Hi Fiverr community! I’m a new seller, and am sharing my story to help others avoid falling for potential scams.
I was contacted by a buyer who asked about my rates for a large/long-term order. It was clear from their message that they hadn’t really looked at the basic details of my gig or packages. Nevertheless, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, and asked a few questions about their request. Instead of directly answering my questions, they referred me to their site where they wanted the work done. Although this was suspicious behavior already to me, I checked out the site anyway. As I’d initially suspected, the work didn’t fit what my gig was offering, but it seemed straightforward, and easy to complete. So, I laid out the terms of an offer that I expected them to negotiate a little bit on, or at the very least ask some questions about.
They promptly said ok to the unofficial offer, however, and told me to choose the work I wanted from their site, and that they’d move forward on the offer if “everything goes well.” This was very vague, but I took it to mean that they wanted to see what my work was like before officially accepting an offer, especially since they were also not asking me to actually create an offer. For me, this marked the end of the conversation because I’m not willing to put in work for no return, especially on a gig platform.
Not long after, Fiverr notified me that the buyer can no longer be contacted (see attached screenshot). Fiverr also erased the record of the buyer’s side of the conversation.
I think I got lucky, and didn’t get scammed in this case. But if I had continued to ignore the warning signs I was getting, and Fiverr hadn’t stepped in in time, I would’ve fallen for it as a new seller trying to create a customer base. Some red flags I will now always pay attention to when contacted by potential clients:
- Unwilling to answer basic questions about the work they’re requesting.
- Mismatched request especially on gigs that have a narrow scope.
- Offers or accepts offer terms that are too good to be true.
These are probably just common sense rules of thumb anyway, but I learned that it’s very easy to ignore small misgivings sometimes, so hopefully this helps you stay safe!