scammers in freelance writing

Whether you are getting your freelance writing gigs from content mills or job boards you’ve probably heard about scammers. Dozens of freelance writers are scammed every day in these sites. The trick is nobody knows what a scammer looks like.

Serious employers don’t look like scammers but scammers look like serious employers.

Scammers have for a long time been the subject of most freelance writers conversations’. No one wants to spend their time working for a client that does not even consider paying. For having experienced that, I know how painful it can be.

Honestly, this was the hardest and regrettable thing I have ever experienced in my freelance writing career. This has almost had me give up on writing for a living. Fortunately, I did overcome that feeling. Now I decided I would make my scammer radar more sensitive.

Many clues help me detect scammers. Some are effective, some are just intuition-based. One or the other ways they help me avoid being scammed and most importantly contribute to my having a healthy emotional and psychological life. Here are the tips.

Project description

It’s really common to see projects worth $3,500 with an empty description. Or probably have you seen an interesting freelance writing gig where the description is nothing but mistake-rich. To name a few, these are BS project descriptions that help you feel a scam miles ahead of you.

Sometimes you might come across a fluffy description or a description full of unrealistic expectations from the project owner. He perhaps wants the freelance writer to write six thousand words per day. Still, he wants high-quality articles. Or the description states that they have a preference for beginner freelance writers.


When people navigate into content mills they think that scammers are the ones that post low rate projects. Well, this might be true. But from my experience, I have come to the discovery that they have the highest rates. Ironic, isn’t it? Just take a moment and think about it. It makes sense! The higher the rate, the larger the number of bidders. Then they can easily pinpoint their target and make them work like heck.

They know that most people in content mills are needy and are ready to do whatever it takes to make pennies. Listen, it is not your role as a freelance writer to suck client. Learn how to stop sucking clients here.

Don’t just let money drives you. Be realistic. When you see a blog that’ll pay $300 for a blog post you know. When a client gets in touch with you after you bid on a project where almost 600 people did you know it’s not all blue sky. Scammer alert!

Logic and language

Scammers  are known for being people of a little logic. While communicating with clients just be careful. Normal and serious employers have sense. Scammers shine on incoherence. You’ll hear phrases like they only pay after you completed X amount of projects.

One other thing is that scammers’ grammar does everything but does not rock. Grammar goes with freelance writing, and, scammers don’t know that. It is because they are do-nothing, incompetent people, that they cannot speak correct English. An office worker – considering you are in touch with the average joe of the company you’re going to work for – will never make three to four unimaginable mistakes in the same sentence. Watch out.

Online presence

Legit companies have both a website and social media pages where they interact with their customers. Make sure the first thing you do after a client gets in touch with you is to check their online presence. Make sure their social media pages are active or have been active at some point.

Check their staff members on their website and check if these people are real people. Search on social media (check our Facebook page btw) and Google. You can also use sites like Glassdoor to figure out what other people think of the company. See how they are rated and if none that seems legit, then scammer alert.


Scammers have the weirdest conditions out there. Only a scammer can be willing to make someone write four to six thousand words per day. They go like “My articles are time bonded’’ or ‘‘ I want 4 original and high-quality articles per day.’’ Seriously?

They don’t even care about the quality of the articles you provide. Be it in freelance writing or in any other field, scammers are a little over bossy. They try to act like a serious employer making everything necessary to have a return on investment. Believe it or not, a serious employer always puts quality over quantity.

Hence, when you deal with scammers you’ll hear phrases like ‘’ I only pay after completion of 40 thousand words’’ or ‘‘ Due to security reasons we’ll only give you access to our blogging platform after you worked for us for two months.’’ It can’t be any worse hey. Scammer alert!

These are a few tips from my experience that will help you avoid scammers. Bear in mind that it’s not just about you. Don’t just avoid them and go away. Let your pairs know about your story. Most importantly let them know who the scammer is.

Chances are at the same moment you are avoiding them, they are trapping some of your fellows’ freelance writers. So spread the news as much as you can. If doable, let the job board or Content Mills staff know. Your ultimate goal at this moment should be having these dishonest people scam nobody anymore in their lifetime.


Freelance writing is made up of highs and lows, and, the scammers deal is one the latter. From finding a client on job boards or Content Mills to the communication channel you use with them these are the few tips that’ll help you avoid scammers.
Project description: the description is either fluffy or incoherent.
Rates: the rates they propose are out of this world and their company isn’t a great one.
Logic and language: their speech is nonsense and their English isn’t the best you’ve ever read.
Online presence: every reputable company would be hugely communicating with its clients throughout social media pages. Check if they have a social media account, a website and make sure they are legit.
Conditions: their conditions are weird and irrational.

Bottom line, spend as much time as you can on the internet to figure out whether they’re legit or not. In case they’re not, let your fellows freelance writers know. Communicate the scammer’s identity or pseudo and ruin this sucker’s business. Make your scammer detector very accurate.

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