May 14th, 2017
A PURE SCAM SITE - WAVE YOUR MONEY GOODBYE
Freelancer.com scam – suspends accounts but keeps your money
I have been hiring freelancers for at least 5 years now. I have tried and used all the websites out there which provide services of this kind. But let me tell you what I have experienced at Freelancer.com
2 weeks ago I posted a job on Freelancer.com. I then uploaded money to Freelancer.com, in order to pay one freelancer for a completed translation job. However, Freelancer.com DID NOT pay out the money to my freelancer. No - what they did, was to follow their usual routine of trying all the tricks in the book, in order to hold the money on their account. My freelancer had to face a myriad of various verifications, unreasonable and even ridiculous requests and requirements - but even though she complied with them all, money WERE NOT PAID OUT, till this very day. My freelancer finally wrote to me, that she had lost any hope to get the money from Freelancer, and that she will rather let Freelancer keep the money. However, I have conscience, and cannot let someone do the job without getting paid - so I encouraged her not to give up, and now took the matter into my own hands. I submitted a support ticket, in which I clearly demanded Freelance.com to either pay my money to my freelancer, or to return the money to my credit card.
What I can tell with 100% certainty, is that Freelancer.com staff has a very clear set of instructions, set up and given to them by the very top-leadership of the company. Since the majority of freelancers come from the 3rd world countries such as India and Pakistan, Indonesia etc., this scam site Freelancer.com knows that an average person from these countries, with poor English skills and zero knowledge of relevant laws, has no chance to fight back and force Freelancer.com to pay out the money. So what Freelancer.com does - they gladly allow freelancers to sign-up and immediately participate and place bid on the projects. They also gladly accept money from the hiring parties, such as me - no verification needed. Just send the money, man! But once the money are uploaded to their account - oh boy - that's when the party starts. Suddenly they become very concerned with security (allegedly - your own security!) and now need to "verify" both the freelancer and the hiring agent. Again - they didn't need any verifications in order to accept your money.
So - after they receive your money, they immediately create a "Wall of Verification". First they demand an ID copy (which, by the way, is illegal under both Australian law, and law of the most countries - private companies HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHT to demand copies of one's ID, as long the customer does not ask for services or products in credit). Now, if a freelancer from Pakistan or India complies with the illegal demand, and indeed sends their ID copy, Freelancer.com starts to demand for an ID in English letters - despite having the many years practice, and despite already knowing very well that IDs from these countries are only issued in native script. Then they ask for bank statements, and if a freelancer has no bank account (for example, a teenager or a woman from Asian countries) - sorry, we can't give you your money. Then, if by a miracle a freelancer somehow manages to satisfy all they demands, Freelancer.com then starts from the other end - starts "verifying" the hiring agent. Now, if the hiring agent has some understanding of the relevant laws, and refuses to send any sensitive IDs - they will simply keep the money.
Like I said - all of this is done deliberately, hoping that freelancers, especially those from 3rd world countries, after many unsuccessful attempts will finally lose patience and hope, and give up on their money held by Freelancer.com. Because, as in my case, if the payment is around 250 USD, then the chances are slim that the average freelancer will ever get enough projects to generate the same amount in form of fees. And even if Freelancer.com is finally forced to pay out the money ( I guess 1 out 20 Asians probably manage to achieve this), most often Freelancer.com will have kept the money for significant amounts of time, without paying the money owner any interest. In practice, this means that they daily get massive free loans, which, very often, are not even paid back. I assume, this strategy alone generates around 50% of Freelancer.com revenue.
So now, as of today, Freelancer.com official excuse to hold my freelancer's money, is that they are "reviewing" my - the hiring party‘s account. They asked me to send them a copy of my ID - something that no private company can demand. Of course, I am not going to send any copies of my IDs or other sensitive documents, because of 2 reasons:
1. such request is simply illegal - IDs are highly sensitive personal documents, and only official state institutions can demand for it - not private companies as this one.
2. at least ninety percent (90%) of Freelancer.com customer support are outsourced to namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, etc. This means that their customer support is based in these countries. Any documents that you upload to Freelancer.com, can be accessed with one click by hundreds of 3rd world nationals, who can (and will) easily abuse and forge your ID and use it for financial crimes or terrorism.
Like I said, I have been hiring freelancers for many years, and I know these tactics in and out. However, I must say that Freelancer.com scores highest, as the most fraudulent site of them all. I am going to draw their criminal practices into the daylight. Already in 2015 they were sued in Australia and sentenced to pay a compensation to one freelancer whom they were abusing.
If you are a freelancer or a hiring party, remember, that I and my freelancer are not the only people whose money have been literally stolen - Google up "Freelancer.com“ and „scam", read Wikipedia and all the review-websites out there- there‘s only negative reviews, mixed up with some very few positive reviews, usually written in poor English, and certainly not by Freelancer.com itself. A pure scam site.
An update will follow.