Voiceover Sellers - Beware degrading scam/spam requests


#1

A bit of a weird experience that I felt compelled to share.

I am a level two seller on Fiverr, and have been using Fiverr extremely part-time for the last 2 years alongside my acting career in NYC. I have rarely come across scammers like this, but I had this experience just yesterday and wanted to post to hopefully protect other Voiceover sellers from potentially creepy, fake accounts.

After submitting to a very professional looking buyer request, I was asked to audition for a project by a woman offering a great price for a small voiceover role for a young female in a feature film. Her English and punctuation were not entirely perfect, but, seeing as Fiverr has allowed me to work with wonderful buyers from all over the globe, I didn’t think much of it, and submitted to the request. Just a few moments after I submitted, she sent me a well-written message that she would have the audition script sent along that day, asking me to standby.

To be clear: I don’t usually audition for buyers, however, if the project is of a higher caliber: a feature, a video game, a commercial, something that would offer over $100, I generally do, so had no problem doing so for this client.

She didn’t send it along that day, but around 9am the next morning she sent a series of messages saying she apologized for the delay and would send along the script soon. The messages seemed to be a bit worse in punctuation and professionalism, but I thought that perhaps she was rushing/frazzled, and thinking nothing of it (and having just woken up), I told her no problem, and that I would be ready to record in 2 hours. She sent over the script, asking just for a simple line: “I love you”, and asked me when the file might be ready. I let her know the time I would have it in her inbox, went through my morning routine, and then went to record the tiny file, which I did a few takes of, and opened up Fiverr while the mp3 exported.

In between the time it took for me to tell her I was sending along the file and the hour that followed, she sent about 10-12 messages in a row: spam messages that seemed weird and out of character, from, “when will you have recorded??” to “hannnahhh” “what time will this be ready ?” I sent a message in between saying that I would be uploading it soon, “as previously stated”, to which she responded with “ok” - and even though it was strange, because the file was finished, I uploaded it and told her I would be awaiting a word count for the project should she wish to proceed.

The user then told me that that was great, and that she had another audition file, but needed a quicker turnaround time (all sent in three separate messages). She then asked for a second file, literally requesting “2 minutes of surprised noises”.

I was a bit taken aback, but laughed. It sounded strange, sure, but sometimes, as you all know, buyers ask for weird things - and perhaps, because of the language barrier, she didn’t mean what she asked. “Just to clarify, you want…Two full minutes of surprised noises? Do you want any improvised lines? Or just… gasps?” To which she responded, “no lines, just surprised noises”. Clearly, this no longer seemed like a normal project. For any VO sellers who are accustomed to recording gasps and game reaction sounds, etc, this sort of recording can get awkward - so even while giving the buyer the benefit of the doubt, I asked for some clarification on the project in full.

I told her that I could send her 1 or 2 surprised reaction noises, but not two full minutes, and additionally explained that this was the last free audition file I could offer her. If she had any third or fourth lines desired, she could ask me for them now, and I would compile them into one file. She then asked me for an additional 2 minutes of “grunting sounds, like heavy lifting, along with the gasping. this is very important.”

No. No no no no no no no.

It seems to me like this user was trying to get free content, clearly that could be used in an adult context, either for personal or professional use… Veiled as a regular, well-paying job. Of course, if it is for a video game or series, these sorts of reaction noises would be asked for, but not at length, not in this strange, separated file format, and certainly not following a request for the sentence, “i love you”. I sent one more message, saying that I wanted full details on the plot and script of the feature, so as not to waste my time, but the user just responded, “talk about wasting time, bye”, without offering any details whatsoever on the plot of the script or the details of the broadcast. I reported and blocked the user, and about an hour later, “her” profile no longer existed on Fiverr.

I may be overreacting, but it doesn’t seem like I was, especially seeing as Fiverr removed this account. I wanted to post this; there are a lot of ways that I believe scammers can take advantage of sellers offering an entertainment gig, and this one was disguised in a way that even I played along with for awhile. Not even just getting free material - but the fact that this seemed like a sexual request, disguised as a real seller, using a legit opening message and $125 budget… I am hoping that other sellers reported her, and that the user isn’t able to make more accounts/contact women in this way. To all new and old voiceover sellers - especially for women - please be wary and err on the side of protection when red flags crop up like this.

I wish you all lots of success on your gig pages, and hope you have a Happy New Year! May you have more success than I did yesterday! :slight_smile:


#2

It’s some pervert male trying to get you to do things he gets joy from for free obviously.

She said she would send a script for an audition and then all it was
was to say “I love you”.

I don’t know how your profession works but this alone would have made me suspicious. Everything you described in fact sounded weird.

She/he must have sent this to a lot of female VO artists to get banned.


#3

Yes, that’s what I’m thinking. The request alone that I submitted to had over 20 responses from sellers, so I assume that multiple women reported the person on the same day.


#4

One has to be careful…there are some ,who will approach you for work as a buyer but once you start the conversation, their language is weird & indecent .Had experienced this some time back & when a buyer approached for voice over project & when i asked about his project requirement he replied by using some weird words.I could easily make out…that the buyer was fake & not genuine.Had to literally report.


#5

I wish I could put a photo into this message - (does anyone know a way to import a screenshot into the forum?) - what must be the SAME user sent me a email today. While it is the funniest thing I have ever read, it is clearly the same person (they both had accounts recently created, using first and last names with numbers as their handles, and both had LinkedIn-looking, professional stock photos as their icons).

It reads: **********
it seems you have a reputation on fiverr. that is to say that you put all your fancy degrees and education on these but you do not actually do any quality work. i just wanted you to know that the word got around about that. also you put makeup on and pretend as though you are a “white” woman but you are really not "white. you seem to be busy getting lattes from the local cafe and keeping yourself a busybody running errands all day but you do not do any quality work. i just want you to know people know about that. and your reputation is like that on fiverr. thanks

LOLLLL.

Mod Note: Username removed.


#6

This is clearly someone who is not well. Just forward it to customer support and then forget it.


#7

“clearly someone who is not well” is a far more eloquent way of putting it than I would! :joy:

Just a messed up parasite @hannahhowzdy - As @misscrystal said just report it and forget all about it. Don’t let it affect you as these type of nutjobs can often linger on your mind for longer than they should.


#8

Sorry to hear about that experience. Getting taken advantage of is a terrible feeling. I’ve had a few close encounters of the disgusting kind on here, and invariably as I am about to reach for the hand sanitizer after dealing with this type of voice “client”, I get an order, a great review or great message from a regular client and it balances out in the end. I hope you get your balance soon and you can have a great rest of the day.

Cheers from Cancun to all of you and Happy New Year!
Andy


#9

That was my first red flag. I suggest that when you are asked to audition, you give them the “no free samples” speech. I can send you the text of mine if you would like.

Red flag #2, I would have quit communication at this point, or if have an order and they act this way, I cancel. One request politely worded, maybe, 10-12, that’s crazy time and you need to kick em to the curb quickly.

No professional will ask this. They will provide a script and ask for a surprised tone. Red flag 3.

I think your instincts were right, but I would suggest that you weed em out faster because the minute something seems off, you can be sure it is. Also as we say, never work for free.

Just my 2 cents.


#10

You made their day when you agreed to do it:


#11

Thanks for the heads-up Hannah. I read the BR yesterday and it reeked of “Sounds too good to be true” A movie + the amount offered raised my eyebrows. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Most likely it’s a perv harvesting female VO artists audio files.


#12

Lol!!!

Love to all you guys for your responses.

@newsmike, I’d love to see your no free work text! Soo many people ask.


#13

Also, heads up. Same seller is posting again, with the same seller name, and now mentioning that the project is for a “romantic cartoon” in the description. Please be wary. Every time I view buyer requests, the users’ listing already has 15-20 offers sent.


#14

Here it is:

Unfortunately, I cannot offer free samples. This is because the amount of time it takes to record a sample is equivalent to recording a 100 word voice over. I get many such requests each week, and often buyers will “shop around” by asking a dozen or more VO artists for a free sample. This creates a lot of unpaid time in the studio, as only one person will be selected for the job.

There are varied samples of my work on my gig page which will give you a very good idea of how it will sound. Additional demos can be heard here:

YouTube demos here:

(Link removed for post)

SoundCloud demos here:

(Link removed for post)

Otherwise, if you still require a sample prior to ordering an entire job, I suggest you select a 100 words from the script and order a basic gig to hear exactly what it will sound like.

Mike


#15

Thank you so much. Incredibly smart and still professional. I really appreciate your sharing it with me!


#16

Feel free to use it.


#17

Your response is excellent.
Can I use this template to pass onto buyers if I’ve ever met similar situation?


#18

Of course. :grinning:


#19

Thank you Mike. I really love this response. It’s really professional and polite.


#20

Most people react favorably and order the sample. A few go away, but that’s ok. If they won’t invest a small amount to make sure they get it right, then I’d prefer they select another seller.