Companies are being scammed by phony freelancers

Companies are being scammed by phony freelancers

By Greg Collier

If your company has a crucial but temporary role that needs to be filled, many employers will turn to freelancers to fulfil that need. With the way’s today’s demand economy is, many of these freelancers advertise their services on a platform like Upwork. Outlets like Upwork allow companies to review and compare the work and rates of freelancers before signing them on. Unfortunately, Upwork and other freelancer marketplaces are not immune to scams. In a previous scam, scammers were posing as employers and sending fraudulent checks to freelancers. Now, at least one scam is targeting the employers.

The Better Business Bureau is stating that they’ve seen an uptick in phony freelancers on Upwork and other platforms. The scammers are essentially stealing the online identities of actual freelancers and posing as them. Much like in many scams, the scammers are said to be offering rates that are just too good to pass up. The scammers are asking for a deposit up front and then disappearing with the employer’s money.

The BBB Is recommending that employers shouldn’t be lured in by freelancer rates that are too good to be true because they often are. It’s also recommended that employers have a video conference with the freelancer before hiring them to make sure they are who they say they are. Another suggestion is to look the freelancer up on a professional site like LinkedIn and do a web search for their personal portfolio.

However, you should be careful when communicating with the freelancer and not to do it outside of Upwork before hiring them. Past scammers have tricked freelancers by communicating with them outside of Upwork’s virtual walls. Scammers and other cyber-criminals often try to communicate with their victims outside of usual channels.