We’ve posted a few articles about Fiverr in the past few weeks. But we’ve still gotten questions about Fiverr scams. Back in the day, Fiverr was a website which had some pretty bizarre gigs for sale – sellers could post just about anything and there was little guarantee that you’d be buying a legitimate product.
As a result, the website developed a bit of a reputation for being a scam, but that’s a reputation that it’s worked hard to overcome. There are, however, still scams which exist on Fiverr or any other platform. Here’s how to look out for (and avoid!) Fiverr scams.
To begin, make sure you’re at the actual Fiverr website. There are many websites on the internet that look and act like Fiverr, but if you’re not at the original Fiverr site, you’ll be putting yourself at risk. These clones aren’t inherently bad, but you’ll need to fully vet them before using them.
Developers can now easily create sites similar to Fiverr. There’s a script that anyone can buy, and it costs just $99. That cost, plus the price of hosting, and a scammer can be up and running within hours.
If you do choose to use a Fiverr clone, make sure that payment is made through a reputable processing service. Skrill, Paypal and Payoneer are a few of these. It’s best not to provide your bank account information to any site that you’re not familiar with, and never give your bank account information to an individual.
Fiverr Scams: The Sampler
You’ve posted a gig that will knock your mama’s socks off. You’re super proud of your service, and you can’t wait to get started. So imagine your elation when you get a direct message from a prospective client.
- Scammer: Hello, I came across your gig on Fiverr and I think we’d be a great fit. I’ve got a ton of articles I need written, and they’re all in the health and fitness industry. Would you be interested in a project like this?
- You: Sure! Can you tell me more? Is this for a blog, for website content? How can I help you?
- Scammer: Well they’re all in the health and fitness industry. I think you’d work well for the position, but I want to make sure. How about if we work with a trial article first?
- You: Hmmm… that sounds reasonable. Alright, would you like to name the topic, or should I?
- Scammer: Your topic is to write a 700 word blog post using the following keywords:
men’s protein shakes, high protein drinks, boost metabolism, antioxidant, cancer prevention, steroid use, anti-inflammatory, libido, raspberry tea
- You: ……
- Scammer: Are you interested? Go ahead and write the trial article and I’ll be able to tell you if I’ll hire you.
- You: Sure. I can do that. For this trial I’ll need a rate of $.08 per word, because that’s a lot of research and “wordsmith-ing”.
Of course, when you send your offer at $56, you never hear from the sampler again. It doesn’t happen very often, but there are always going to be clients who want work for free. They’ll have no fear in publishing your work without paying for it. Jump on that green “send offer” button before you get tricked into giving your work away.
Fiverr Scams: The Phisher
It doesn’t happen very frequently, and you can smell this Fiverr scam from a mile away if you keep your guard up. The phisher will ask you for some very personal information, in an attempt to use it for identity theft or other nefarious means.
Fiverr is now extremely vigilant about this. They actually monitor conversations. I was actually issued a warning several weeks ago because I gave a client my email address in order to set up a WordPress site.
The fine folks at Fiverr already have all the information they need from you. They’re never going to ask for your social security number, your address or your credit card number. If there’s an issue with your account, you’ll know about it, and you’ll receive notification via email.
Never give out any of this information to anyone on Fiverr, particularly through Fiverr messaging. It’s not real, and you’ll soon find yourself a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft.
There will come a time in your freelancing career in which you’ve got to buy a Fiverr gig. Fiverr is quick and cheap, but be careful what you pay for. You’re going to find a lot of gigs which promise a lot of things. Sellers will promise to:
• promote your book to 1,000,000 Twitter followers
• get your page 5,000 new Facebook likes
• design an eye-catching ebook cover for $5
• improve your WordPress site SEO
• make your girlfriend love you more
As you can see, the descriptions sound too good to be true, and they probably are. We’ve already talked about the dangers of paying for Facebook likes in previous posts, and the same is true for Twitter followers.
No graphic designer worth his salt will design you an ebook cover for five dollars, and while this isn’t necessarily a scam, do be mindful that the seller will probably upsell you. Just be sure to ask for samples of past work before you spend a boatload of money.
If there were a way to improve SEO for $5, all of the Freelance With Us writers would be at the top of Google search results. This seller is likely just installing a few (free) plugins onto your WordPress site for you. If the $5 is worth the time you save, go ahead and order the gig. But again, be mindful to not divulge personal information.
Finally, I’ll do the last gig for you for free. Your girlfriend will love you more if you lower the toilet seat when you’re done.
Fiverr itself is not a scam. It’s actually a great time saver for small tasks. But as always, be sure to protect yourself, and be mindful of the Fiverr scams that do exist.