I have been scammed - very upset
I am so upset! I have been scammed out of $50 that is owed to me for unpaid work.
I signed up at elance.com. Anyways, I bid for a transcription job. The person contacted me privately to do a "rush job" for them. I assumed it was the same job that I bid on and said I would do it. Anyways, I worked for hours and got the transcription job done for them. Than I occurred to me I had not received an email from them through Elance saying that my proposal had been accepted. I emailed them, asking to send me this through Elance so that I could get paid. No response. I waited another two days. Still no response. Sent them multiple emails and still no response. I contacted Elance today about this and they said that because I had not officially accepted a job offer from them that there was nothing they could do. I am so upset I feel just sick to the stomach. I really could use the money too.
Anyways, a hard lesson learned.
Wow, so sorry to hear about that. So I'm assuming the person you did the work for hasn't responded huh?
No, I have contacted them multiple times. I even lowered myself to begging, because I really need the money. What really upsets me is that I thought I was doing them a favor because they asked me to get it done within less then 24 hours because they had a deadline to meet. It was a large audio file and I was up until 4 am to get it transcribed for them by their "deadline". The person seemed really nice by their email, asking me to do the work too. A real con artist. I wonder how many other people they have done this too. All of the communication was done through the Elance "mail" system, so they have on their servers 100% proof about what happened; all the communication between me and her and they won't do a thing about it. Anyways, I guess you live and learn.
Last edited by david2013; 02-19-2013 at 06:48 PM.
It is really frustrating because I even know the name of the person, tracked them down online with an online search (turns out they are a lawyer) and there is nothing I can do about it. Oh well, a hard lesson learned. Better to learn with losing $50 verses hundreds of dollars
On my first work at oDesk, my first employer also scammed me. although, it wasn't that big of amount but it made me wiser on taking jobs online. I just considered it as a pro-bono.. heehee.. We all got our firsts.
Sorry to hear that happened to you as well. I definitely am more aware of job scams now. It sounds like these types of scams are quite common. They probably look for people that are new to the job sites, trusting that we are not as savvy as someone who has been getting jobs on these types of sites for awhile. What type of work do you do on odesk?
This takes me back. A similar thing happened to me once too.
I was a Service Provider at freelancer.com and I was the winning bid for a project to upload a pre-written article to Wikipedia. I knew paid articles were against Wikipedia's guidelines, but it was easy money.
I got paid the $10 for the job, but lo and behold, the next day the article had been deleted from Wikipedia. Didn't surprise me, since it was very promotional in tone.
I think what happened next was I contacted the client to tell him what had happened, and he said he would pay me $50 to re-write the article to be more suitable for Wikipedia. I re-wrote the article and it made the cut. (and it's still there today)
A few days later, I hadn't been paid the $50. I emailed the client and from memory, his response was something along the lines of...
"I forgot because we had a long weekend. Tomorrow I will check work and pay you."
He didn't. I think I must have contacted him again but he stopped replying. I knew I couldn't complain to freelancer.com because technically the job had nothing to do with them (remember this wasn't the original $10 job posted on the site, it was a follow-up job).
So in the end, I said 'oh well' and let go of it. There wasn't much else I could do, after all.
Interestingly, in the days after, I checked the article and saw that the client was editing my article and re-adding the promotional bits that caused the original article to be deleted in the first place. Perhaps that's why he didn't pay me - the article wasn't 'salesy' enough for his liking. But I guess I'll never know.
Article is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BORK
Horrible how some people do business. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Shame on them!
Makes me angry too. Do you know the name /email of this person? Maybe they can blacklist this person for other users of the site?
I have had people do this to me before - Somebody once ordered two blog posts to be written from scratch with their backlinks included. As soon as the posts were published, they stopped answering my emails!
What a stupid thing to do - because guess what I did - removed the backlinks and kept the posts because it was good content. I don't know what made this person think I would publish her content (the backlinks) and leave it up having not received payment is amusing to me.
Obviously in your situation you are unable to salvage any of the work you did and I suppose the lesson to both of us is to vet the clients before hand.
If you do work for someone without an intermediary like elance, or odesk, at least get this person to fill out some kind of contact form, preferably with a phone number or Skype ID as well as pyhsical address. If this client is actually conning you they are less likely to pick up the phone when you call. Don't fall for excuses about them "being busy" either.
If they really do have a tight deadline as they claim they'll never be too busy to speak to you properly if it concerns an important project.
I'm actually going to write a blog post about dealing with none-payers because I've experienced it many times. I've heard many excuses for none payment of dues but with the internet you cannot even look the other person in the eye on a level playing field. The premise that "it's only the internet and therefore the rules don't apply" is a premise I find completely unacceptable.
Hey David, that is a very unfortunate incident. I know how it feels as I too have been scammed a couple of years ago. But what I picked up from that incident was the lesson never to work for anyone without checking the background details. And I think you too must take it as a lesson.
Being a freelancer myself (I work on Craigslist and forums mostly) I always require payment before they receive the final product. There have been times I've done the work and they accepted it however, but then never sent me the payment so the work is still on my computer and they haven't gotten it yet. I always get it in writing via E-mail asking them: "If I do the work do you agree to pay xx amount?" and also say that I have the right to pursue payment from them in whatever way I deem necessary and that them accepting the agreement constitutes a contract. It's also all written out legally on my portfolio for them to see. I haven't had too many issues.
I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you. I know what it's like to work hard and then lose out when you need the money.
I agree with you JATomlinson about the contract agreement, but I doubt if everybody is ready to pay before receiving the work. I understand some people may agree but most of them won't.
They'll pay if they know the work is complete. I accept all Payments via PayPal, so they can always dispute if they don't receive their work. I'm PayPal verified which gives them some security. I always prove the work is done in any case, I just don't give them the final product until I've received payment. I've never had an issue with people not wanting to pay before receiving the product, especially after they see my freelance portfolio and that I've had so much repeat business from customers.
Originally Posted by kemcar
Thanks everyone for your replies. It sounds like this type of scam is all too common. I feel bad for everyone else who has had this happen to them as well.
Spirit: I know the name and user name they have at Elance of the person who scammed me. Because they had not sent me an official job offer with a contract through the Elance system Elance unfortunately will not do anything about it. I think they should in the very least remove their Elance account. From my experience and the other posts in this thread I've read, I'll be sure in the future to make sure that I have been sent and accept an official job offer through Elance prior to accepting any job offer. Hopefully, other people reading this thread will learn the importance of doing this as well, so that it doesn't happen to them.
Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.
Sadly - it is part of life. Thankfully most people are decent and will honour a deal.