Fiverr is a gold mine for skilled professionals who want to start their careers in remote work or freelancing. I highly recommend it for newcomers because it’s the platform where I started my freelance journey. It gives you a lot of experience in dealing with various clients, understanding complex requirements for projects, and delivering perfect work. But, like with any other freelancer platform, you might meet scams on Fiverr. In this article, I will share my knowledge of Fiverr scams with you, letting you decide whether Fiverr is scam or legit.
Is Fiverr Scam or Legit?
Fiverr is a legit platform for both sellers and buyers (In Fiverr, sellers are the freelancers while buyers are clients). But there are various scams on Fiverr, especially targeting sellers who are new to the platform. In fact, if you are a new seller, you might be already frustrated by the scam messages you keep getting and wondering whether Fiverr is fake or real. All you need is a few weeks of experience on Fiverr and a bit of common sense. But don’t lose hope yet! If you take note of the red flags I’ve explained in this article, I’m sure you can stay safe on Fiverr and be successful on your freelancer journey.
Identify Top 3 Fiverr Scams Targeting Freelancers
These are the main scams I’ve noticed on Fiverr. If you know some more Fiverr scams, don’t forget to mention them in the comments section and let other Fiverr freelancers know about them.
The Pay is Too Good To Be True
Sometimes, a client would come to your inbox and offer you an amount that is too good to be true for a project. Beware of clients like that. Of course, there would be some clients on Fiverr who are totally new to a field and have no idea about the cost of a project. If you feel that this client is genuine and wants to try your luck, keep chatting with him/her. But be very, very careful. If he or she asks you to do something suspicious – like send your personal details, download an app, or click on a fishy-looking link, don’t do it! Make sure to block that client and report him/her to Fiverr.
Most often, Fiverr scammers would try to attract you by talking a lot about the benefits you get from the order. But a real client would mainly focus on his or her project; they would talk about their requirements, not the budget. For example, I recently had a buyer promise to pay me $500 upfront for an order. But he wasn’t willing to talk about the project details on chat. When I asked him about the order details, he kept emphasizing the money. Too much focus on the money and not on the project is a red flag for scams.
Client Wants to Contact You Directly
This is a very common scam on Fiverr. If I get 10 direct messages from clients, there are at least 1 of these messages among them. In fact, I’ve heard that new sellers on Fiverr get lots of these scam messages. A friend of mine recently joined Fiverr as a freelance graphic designer, and he got a message like this the day after he created his first gig.
What basically happens in this Fiverr scam is that the seller wants to contact you outside Fiverr. First, the buyer would contact you through Fiverr inbox and tell you that he is looking for a seller for some projects. But he’d refuse to let you know the details of the project through Fiverr and invite you on a different platform like WhatsApp or Telegram. Some also ask you to email them directly, but most of the time, Fiverr blocks clients who send you their email addresses in your inbox.
So what happens when you contact the client outside of Fiverr? I have no personal experience with this. But I have heard a lot of experiences from new sellers who were cheated by this scam. Once you meet the client on another platform, you are no longer under Fiverr protection. Some clients would get free work done by the sellers and refuse to pay. Worse yet, some scam freelancers by charging them security deposits or training fees, claiming to get them regular orders. It’s new freelancers who often get conned by these scams.
The Client Wants You to Click on a Suspicious-looking Link
Sometimes, you might get a message from a client asking you to click on a link to see more details about a project. This might be a phishing link or malware link, which would put your Fiverr account at risk. Never click a link if you feel suspicious about it! The best thing to do in such a case is to report the link to Fiverr.
But keep in mind that a lot of genuine clients also send you links – links to their websites or other sites that would help you with the project. So identifying the difference between a genuine link and a fishy link is totally up to you.
If the client is claiming to be a reputable company, you can search for that company online and access the official website yourself. If the link he sends on Fiverr is different, then there is something dodgy going on. Also, be careful of links that have been shortened with link shorteners.
How to Identify Fiverr Scam Messages | Red Flags Indicating Fiverr Scammers
When you get a message in your inbox, there are a few things you can check to make sure that it’s not a scam message.
Look Carefully at the Language
- In most Fiverr scam messages, the sender claims to be a recruiter or someone working for a big company, usually based in a country like the US, UK, or Australia. The language used by a person like this should be professional and flawless. But if the language of the message you’ve received is full of grammar and spelling errors, there’s a good chance of that message being a scam.
Check the Client’s Background
- On Fiverr, you can check some details about the client with a few clicks. For instance, you can see his country, current time, when he joined Fiverr, and reviews he has gotten from previous orders. If he has previous orders and good reviews from sellers, then there’s a good possibility that he is not a scammer.
- I know this sounds a bit judgmental, but most Fiverr scammers are from certain countries. Nigeria, Pakistan, and India are three countries known for Fiverr scams (but not all buyers and sellers from these countries are scammers. I’ve had really great experiences with some Indian and Pakistani buyers).
- Unfortunately, Fiverr doesn’t always show the correct country for sellers. When a scammer joins Fiverr, he would claim to be from the UK or US using a VPN. So we would see that the seller is from UK or US, but in reality, he is chatting with you from another country. But he can’t hide his time zone on Fiverr. If you really feel suspicious about the message, you can check the local time of the seller and country. If the two don’t tally, then there’s definitely something fishy about the message. This is a trick I have actually used, and it has really saved me from a few scams on Fiverr.
Like with any other freelancer platform, Fiverr has some scams. But if you know how to recognize scams on Fiverr, you can stay safe, get awesome projects, and earn a good income. If you do become a target of a scam, don’t forget to report the scammer to Fiverr. This will help to save hundreds of other Fiverr sellers too.
Read more on scams on Upwork, another great freelancer platform.