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How to spot fraudulent freelance writing jobs online on popular sites like Craigslist

If you’re new to freelance writing, not only can it be hard to tell a legit job from a scam, it can be downright impossible. This is because online freelance writing job scams are evolving. Like all criminals, the bastards behind them evolve as more and more people adapt to their methods. So how can you protect yourself? How can you avoid being taken advantage of? The following are three ways to do it.

1. Find contact information: You should not only search for it, but also try to contact the company through the methods they provide.

While many companies post anonymously on sites like Craigslist to avoid being bombarded by job seekers, sometimes a legitimate company will contact you to at least acknowledge receipt of their materials if you apply.

Scam companies, on the other hand, may contact you with “offers”, for example, sign up on our membership site for just $2.95/month; Sign up to get job opportunities delivered straight to your inbox for just $1.95/month. Once they have access to your account, they will typically debit your account between $40 and $97 per month or more, every month.

2. Look for details: Speaking of submitting materials, scam companies operate at both ends of the spectrum, whether they ask you for specific things up front or ask for very little. It all depends on what your scam is.

Some want free content, so they can request “original” writing samples; others want money, so they will only ask you to submit specific (scarce) information so they can get your contact information and spam you later with their fraudulent offers.

3. Mass Content Requests: If a company contacts you with a large content request and you don’t pay a certain percentage up front, it’s probably a scam. Their game is to get free content.

I am an SEO writer. One day, I received an email from a company that wanted 40 items. I don’t remember what I was on. They provided me with a list of keywords and asked when I could complete the order. I said within 3 days and that we require a 50 percent deposit to start. They resisted; I walked.

Many times, companies will say that they will pay you after you have completed a certain number of items. You’ll just never hear from them after you’ve delivered the initial content.

There are more ways to spot freelance writing scams online, for example, if they ask for money for job offers, or if they ask you to send “original samples” without payment, etc. Just do your due diligence and if it doesn’t sit well with you, for whatever reason, go for it. Don’t convince yourself of something. Your subconscious is working here. listen to it.

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