The growing scam on freelance marketplaces is putting off freelancers

As the freelancing wave all over the world gains popularity and builds momentum, it is facing some awkward challenges as well. These challenges were always on the card, especially on freelance marketplaces.

The project award ratio on the world’s largest freelance marketplace Upwork is far better than any other marketplace. All other freelance marketplaces are unfortunately becoming a growing victim of buyer scam and fake projects. and are experiencing this issue far more than other websites. While on Guru, there is no way to check the client’s authenticity when a project is posted. The website does not take any payment information from the client at the time of posting the project which essentially means, anybody can post anything.

The good thing with’s customer support is, there are quick to identify a fake project as they probably manually check all PMB conversations because the project is flagged after sometime when a fake employer starts sending messages to freelancers on PMB.

Here’s one typical example of a fake project posted and the client’s message to the freelancer.

The buyer aims to take the conversation to their email address and there they usually ask payment for selling their product.

Another good thing about is, once a fake project is identified that does not meet community standards, not only it is removed from the website but the bid spent on the project is also reversed so there is no loss to the freelancer.

However, the time spent in identifying a project and placing a bid by a freelancer is lost, unfortunately.

On the other hand, has a new wave of buyer’s scams. When a project is posted, in message board (PMB), freelancers are asked to buy a software that could track their project activity before a project is awarded.

Sadly, many innocent freelancers fall victim to this scam and end up paying the client directly. The price is usually between $50 to $200. Unlike Guru where the bid is reversed when a fake client is identified, sadly — on, there is no way the marketplace can accommodate the freelancer for this money scam.

As a freelancer, the best way to protect yourself from being ripped off from your hard-earned money or loss of time is to ensure that the client’s previous history is verified before bidding on the project.

When you see a project, here are a few basic things you must look for before deciding to give it a shot. Sadly, the aftermath, the repercussion of wasting your time never hits home.

  • Client’s previous project posting history.
  • Client’s verification.
  • Client’s feedback.

Good Luck freelancers, play safe, play smart and do not fall prey to the growing scam on different freelancer marketplaces.

Written by Hisham Sarwar

That is all you ever need to know about me but let me warn you, freelancing for me is a journey, certainly not a destination :)