Helping Scammers


#1

I write business plans. I recently got a gig for a company that seemed harmless enough, however it has become apparent that the people asking for the gig are professional scammers. To protect the identity of my customers I won’t disclose much detail but I can say I’m about 98% certain the people requesting my services are scammers. If I deliver I will be giving them a tool to help them look like a legit business and essentially help them scam other people, If I don’t deliver I will likely receive a bad review and hurt my potential sales.



I mean on one side these are paying customers, and I don’t know them or what they are planning on doing maybe I’m wrong. Besides it isn’t really my business I agreed to write business plans for people when I signed up on fiverr.



On the other I would be ignoring my own moral compass because there are two things on planet earth I can’t stand, cockroaches, and scammers. This isn’t a small time organization either, I have a feeling the amount of money they are scamming people out of is life changing on both ends. Can I look at myself knowing I assisted in ruining somebodies life for 4 dollars?



I’m asking for two reasons

A. Most of you have probably dealt with this at some point in the past selling on fiverr, and maybe have a nice clean solution. I feel like I will continually face this issue if I decide to continue selling on fiverr.



B. I really just wanted to talk about it.


#2

Maybe Fiverr could provide a “suspicious report” form where concerns like these can be voiced. We are professionals governed by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. “Fiverr our reputation must always be the best for both sellers and buyers”


#3

That’s a huge percentage and a tough position.



Honestly, what they choose to do with your service you have no control over. If you know 100% that these people are going to scam someone, and you feel bad about what you’re doing, cancel the gig.



There will always be gray areas and uncertainty, but if you feel icky about what your doing, might be best not to do it.


#4

Or … you could simply “creatively word” the report/gig in question. It seems to me that a sketchy company would not be able to honour or even represent a document that is worded with your suspicions in mind.


#5

It’s an ethical dilemma to be sure, but as a professional, I would say that if you are providing a quality service with the goal of helping companies stay legal, your primary obligation is to verify that the information is accurate for the guidelines you’re working within. It’s not your place to judge what someone will do with the product you provide, assuming you are delivering that information in good intent and honesty.



If you are uncomfortable with a tactic or phrasing or approach, communicate it with them respectfully (and be sure to point out that you are not accusing them or reporting them, but there is an issue you are uncomfortable with and they can either revise the information or request, or mutually cancel as “creative differences”).



Without knowing a lot of information you can’t ostracize a customer’s request, and Fiverr doesn’t want to get involved with policing what people are doing with gig deliveries outside of the marketplace. So if you’re gonna provide a service like this, I’d suggest being as clear as possible in the gig description and communication. Otherwise you’ll do nothing but hurt your business, and drive away other buyers - legit or not.