income. For some people like writers, web developers, journalists and online designers, freelancing is their primary source of income.

Freelance ScamsOwing to the vast economic problems in both developed and developing countries, people find it lucrative to work online and earn a decent amount of money.

How to Avoid Freelance Scams

As a beginner, you can become a victim of online freelance scams. The scammers are not behind: as numerous freelance opportunities emerge, they find new ways to scam people online.

You won’t find mailer-list scams as you would have five or six years back, but today you will come across more serious scams that really look authentic, erasing the subtle features that distinguished genuine money making online opportunities from scams.

Common Types of Freelance Scams or Work from Home Scams:

[1] Ad Typing Jobs
[2] Home Product Assembly
[3] Envelope Stuffing
[4] Medical Billing
[5] Multi-Level Marketing Affiliations (where no ‘real’ product-selling is not involved)
[6] Email Processing Jobs
[7] Book Typing Jobs

Basically, any advertisement that promises huge earning potential with little time input and no details whatsoever should be completely avoided.

Since scammers are also brainy intelligent people, they too have found ways to make their so-called make money online businesses too lucrative for people to resist. If you have found any freelancing or work from home that falls in the above common types, here are some warning signs you should be looking out for and some steps that you can take to make sure the jobs are genuine.

[1] Avoid any kind of work from home or freelance jobs that requires you to actively participate in seminars, that is, the company asks you to attend seminars to actually know how the work from home option works.

Please note that there are some genuine companies, mostly writing companies, which sometimes organize meetings to train freelancers regarding work profiles.

If you have been contacted by such a company and it’s located in your state, you can take a chance and visit. Otherwise, if it’s a company selling products and requires you to learn about direct selling, it’s best to avoid.

[2] The payment you are supposed to receive is either too good to be true or is based on advertising revenue. These kinds of freelancing offers should be avoided as well.

For instance, if you are a newbie and a freelance writing gig offers you $500 for a 500 word blog post, it’s clearly a scam. Again, freelance writing gigs based on advertising revenue may not be a scam per se but it’s not a beneficial way of earning. Why? Where is the guarantee that your blog or article will lead to advertisement clicks? Is there any? No.

[3] If you find freelance opportunities too good to be true, you need to perform a background search.

For instance, check the Yellow Pages for a record, do a WhoIs online search for website details, search about any complaints against the company in BBB (Better Business Bureau) records, or you can check with the states general’s office and ask for work from home scams (if any) are registered against the company.

[4] Never fall for freelance gigs that ask you to send money either for more information or to get a membership.

For instance, freelance websites like freelancer.com, elance.com, guru.com or odesk.com do not have a mandatory policy to take memberships. If you want or feel that a membership will benefit you, you can purchase monthly memberships, otherwise, these freelance sites are free to use and their genuineness is time proven.

Be careful of individuals who ask for money to send work from home details. They are surely scams.

[5] You should never take any kind of home freelance jobs at face value. Never take them for granted. Perhaps the only disadvantage of freelance work is that there is no sense of permanency or certainty with jobs.

The job you are doing now may continue for 2 months or 2 years, who knows? Therefore, if you are associating yourself with any company that offers a freelance/work from home option, try to get contractual work.

[6] Favor working with those people or companies that have a social media presence like a page on Facebook, a Twitter account, active blogs or active participation in forums. Such people or companies are more genuine than those without any social media presence.

Finally, the best ways to steer clear of work from home scams or freelance scams is to Google the company name or the individual’s name and see what kind of responses you get. In the end, the judgment is yours.

Have you been scammed? Share your story below…

Freelancer.com or Elance.com? You Choose…

Are you a freelancer and would like to take your skill online to make some money?

If you want to work online or you want to get some jobs done from other people, you will find several opportunities on these websites.

freelancer or elanceThere are workers who are ready to take up any of the jobs that you have to give them and there are individuals who are ready to make work available for those who want to work online.

All you need to do is to get yourself registered on any of the sites and you are good to go. Before long, you will make money online.

The truth still remains anyway that there are several differences among the various freelance sites online.

While some of them are able to offer you excellent services, there are some other ones that may not be able to live up to their claims.

In this article, a comparison will be made between two of the prominent freelance sites that are used today.

In case you have been working on them, you will be aware of some of the facts that are mentioned about them here.

In case you have not been involved with any of them, you will do well to make use of the facts revealed here to finally make up your mind about the two of them.

Freelancer vs Elance

The below info may be the master info that you need to choose the one you would choose to work with.

The two freelance sites that will be reviewed here are freelancer.com and elance.com.

This article is not intended to tell you the specific one to choose between the two. It will only lay out the facts and we expect you to make your choice on the one you will choose to use in your bid to make money online.

Background about freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is a freelance site that has been around for sometime now. It was formerly called getafreelaner.com before it finally changed its name to the present freelancer.com.

It offers several freelance services ranging from article writing to website designing and all sorts of programming services.

You can even get graphic design jobs and data entry jobs on it. It is a site that links those who are looking for jobs with those who are willing to give them the job online.

Background on elance.com

Elance.com too has been around for quite a while now. In fact, it had been around since 1999. It is a site that many individuals have found to be very reliable. It does almost exactly the same thing as mentioned above about freelancer.com.

You can come by several online jobs and several buyers are also available to give jobs to online professionals who are seeking work. All you need to have is the necessary qualifications and you will be able to acquire work on either of these sites.

Registration on either site

The registration procedure on either freelancer.com or elance.com is actually not to difficult. You are asked to supply simple info to open your account.

Neither of the sites gives you any restraints when you want to set up account. You will also be able to set up your account free of charges.

While freelancer gives you complete freedom to set up an account, elance, offers the option of either setting up a standard account or a premium account.

The standard account is completely free to set up while the premium account may cost you some money.

This has really reduced the number of people seeking jobs on elance. Because of this, people would rather flock to freelancer to get a free account.

Effect of free or paid account on elance

There have been several rumors that those who make use of the free account on elance do not usually get any work at all.

However, those who set up a premium account have been able to land several mouth watering jobs on elance.

This may not be true everywhere. It is possible for some other guys to be able to get jobs with a free account on elance and be able to make money online from there.

It is however advisable for such people to get premium accounts as soon as they are able to gather the money together.

Limit of job bids

Both freelancer and elance have a limited number of jobs that an individual is permitted to bid for.

On freelancer, you are given the grace to bid for up to sixty different jobs per month. Once your 60 bid count had been used up, you won’t be able to bid for any other job until the following month.

On elance, a free account gives you access to only 10 points. This does not mean you will be able to bid for ten jobs. Each of the types of jobs on elance have different points attached to it. You may end up bidding for only four jobs with your 10 points in case each job carries about 3 points.

Strictness of getting job

It is stricter to get jobs on elance than on freelancer.

Elance rarely welcomes anyone that is a new writer. You need to have real experience to show along with your bid.

The case is different with freelancer. Freelancer employers always give equal opportunity to new writers. There are some employers on freelancer that do not even require you to submit samples before they give you a job.

How much per job?

On freelancer.com, the jobs done are almost always cheap. You can have an employer who is only willing to pay a meager $1 for 500 words article on freelancer. This is not the case with elance. A 500 word article can cost as high as $8-$10, depending on the writer’s merit, of course.

Some people may criticize freelancer.com for providing cheap jobs to freelancers and thus lowering the job’s merit, but this should not be reason enough to avoid freelancer.com. Employers pay as per their budget allows, whether freelancers take it or not depends on them.

How to get paid?

Several workers will bid for a particular job. The employer will choose any one of them that he thinks will be able to do the job for him. The two of them will agree on price and the outsourcing site will charge them for the job awarded. The employer will give the employee a period of time to get the job done and he will put the money in escrow.

Both freelancer.com and elance.com make use of escrow.

Escrow helps to keep the payment for the job on hold until the job is finished. Once the worker finishes the job, the money in escrow is released into the account of the worker.

Escrow works in such a way that the worker and the employer will not be able to get the money out of it. The only access the employer has is to release the money into the account of the worker. It is only the site management that can take any other action with money in escrow.

This makes it hassle free to get paid for any work done on either site as long as the money is in escrow.

The worker can then decide to withdraw his money through any means he deems fit. Each of the sites have different means through which money can be paid from the worker’s online account to his personal account where he can withdraw it in cash. The choice used is completely dependent on the worker.

Charges on work done

Freelancer.com only charges each worker 5% of the total value of the winning bid and elance.com places a predetermined amount as their fees before the deal is finalized.

However, there is a difference: while freelancer.com takes fees from your winning bid, elance.com doesn’t take such a share. Elance.com charges above the price quoted by the freelancer.

Each of these sites makes sure that the charges are removed from your balance immediately after you win a bid. They will remove the charges and release the balance to you. This means that you do not need to spend a dime before you can make money on either site.

Conclusion

Read through the info above and consider all the points so as to know the one that will work well for you in your bid to make money online.

The info here may not contain everything that you need to know about both the freelance sites. You can then check other sources or user feed backs to get more info.