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Freelance Online Writing Jobs: The “You've Been Selected to Participate” Job Scam

  • By Yuwanda Black
  • Published 04/22/2011
  • Article Writing

Freelance online writing jobs are plentiful. But, the industry has somewhat of a black eye because there are many scams that revolve around this niche. I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and I can tell you there are tons of legitimate opportunities in this niche. But, you have to know what to stay away from to avoid being scammed. Following is a common internet writing jobs scam, one you may have been unlucky enough to encounter. Usually it starts with them contacting you (now there’s a switch and should be your first red flag), saying that you’ve been selected to receive a membership to their job leads databank (or membership site, or subscription site) for the low price of only $2.95, or some similarly nominal amount. When you sign up for their “7 day, 5-day, 1-Month, Etc.” Free Trial, they double back and charge you the full membership/subscription fee – which can be anywhere from $40 to $100 or more – per month. When you try to contact them to dispute the charges, usually you’re out of luck. Beware When Applying for Freelance Online Writing Jobs and Like Opportunities When you apply for, sign up, subscribe to anything online or off, your information can be sold. And, this is how many of these thieves get your email address and/or phone number.

Anytime you sign up to receive a free ebook, ecourse, free info, etc., your info is probably sold or shared between list management/building c

ompanies. This is normal in on and offline marketing, by the way. Every time you sign up for one thing, usually (and it’s in the fine print), you’re giving the company “permission” to “share” your info with other “affiliated” parties. The difference between legitimate and non-legitimate companies is that legitimate companies will give you a way to opt out of receiving their correspondence – and they won’t use your info to scam you. How to Avoid Freelance Online Writing Jobs Scams Never pay for promised work: Legitimate job offers don’t cost you a thing. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t pay for a job lead in the offline world, would you? Then why do it online? The same job-hunting principles apply – if they’re asking for money, they’re scamming you. Conduct web research: If you run across a job opportunity that just doesn’t sit right with you, type in the name of the company offering it. See what pops up. If it’s a scam, trust me, someone has written about it online. And, even if the company/website name is not found, if the job opportunity sounds like similar scams you uncover in your research, stay away. Usually, crooks will change the name of their business/website to avoid being detected. In the case of “pay for work” membership/subscription sites, scammers have hundreds of them – same MO (modus operandi), just a different website name.

Use common sense: If you run across opportunities in freelance online writing jobs that sound too good to be true, and/or it just doesn’t “sit right” with you – stay away – period!


Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: The Authority Site on How to Start a Successful Freelance Writing Career. Learn how to set online freelance writing rates so you never risk under charging or over charging again. Good for setting freelance writing rates for blogging jobs, SEO article writing jobs, web content jobs and more.

by Yuwanda Black



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