Fiverr Forum

A buyer sent me a dodgey document - advice needed!


Hi Fiverr guys!

I sent this query to customer support, but really needing advice ASAP on this order a buyer sent me.

He sent me a document containing an ebook he was writing. I was meant to proofread it and add a possible introduction, so other than that I wouldn’t be contributing to his ebook in any other way.

He said it was about legal stuff about ebay accounts, so assuming it was about a legal ebook, I accepted and he placed an order.

Unfortunately, the document is a guide on how to create multiple accounts on ebay and paypal! I’m not sure if it’s technically ‘illegal’ however I know it violates eBay and PayPal’s TOS, and I’m not sure I want to be involved with it.

Is this something I should speak about with the buyer, or should I mutually cancel? Or is it okay to work on the document?

Any advice would be great, thanks!


Speaking with the buyer won’t do any good if you’re already uncomfortable. Of course, the buyer will assure you that it’s fine and legal, even if it’s not. You were paid to proofread it so I don’t think you’d have to worry about the law, but you do have good morals to recognize that’s bad and to not want to do it. If I were you, I’d type out a request for mutual cancellation explaining that what they’re writing goes against your values, the law, etc.


Thanks guys, I’ve looked into it a little more and his spin on the ebay multi-accounts is definitely suspicious - it even has a section saying “how to stay under the radar!”


@lunabea Thanks for working to keep Fiverr a reputable place! I know I’d rather be associated with a site known for quality work & honest members. When I read about issues like what you faced with this buyer, I respect the dilemma many sellers face daily, and just want you to know (actually, all the responders here, too) that your integrity is appreciated~



Hi lunabea,

I’ve had this sort of problem with customers, too - not here on Fiverr, tho (lucky me).

Cancel - but be aware that it might cast a shadow on your stats.

It’s a good thing you contacted CS as well, so they might want to cancel the order without giving you bad stats. After all, Fiverr is trying to stay clean!

Good luck for the future.


Any conflict between the author of the book and eBay etc is a matter for them. Why involve yourself? Just proof the book, take the money and walk away.


I have had a similar situation. What I did was request a mutual cancellation but worded it in a way that made it seem like I was looking out for the buyer. Example, “I’m requesting a mutual cancellation because the content of the work is a breach of the TOS. I’m sure you weren’t aware of this, but I just wanted to give you a heads up. Many people have gotten in serious trouble for breaking terms of service and I don’t want you or I to be one of them. The issue is with creating multiple accounts as your book is suggesting. This is one of the biggest ‘no-no’ s for most TOS agreements. I would love to work with you, I just can’t help with this one. I hope you understand. It’s important to me to protect you as a potential buyer from unknowingly breaking the TOS. Please let me know if you have any questions concerning this.” Approaching it this way worked for me. Obviously the person does know they shouldn’t be doing it, but since you didn’t accuse them, it’s hard for them to retaliate to someone who said they were looking out for them.


Thanks for the advice, I ended up mutally cancelling in the end (my first one out of about 50 orders in total so hopefully it won’t affect my stats) - and I just told the buyer that I couldn’t work on the document as it violated TOS and I wasn’t comfortable working on it.

The buyer cancelled with no problem - it’s a shame things like this happen, but I’d rather save myelf the hassle and keep my standards than take on a job I’m not happy doing for an extra $15!