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Scam Alert To All Writer's

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Wordsmith, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone - this is just an alarm bell to warn you writer's of the latest scams that are being tried, particularly on writers. This scam seems to be showing it's ugly head on the Lance sites such as Elance, Getafreelancer and many others. I have also noticed it starting on DP

    Heres the scam.............
    1. Client advertising for writer to write articles and will not pay until completion. (this is normal on Elance)

    2. Writer delivers the articles

    3 Client refuses to pay saying they have been copied and proves it by showing the article directories they are on.

    4. Writer says sorry but does not know how, but accepts that there is a copy of them on the net

    5. Client shows how annoyed he is and gets abusive.

    6. End of story - Writer does not get paid and gives it up as a bad loss. The writer cannot use them again as they are on the web already.

    Ok here is what has actually happened........

    1. In the first place, the client want these articles for the directories in particular Ezine.

    2. As soon as they get the articles from the writer (within minutes) they have them posted on Ezine by a made up named author. The linkback in the article is to a website that they are probably being paid for to do it.

    So as you can see they get all the articles they want for free. I have noticed particularly here on DP that the clients are asking more and more to see the articles before payment.

    Suggested solutions.............

    NEVER NEVER
    give out your articles before payment unless you know the client.

    I would also suggest that all writers should not be working for less than 1 cent word which is already too low. Again clients are taking advantage and expecting work for as low as 500 words for $1 - I think we should all work together to stop this nonsense. I know there are countries which have a 3rd world economy but this is still exploitation by anyone's standard.

    These lance sites are producing this kind of practice and in my opinion should be accountable. I know some people will say if it does not suit then don't go there, but that is not a long term answer. What a lot of clients think is that they are getting cheap articles when in fact their articles are useless for the purpose they were purchased, seo! - If not written correctly, Google will actually penalize the content.

    Ok a lot thrown out there - what are your thoughts?

    I hope this helps and you can be vigilant to the scam I mention.

    Regards
    JohnT
     
    Wordsmith, Nov 24, 2008 IP
    Jenna Appleseed and Matt1611 like this.
  2. Emotional

    Emotional Peon

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    #2
    I'd suggest getting trusted on the website first, then demanding payment first and only sending the article first to trusted people, which is why iTrader is useful, also post-count.
     
    Emotional, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  3. writerforever

    writerforever Peon

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    #3
    As for me I got a client from gaf, and ofcourse he paid me for a couple of time. I sent him about 51 rewrites of Christmas articles and delivered them to him. He replied in an email saying, "I will cancel the delivery of the rewrites" The reason? He said, they will focus more on the operation of the business. 51 rewrites and yet he said he will cancel the rewrites automatically. How cruel is that?

    It would be okay for me, if he said that before I deliver the 51 rewrites. But he did not. The articles are all useless and ofcourse around 90% of the 51 or maybe 100% he had uploaded them to article directories, and if I am going to sell them then it will be duplicated content already.

    Another client here in DP, I was tasked to write 10 rewrites. Until now he did not pay me for 10 rewrites and last time he communicated with me, he was sorry and busy. I thought he was going to pay me but I doubt it.

    I don't know why such people do exist...
     
    writerforever, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  4. Buhawi

    Buhawi Active Member

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    #4
    I am with you in this, John. I agree writers must rally together to protect themselves from scammers and from being bullied around.

    Nobody scams if we don't give them a chance to do it. I ask all writers here in DP to join this thread and support all efforts to frustrate the dark intentions of scammers or those who pay dirt cheap for our skills.
     
    Buhawi, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  5. jeni_fini

    jeni_fini Peon

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    #5
    I believe this has happened to me... I agreed to write at least 2 articles for 3 days a week, then get paid on the 15th. I have sent emails and still no answer from this person. I guess I can chalk this one up as a loss.
     
    jeni_fini, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  6. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #6
    I don't know if it's an intrinsic trait of writers in general or just web content writers, but we really don't seem to value our work at all. We let the clients hold all the control. Yes, please pay me a penny a word, yes, please take my articles and pay me after you approve them.

    At least ask for 1/3 payment before you do something. Or, ask that they post the job on getafreelancer with your user name in the request and hold the money in escrow. Or, only write for those with very high iTrader ratings, although this can be manipulated too.

    And for goodness' sake, please stop taking these penny jobs if you have any talent. Unless you are trying to break into a topic you've never written about. Because if these people posted jobs for .01 per word and none of us responded, they'd have to increase the price. Or get a nonsensical cut and paste article....which is what they deserve.
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  7. jb_luvs_budha

    jb_luvs_budha Active Member

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    #7
    I agree about the price thing, we are underpaid!

    However, many clients will walk thinking its a scam if you say you want to be paid first. I would reccommend 50% payment upfront and 50% upon delivery.
     
    jb_luvs_budha, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  8. dscurlock

    dscurlock Notable Member

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    #8
    I normally do not pay upfront unless i see an outstanding itrader, but even if it is a bad article write, i always pay the tab, if it is a bad write, then I just do what i can, move onto another writer, but I always pay If i get something delieved to me.

    and from time to time, i still look for content writers for my Article Marketing Forum, so feel free to stop by and say hi.
     
    dscurlock, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  9. cowsgonemadd3

    cowsgonemadd3 Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Okay well you would have to be a little on the dumb side to fall for this without reporting the member.

    Here is how I do it. Like if you want 3 articles you get 2 and then you must pay or you get no more. I don't go past more than 2 out or 3 at the most with someone that has feedback.
     
    cowsgonemadd3, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  10. sb123

    sb123 Active Member

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    #10
    Thank you for this great thread. It gave me an idea. I have just sent Copyscape that idea which will give writers every proof that their content is the Original and no one can dispute that writer's claim if the idea is accepted by Copyscape. This involves just minor changes to their code and a small favor by Copyscape to its faithful users! :)

    Will keep you posted about Copyscape's response to my suggestion. I hope that if the suggestion is implemented, then a lot of scams targeting the writers will be greatly reduced.

    This post is not to "brag" about any "achievement," because the idea that came to my mind (after reading this thread, of course) is very simple. This is just on impulse that I have responded to this great thread. God Bless!

    After the Copyscape's response, positive or negative, I will let you all know what the idea was. It may not be appropriate (at this point in time) from Copyscape's side if it is exposed prematurely. I am thinking of letting the moderators to know about it though.

    I pray that this small idea may help all my writer friends everywhere.

    Thank you! :)

    ---------

    I agree that cheating the writer by not paying for the writing service should be severely dealt with. The writer should immediately use the best option that s/he has... the negative i-Trader. Every writer, before even responding to a request thread should see if the potential buyer has any negative i-Traders, especially for non-payment of writer's fees.

    If the buyer is new or has no i-Traders, then every caution must be taken by the writers. I respect all, including the buyers and the sellers, but being cautious, especially on the internet, has no options for me.

    I also sincerely believe that at less than a cent per word, the content buyers shouldn't complain, whatever their reasoning. I understand the free-market and free will for all, but there should be a self-imposed limit to everything!
     
    sb123, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  11. dscurlock

    dscurlock Notable Member

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    #11
    SB123

    You have some paid posting on my Article Marketing Forum. You seem to have been doing fairly well, I do not know why you have slowed down or stopped as I do not think you have reached your min payout yet. Please continue your good work.
     
    dscurlock, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  12. forumguy

    forumguy Banned

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    #12
    To avoid this, payment upfront should be opted before start writing unless the buyer has a really impressive itrader which you can bank on. And never we should agree to write for pennies... The standard here is $1-$2 per 100 words for writing...
     
    forumguy, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  13. freelance2004

    freelance2004 Member

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    #13
    Definitely agree. It seems a rather widespread notion among buyers that writers work cheap, but of course must deliver top quality. Personally I believe nothing less that $2 for 100 words is appropriate pay for decent non-technical content. So why are there not many writers demanding this pay, much less buyers offering these rates.

    It's a cycle of sorts. You write cheap, buyers want cheaper. You stand up for the prices you set, buyers respect writers and value the written word. Make NON-NEGOTIABLE part of your pitch; really!!
     
    freelance2004, Nov 24, 2008 IP
  14. Matt1611

    Matt1611 Peon

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    #14
    You are "underpaid" because you choose to be underpaid.

    Anyone who speaks/writes English as a first language should charge a min rate of 5c per word. Your article sounds like it was written by an American which is something 99.99% of Asians simply cannot achieve with their content.

    Some guy wants to write sales letters in another thread, "Do reply me for offers. Price will be negotiated with offerors."

    Thats your competition.

    Here's my question..Are you better than that? How much better?

    Here's my advice, charge accordingly.

    Look, there are going to be those guys who want to buy on a budget. The tighter than a fishes arsehole types. The guy that wants 2 review copies before he splashes out and empties the mothballs from his wallet as he orders 10 copies at the monster price of $3 per article.

    You can't do nothing about them. What's more, you don't want their business. If they are happy to put crap on their site then good luck to them and their venture.

    I can go on until the cows come home but I have no doubt that this little rant will fall on deaf ears in here.

    If people have to pay 5c for a "newbie writer" to produce a decent standard of English then eventually the buyer is going to think that he might as well pay 10c for a better quality writer.

    Your 5c rate just jumped up to 10c and all you had to do was decide not to work for 1c.

    Good heads up post Wordsmith, Adding Rep!
     
    Matt1611, Nov 25, 2008 IP
    internetauthor and Obelia like this.
  15. avonlee1983

    avonlee1983 Active Member

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    #15
    Aren't the dates shown with the articles on Ezine Articles? Won't writers be able to point that out to the Elance or GAF mediators? Or do they just give up without trying to fight back? Thanks for sharing this information, though. I've been cheated before here at DP, so I know how upsetting it is. The person that cheated me even had a bunch of positive iTraders. Not only that, but it was another WRITER who needed "help" with her workload.
     
    avonlee1983, Nov 25, 2008 IP
  16. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #16
    Get a 50% deposit before you start working. No deposit, no work, move on.
     
    latoya, Nov 25, 2008 IP
  17. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #17
    I have to agree with this. I used to have a lot of sympathy for "underpaid" writers, but not so much anymore. I've helped more than I can count learn how to raise their rates, and I've learned an important thing in the process:

    No one here is paid less than they're "worth." You're only "worth" more if you know how to get more. In other words, your worth as a writer isn't determined by what others choose to offer. It's determined by you, your writing ability, and most importantly your ability to choose the right markets and market your services accordingly. Every writer I know who has enough business sense to really effectively manage a freelance career does just fine, and they don't fall prey to situations like the one mentioned in the OP. It's not a matter of a scam so much as basic common sense in knowing how to manage the business of being a freelance writer. Harsh? Perhaps, but start putting serious effort in the business side of things (everything from planning to promotion), and you'll see that it's true.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 25, 2008 IP
  18. webgal

    webgal Peon

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    #18
    The scams are leaking from the woodwork lately. More junk mail, more phising schemes, more phone solicitation that is questionable. Be on alert. A bad economy means triple the scammers.
     
    webgal, Nov 25, 2008 IP
  19. internetauthor

    internetauthor Peon

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    #19
    I'm afraid I must fall in with the others here - you know what you're worth, so charge fees accordingly. If you're worth pennies, charge pennies. If you're worth dollars, charge dollars. The difference is in the marketing - not the market.

    I require 50-100% upfront and somehow I've never been scammed. The only folks who are allowed to pay me after the fact are long-term customers who I deal with on a very regular basis. In fact we've worked together so long we trade pictures of our kids and share industry secrets. In short, unless you're my BFF and have been for the last 3 years, you're paying something upfront.

    It's interesting though, I've noticed that webmasters and companies comfortable working with my rates are also very comfortable paying me completely upfront for work they might wait weeks for - even many of my clients who I wouldn't mind billing later. Perhaps it's simply the level of commerce and the confidence in each other. If I were a penny writer and they were penny webmasters, I'm afraid that same level of trust would take much, much longer to develop.
     
    internetauthor, Nov 25, 2008 IP
  20. rayaan

    rayaan Peon

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    #20
    A good buyer shouldn't have a problem paying 50 percent upfront. Any buyer who's been in the business a while and has hired professionals before, knows that's how it works.

    I recently had a prospect rant when I asked him for an upfront deposit. "I've worked with overseas writers who've cheated me before," and so on, and so forth. I chose to look at this way - if he has been cheated as many times as he claimed to be, he's probably never dealt with or paid for professional writing in his life.

    Moral of the story - Even if it's just one article, like Latoya said, no upfront payment means no work.
     
    rayaan, Nov 25, 2008 IP