Two years ago, I tried those freelancing websites as a way of making some money while unemployed. What I managed to do is fall for a scammer who was supposed to pay me for selling camera equipment on ebay. When the equipment never arrived, the buyers demanded a refund on the money that I had already sent to the scammer, costing me over $1000
Submitted by: Edward
This is the first I’ve heard of scams through freelancing sites, which is unfortunate because I have been trying to pick up some extra HTML/CSS work through freelancing sites recently. This makes me kinda glad that this story submission came through, so we are more aware of these new types of scams coming out of the wood-work.
The common theme for scammers seems to be, send me money, and I’ll send over product. It’s difficult to protect yourself in this scenario, because it’s also unfair to have a product sent out before money is received.
So what methods can we use to guarantee or “insure” our transactions? ebay.com has a buyer protection program. Paypal also has a Purchase Protection program. Even the United States Post Office allows you to insure most of your packaging if you happen to be a seller. All of these types of programs are there to help us in case we never receive our product or never receive our money.
I don’t think any of them would have helped this particular scenario, however. Our next best bet is to educate ourselves. A lot of people will post on blogs and forums, such as stop-scammers.com (though they seem to target female scammers only) and scamwarners.com, about scams they’ve been involved in so to help prevent us from making the same mistake. That’s why I promote posting scams on The Money Drain, so that there is a “paper trail” of information that others can read up on and not make the same mistake.
So my best advice right now is just do a lot of googling and online research before you make a purchase outside of the aforementioned protection programs. Educate yourself, especially if a transaction seems a bit shady or “too good to be true”.
Have you had good experience with buyer protection programs? Do you have any recommendations for protecting your online transactions?
Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $1,000
Recently Related: GetRichSlowly has an article about “cramming“, which is how a lot of people get scammed in their phone bill.