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freelancer scam 2012

Freelancer.com Scam 2012 ??

Freelancer.com Review 2012

I hope you found this post by typing “Freelancer.com Scam” into Google! I want you to know that you’re not alone. I think Freelancer.com is the biggest scam/fraudulent website I have ever dealt with. The freelancers on the website are semi okay, but the owners of Freelancer.com act like crooks. I have no idea how that website is still in business.

Here’s a quick story of what happened to me. I signed up for a Freelancer.com account, posted my first job, got about 11 bids (10 of those bids were clearly scam automated responses) but 1 guy was cool!

So I hired the cool guy, but I had to make a deposit into the Freelancer account to get things going.

The minimum deposit for the job was $30, and it’s supposed to go into an alleged “Escrow” account. The money is to be held there until the hired freelancer completes the job. First off, Freelancer.com charges you an extra $1.01 for a processing fee, so I ended up paying $31.01..not a big deal.

About a week later, I get an email from Freelancer.com saying that my account has a negative balance for the job posted. Turns out these scam artist have a hidden fee of $3 for every job that you post. So my $30 deposit was now $27!

I find that strange because they said I could post my first job for FREE..which I did! But as soon as I made a deposit, I guess they decided it wasn’t free anymore and stole an extra $3…eh still not a big deal.

Anyways, almost 2 months past and the Freelancer that I hired never completed the job. (He said he could complete the job in 4 days, so he had more than enough time! I was patient right?) The Freelancer I hired eventually just cancelled the job which means I should be able to get my deposit back..right? After all, the money is in Escrow.. allegedly.

freelancer.com scamSo I go to withdraw the money, and Freelancer.com is now asking me to verify my phone number. Okay DONE!

Next I had the option to have the money sent directly to my Bank or to Paypal. I choose the “Bank” option and got an error that says something like, “Sorry.. unavailable in your country (USA)..India only!” Hah..what the heck?!

So I choose the Paypal option and guess what…ANOTHER FEE! Now these scam artist want to charge me another $2.00 to withdraw MY MONEY even though no services were provided. Ehh..whatever not a big deal I guess, right? Next I read the fine print, and the minimum amount needed to withdraw your money is $30! Okay…that’s when I realized that Freelancer.com might be a scam and/or shady website!

They charge you to deposit money, they charge you to post a job, and now they’re charging me again to withdraw my money?! Okay, now I only have $27 in my Freelancer.com account, so they expect me to deposit another $3 + fees to meet the $30 minimum withdraw requirements? I think that’s a scam!

SCAM SCAM SCAM

freelancer.com scam alert 2012I think Freelancer.com makes money by charging people excessive fees and flat out stealing peoples money. Before I wrote this article, I searched “Freelancer.com scam” on Google and read how Freelancer.com wasn’t even paying there freelancers after the jobs were complete.

Freelancer.com was asking people to fax over Passports, Birth Certificates, SSN’s, or pictures of themselves in the mirror holding a sign with there username and password on a piece of paper. That’s crazy and unprofessional.

So here’s how I think Freelancer.com works in a nutshell:

  1. Employers deposit money into Freelancer.com’s shady escrow account.
  2. After the jobs are complete, Freelancer.com makes it extremely difficult for the workers to collect there payments.
  3. If the employer requires refund, Freelancer.com figures out a way to eat up as much of your money as they can! If they’re feeling extra scammy, they’ll just suspend your account, keep all your money, and release it when they feel like it.

By the way, don’t even waste your time contacting there customer service departments! Freelancer.com doesn’t even have a phone number, and the “online chat” customer service feature is the worst I’ve ever experienced. I felt as if I was chatting with 10yr olds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I was!

They’re a HUGE company right? What type of REAL company doesn’t have a phone number? Customer service is non existent now-a-days, and companies like this will not last very long.

So whats the lesson for today?

freelancer.com scam 2012 scams

  1. Avoid Freelancer.com like the Plague! If you’re looking to outsource some work, I recommend using “Elance.com
  2. Customer Service is KING! Treat your customers good and your business will flourish. Treat your customers badly, and someone just might write and SEO optimized article about you that shows up on the first page of Google ;-)

-Kent Mauresmo

Freelancer.com Scam 2012

——————————–

Update

They finally gave me my money back (1 week later) after I emailed 6 different people, raised hell, and wrote this article about them. Even though they gave me a refund, I still don’t recommend this website.

The customer service sucks, and I wasted at-least 2 hours of my time going back and forth with them. Obviously $30 isn’t that much money to fight over, but it’s still my money so whatever. Hah!

Below you’ll find another article that contains useful links and emails where you can complain against Freelancer.com:

http://getahindu.blogspot.com/2012/08/can-freelancer.html

———————————————————————————————–

Update #2 (October 2012)

Re: http://www.reviewopedia.com/freelancer-com-reviews

“Stealing Providers Money”

Yes its true, My id is imaginativegfx on freelancer.com. Please check my profile I’m a very old user of this site, More than 75 reviews, 5 star rating and won 17 contest, but I have to say that they are stealing designers money. This is to aware all provider about freelancer.com fraudulent behavior.

I won few contests on freelancer.com recently http://www.freelancer.com/contest/contest.php?project_id=6930 client paid me but, freelancer.com not allowed me to withdraw the fund to my bank saying that client’s details are not verified.

My question is why don’t freelancer.com verify these details before any one posting the job. Once someone posted a job and I worked on it and now I’m unpaid for done work. Is not it cheating.

2nd one – https://www.freelancer.com/contest/contest.php?project_id=9519

I participated in this job after checking that client details are verified. His email, profile and payment, all are verified. I feel that I will get money for this contest. I won and client paid me. I withdraw some money into my bank account. Now Freelancer.com Reversed All Prize Awarded and my account is showing negative balance. Now suspended.

They also closed his account so that I can’t communicate with him and deleted the contest to end all possibilities to communication with him.

I honestly worked on contest and need money for done work. If a client is fraud then Freelancer.com is responsible for this. I will not pay for negative balance. Instead I will love to leave the freelancer.com and soon you all will realize that this kind of behavior by Freelancer.com will lead to the closing of this website.

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Update #3 (November 2012)

Freelancer.com complained to my hosting company to try to get me to take down my entire website. Isn’t that crazy?! Hah! They accused me off violating the copyright and trademarks of Freelancer.com, in addition to defaming the company. Wow.

The only trademark I might have infringed on was their logo. I had their logo within my blog post (even though it was just a screenshot from their website)  so I removed it. That’s the only thing I can think of, and my hosting company is fine with that.

The people at Freelancer.com are crazy…seriously! If I end up dead or something, then you know what happened because they are seriously trying to cover up something.

I’m 50/50 about deleting this blog post because I have better things to do than waste time with these clowns. They aren’t even worth the back-link they get every time I type “freelancer.com”

They even want me to remove all the comments on this blog post. Hah why? Its an open forum, people can say whatever they want (including all the customer service reps from Freelancer.com that have left comments.) Plus I highly doubt anybody is lying in the comments because everybody is saying the same exact thing.

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364 Comments

  1. Well done, guys. freelancer.com is a scam run by crooks — just look at a picture of their CEO to see what an obvious piece of guido he is. Is anybody up for setting up a class action suit against them?
    I can probably find a lawyer to do this, if you’re interested my twitter is @formerfreelance .

  2. according to http://www.classactionsaustralia.com.au/ we only need 7 people to get a suit started against freelancer in their jurisdiction… let’s get going

  3. I also have had the same experience with freelancer.com. They really are nothing but SCAM.
    I’d recommend you all the best of Freelancing Websites for outsource your works i.e. http://www.odesk.com
    http://www.solutioninn.com
    http://www.liveperson.com

    These are much trustworthy sources for outsourcing.

    thanks & regards,

  4. another freelancer saga story. I had a friend of mine who i owed money too, he had a freelancer account, i hadn’t made a withdrawal yet so had to wait two weeks to get my money out i thought we would create a project and he complete it thus allowing the money to be transferred to him. Next thing i know freelancer has suspended his account, he had to provide a high def photo of his passport and him holding his passport and a freelancer code, he said if they have a problem then just put the money back into my account, so they put the money back into my account, froze my account made me do the passport, code bill thing, so i did that, then still wasn’t good enough, still more questions, have been trying to get this money out of my account for three months now, it’s beyond a joke. This company is criminal.

  5. Freelancer.com, in its sole discretion, may place a hold on any or all of the payments you receive when Freelancer.com believes there may be a high level of risk associated with you, your Account, or any or all of your transactions. If Freelancer.com places a hold on any or all of the payments you receive, you will be provided with notice of our actions and the way in which to resolve the issue. If you are involved in a dispute, in certain circumstances Freelancer.com may place a temporary hold on the funds in your account to cover the amount of any potential liability. If the dispute is resolved in your favour, Freelancer. com will lift the temporary hold. If you lose the dispute, Freelancer.com may remove the funds from your Account.

    Freelancer.com may remove the funds from your account? to where their account? this company will try and find any reason for banning your account and conviently putting money into their coffers, they are criminals, DO NOT RISK putting money into their website.

  6. Today I had my first project on freelance.com. But what a horrific experience. The designer I hired was super but this company….Yak!
    Got free membership I didn’t ask for….what took me time to undo that….
    They took more of my paypal account then neccessary….
    I never gonna use them again….its a pitty for the freelancers that most of the time done a good job….

  7. Great post! you are doing justice. They are real criminals.

    I have to say that I am finding it hard to believe and accept the level of customer service Freelancer.com provides. It is unreal, outrage and does not make any sense to me. As you said – They are truly crooks and scammers and all they care about is charging as much fees as possible, without even daring to think about providing any value or make justice. They will punish you for every single innocent mistake you will make on their poor coded website, and when something goes wrong they will read you the terms as you are in court, trying to defend their scams. Not as you were asking for simple, real customer service. You will simply find yourself paying fees and have no one to talk to in case something is going wrong even if it is purely not your fault, you will still pay for nothing. They simply DO NOT CARE about their paying customers. Their simple pure goal is to take your money. PERIOD. end of the story here.

    To sum my experience with them the past year as a Freelancer:

    – Bad coding to the website, almost like a child build this website and has no idea how a professional platform should work.

    – Bad attitude and language in automatic emails (trying to push sales as hard as they can, almost in a sick, unprofessional, childish way)

    – Worst customer service agents in the PLANET – I guarantee you that.

    – Problems withdrawing money – can take forever and sometimes having problems (they will not notify you if your withdrawal was canceled, you will have to find out yourself after waiting and wondering why the money is not going through as planned? of course, they want to delay the withdraw with as many scam ways as they can)

    – Even a simple request as changing a project deadline involves in so much energy wasting, as they were doing you a favor that they even respond to you, and accusing you for sending more than 1 support ticket, since their system is literally amature.

    Guys, in the name of justice, please stay away from this EVIL company. I am really hoping people will realize that and do something about it. This is no way of doing business, unfortunately, I will have to keep working with them, as I already build my profile and it still provides me a way to get clients, as sad as it sounds, but something has to be done about the fact this evil company exists and operates.

    I am now focusing more on Elance.com – great platform, great service, real professionals who are here to provide value, before taking your money.

  8. Hi

    I was scammed of $ 14,000 by freelancer.com. I want to take revenge from this scam site. Please help me. I have given link to entire issue below.

    http://omnipresentwords.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/freelancer-com-scam-part-i-how-10-cost-me-14000-among-other-misgivings-and-apathy-of-freelancer-com-staff/

    Please help.

    Thank You

  9. If you guys are sick and tired of current outsourcing communities like Freelancer.com then get involved at Kwikode.com to help build a marketplace that freelancers and buyers actually want to use.

    We are currently in the development stage but we would like to here your ideas now on your ideal marketplace. Come join us!

    • well ya…anything besides Freelancer.com. That company is fraudulent, and they don’t even care. I wonder if the real owners of Freelancer knows anything about this.

      I’m going to get in contact with them and find out. And not Matt Barrie, because he’s not the real owner.

  10. I listed a job, only to get scammed by the freelancer. Upon winning my arbitration (which I had to gamble $5 on winning) I tried to withdraw the money I had deposited, so I could run away from this website as fast as possible. Once I completed their hoops, I get a message saying they delay the first withdrawl by around a month. The reason given, “security reasons”. They have never had any “security issues” debiting the EXACT SAME PAYPAL AVCCOUNT I was requesting the amount be put back to! I opened a ticket, only to get this “10-year old’s” response:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for contacting Support.

    You may only withdraw earned funds. Deposited funds are subject for a refund back to its original funding source. I have forwarded your concern to the proper department for refunds.

    Should you have further concerns, please contact us again.


    Sincerely,
    Justin C.
    Freelancer.com Support

    What does “Deposited funds are subject for a refund back to its original funding source.” even mean!?

    They just crossed 7,000,000 users, according to their landing page. I would guess that not many are “active” users anymore, considering the experiences we’ve all had.

    • It sounds like they may give you a refund. But they are giving you a disclaimer that the funds will only be refunded back to the same source which is your paypal account.

      I guess some people make deposits with one account, and then request a refund to a different pay pal account. Im just guessing, I have no idea. Tell me if you get your money back.

  11. Freelancer just recently decided to “upgrade” me from my previously free account to a paid one. I did not notice this until it sucked the remaining money out of my account which I was unable to withdraw from the company. I was saving it up to do one final freelancer transaction when I needed some more art work given I could not withdraw it. I no longer wanted to use this piece of shit company because of it’s crap policies that protect scammer freelancers. I’ve been scammed by piece of shit coders from there and freelancer does nothing about it. So after arguing with their useless and borderline retarded support staff about being scammed, I decided that with the remaining money in my account I would try to find one last freelancer to provide some service and then never use their service again. Well they juiced the account by “upgrading” me to a “paid” monthly account.

    Here’s the stupid retarded reason they gave me

    *take note, I was employer status, which is FREE as stated on their website since 2009*

    Hi,

    Thank you for contacting Freelancer.com Support.

    The PayPal Billing Agreement was activated on your account after your trial Basic membership plan has expired. It has been implemented so depositing funds using Paypal becomes a one-step process which can be completed on the Freelancer site. It is a convenient way for users that wish to purchase any upgrades but do not have available funds yet.

    The trial Basic membership plan was given last year for former vWorker users so you can experience the benefits of using such an account upgrade. You can confirm your transactions at this link:

    https://www.freelancer.com/payments/transactions.php

    Our records show that your account became limited after filing a dispute with PayPal. To have the limit lifted from your account, please complete all the requirements indicated on the Verification Center, and give the proper department enough time to process your issue.

    For your convenience, the link to the Verification Center is:

    https://www.freelancer.com/users/limit-account/verification_center.php

    Don’t hesitate to contact us again should you need further assistance, our Support team is available 24/7.

    —————
    Sincerely,
    Nathan
    Freelancer.com Support

    e: support@freelancer.com
    w: http://www.freelancer.com

    Ticket Details
    ———————————
    Ticket ID: AGF-821-90341
    Department: Billing
    Type: Issue
    Status: In Progress
    Priority: Unset

    Support Center: https://support.freelancer.com/index.php?

  12. I felt being scammed by Freelancer many times since starting using this website in 2011. Many unknown fees were charged without my consent., but I still keep using it because I don’t know where else to get freelancers. Today I found out there were more unknown refundable project fees charged since 2011 were not refunded yet! I didn’t even know they exist because the projects were never rewarded to any freelancer, so I really had no idea where the charges came from, and it says refundable but I didn’t see any refund since 2011. I am so pissed off! I would stay away from it if I could.

  13. Absolutely agree with all people above- i got same problems- never get quality service from outsoursers-or scammers or you can find trickers there. Never get money back as requested and my $100 was stolen (paypal confirm that- i never get those money but they disappear from my freelancer account and shown like sent to paypal- i got official paypal email that they have’t found transaction with such number from freelancer),next- got 0 from $96 because i’m not loged in on site in during 1 year, got hidden fee for membership that i never order. Why paypal who suspended thousands of other business accounts owners for nothing still work with absolutely criminal company? How is that possible that they stole money? I understand- i’m far away from Aus and i’m live in Eastern Europe but why ppl who live in usa eu au don’t go to arbitrage?

  14. Hi
    I do agree with what you guys say, I do get ripped of by freelancer.com every once in a while not by the company itself rather by employers and the companies incompetent dispute/arbitration system which is like a 3rd world corrupt court.
    I do make 1K USD a month on average from that site, and I am ranked in the top 800 users out of those 7000000 users they do claim to have.
    Given that a small single man show like myself is ranked in the 800s and that I dont find that many new jobs to bid on, the site is going down.

  15. Exact same experiences here. Random account suspension, random cancellations of paypal withdrawl attempts – what a nightmare. Stay clear.

  16. I dont think it is scam but you should be carefully while doing something. Like dont signup for trials they have problems with cancelling it or dont take exams before reading the description. Thanks

  17. Freelancer sucks. I’ve been bidding on projects for over a month now and haven’t been hired for one job. They seem to prefer hiring Asians instead of native English speakers such as myself. The thing is I need to complete a project so I can meet the minimum threshold for a withdrawal. Am I the only one who thinks $30 is way too high for a minimum withdrawal?

  18. Hi,
    scam and sharks
    I spent there more than three months I could not get a single job.

    Most of the jobs are fictitious, projects are cancelled, closed and disappear. Also I saw very suspicious responses from employers, very good English for the advert and later horrible English spelling in the PMB; it is not possible for the same person, and finally projects are closed.

    That is the reason they need to get money from contractors, via testing skills and membership upgrade, because projects are not real so they do not get 10% of them.

    The few real projects, if they exist at all, are taking from people with reputation, if you are new there is no chance at all to get a contract,never ever, so people find friends to contract themselves and get reputation.

    Also they cheat you when selecting the skills, they are really mean, If you do not choose all the skills you can at first, then later you are limited and cannot add more skills until next month, unless you pay, of course.
    And when you sign they hide information, you do not know their commission, rules,.., nothing. And you have to get their spam mail every day, no opt-out option.

    The worst is the time you waste, not just the money.
    Really trust me, stay away from them, as far as possible.

    cheers!!

  19. I have been scammed by them too! I didn’t authorize an additional third payment that accidentally happened – $931 CAD and they “refunded” me only $566 USD. Stay away from these criminals. I have cancelled the payment through paypal, waiting for confirmation.

  20. Hi,

    I have used freelancer.com to have someone do a graphic design project for me which was good, BUT, I went to delete the project, and it’s charging me $5.00 to delete the project???

    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? To delete a project it is costing me?? Unreal I will tell you that much! Anyway, can someone confirm if I have other projects from the past there were not completed for what ever reason am I getting charged for those to exist? And also, is the $5.00 coming just from the freelancer.com escrow account or directly from my paypal account? Cause my escrow account on freelancer.com is $0.00 so they can’t touch me there, but will it come from my actual bank tied to my paypal account?

    • As you said: if your PayPal or credit card is tied to Freelancer.com account… be prepared for surprises. Recommending to cancel the link. If you see a charge and feel it was unjustified, just contact PayPal and/or your bank. Tell them about the situation and claim the refund.

      (For all the people who say that some 5 bucks is not a big deal: of course it is not. But pull such trick on 1,000 or 100,000 unsuspecting suckers… that’s what salami slicing is.)
      Chaim S. recently posted..SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF FREELANCER.COMMy Profile

  21. Ok….
    So I decide what the hell, let’s give it a try and see what’s up!
    I sign up, etc…I decide to take the US English test, therefore I pay the 5$ for it….
    Great, it says 40 questions, blah blah blah
    No problem, even asked my husband, who is one of the smartest guys I know (lol, I know, but he actually is) to stay with me and make sure I don’t waste those 5 bucks….
    Anyway, I take the test, there were couple of questions which I would have probably get them wrong if it wasnt for him, since this is not my mother tongue and I do speak other 4 more languages, trust me, sometimes you have like a cocktail up there in you brain :-)….anyway, answered all questions, which with all modesty but there were kindergarden questions, in the time limit, actually a lot sooner than that….
    Clicked on show results….guess what?
    Failed!
    I was like, what the hell??? failed with 73% which would be 10.8 answers wrong
    Ok….first of all, couldn’t have done wrong 10 stupid questions, in no way in hell…I know I am not the best, but no way those retarted questions could have been wrong….10 of them? huh
    Second….how can 10.8 questions can be wrong? I mean…10 maybe, or 11 but 10.8? huh
    10 questions would be 25% and 11 27.5%…. anyway….
    And they won’t even tell you here you did wrong…I mean….Really?
    Anyway, decided to use my other 5$ from the account for taking the test again….since you can only deposit a min. of 10$ haaaaaa
    Guess what? did 98% on this one…..I mean….Really???

  22. From my direct experience, Freelancer.com is a big scam. They are leading experts in money extortion. I advise employers and freelancers to keep away from this dodgy fraudulent business.

  23. the freelancer.com scam facebook page, liku us and help to get the word out:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freelancercom-Scam/559665087397688

  24. Hi

    I am The Eccentric Blogger who has been recently publicly pummeled by freelancer.com on their blog. I am sure some of you know me from the link http://omnipresentwords.wordpress.com/

    I have recently published a form for registration of all those freelancers and employers who would like to report the misdeeds of this scam website to Interpol or would like to participate in a class action litigation against them.

    Please follow the link below and provide the necessary details:-

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pyago5bDnXuACv4qvAFSAspFgTLUqBjNJIaIazI1o50/viewform

    It is not only our choice but our duty as well to ensure that the scam which has hurt so many of us should not hurt others as well.

    Best Regards
    The Eccentric Blogger

  25. Hi everyone,
    We have created a community group on facebook to form a front against freelancer. One of the members is actually planning to start a class action (law) suit against them. Another person started a petition at change.org in the hope she can stop this fraud. Join our facebook page an get the latest news about the freelancer.com scams and what people are doing to stop it. But most important how you can help us to make an end of this amazingly sophisticated fraud company that seems to get away with all of these things they do to freelancer and employers.
    Join our community page on facebook: freelancer.com scam
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freelancercom-Scam/559665087397688

  26. Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this subject for a while and yours is the best I have came upon so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure about the supply?

  27. Hello everyone,

    I have read almost every comment posted in here and I found out that the site Freelancer.com has a really bad reputation for its bad actions against we buyers/sellers. I’m a freelancer who will be withdrawing some amount of $200 off Freelancer.com and I’m afraid that the people behind Freelancer.com will put up a dirty act against my soon-to-be withdrew funds. I have a Credit Card there but it isn’t included in the Withdrawal Method(I’m thinking of registering a PayPal account and register it there, but it looks risky as I see a lot of people get scammed when they want to withdraw funds). Can anyone suggest/recommend me any way in order to prevent all this process to go smoothly?

    Regards,
    TheAnonymous

  28. Hiya very nice blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also?I’m happy to seek out a lot of useful info right here in the post, we want work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.

  29. Wow..my luck to find this article before I start with them. At first I guess this company is a good one (according to the lot of member they have / claim), but after reading a lot of this neg rep, well I guess I just have to stay away from them. Thank you for this awareness.

  30. Someone that worked at freelancer.com put our account in verification I had about 600 in total escrow so I was basically pinned down cuz I needed to pay the contractor to make my client job get done so I have freelancer all info ssn birth certificate everything bank info and wow that’s pretty much when my life started tanking the customer service rep got into our company server and started extorting me and our clients the hackers got into our merchant account and started refunding customers their money he’s tried to open 10 to 15 banks across the us in my name and 3 to 4 loans , he deleted our company server and Database they have a team a Pakistan ppl here in usa and Pakistan I have his IP address when they took over my freelancer.com that’s how I know it was someone that’s works there. Anything you can imagine has happened freelancer .com will go down has the most insecure website on the planet buyer beware. But they do have good contractors just the customer service are crooks.