Avoid Scam Writing Gigs

Edited by Rubilyn Valdez, Graeme, Monika, Rebecca M. and 3 others

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Writers have probably one of the most difficult, yet underpaid jobs in the world. Most writers who thrive do so simply because of their huge passion for their chosen craft. With the advent of the internet, online writing careers have proliferated promising a decent pay in the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, not all online writing gigs are legitimate; some of them are created to scam your writing efforts and deny you the money that you have legitimately earned. Identifying fake job posts from the authentic ones is not that difficult, if you follow these tips on how to avoid scam writing gigs.

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  1. 1
    Don't pay money to register
    Beware of recruitment processes that ask you to pay a registration or application fee. Common sense says that, if you are applying for a job, you should be the one receiving a payout and not the other way around. Most scam writing jobs promise a guaranteed approval of application and fast processing if you settle a certain amount. These registration fees can be as low as $10 up to as much as $150. So if you are not vigilant enough to distinguish the fake from the legit, you will be giving away money for nothing.
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  2. 2
    Use only proper email addresses
    If there is no valid email address or contact number where you can communicate your concerns, think again. Working online is all about trust from both the employer and the worker; skills and hard work are just secondary. This trust is built on stable and reliable communication online. So if you cannot establish that kind of connection, do not risk pursuing your application, especially if you are required to submit a test article or asked to pay to apply. It is also important that you can get in touch with a 24/7 customer service hotline to address your immediate concerns.
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  3. 3
    Look for legitimate payment methods
    [Image:405250 f260.jpg|left|180px]] To this date, the safest payment methods that are used by majority of online writing companies are PayPal, Moneybookers, and bank transfers. Payments via Western Union are sometimes suspicious, so if you are offered that payment method, make sure that you have complete details of the sender, including name, valid contact number, and verifiable address.
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  4. 4
    Too much detail
    Websites forcing you to fill in critical details about yourself might be phishing for personal information. The first part of applying for online writing jobs is filling out personal information sheets. Mandatory fields should be your name, email, educational attainment, and payment method. If the website asks for any financial detail, such as credit card number, bank accounts, and passwords, then it is most likely an act of phishing or scam. You might also want to update your anti-virus software to protect your computer from information theft.
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  5. 5
    Vague job descriptions
    One of the signs that a company is a legitimate is when it has detailed process of getting work and payment and this is all laid out to employees and even applicants. Check the FAQ page to get a grasp of how they do the overall process.
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  6. 6
    The Contract
    Ask for a writing contract to formalize everything that you do for the company. A contract is a security, binding the employee and the employer. Any untoward incidents or cases that violate the agreement stipulated in the contract are a way of protecting both the employer and the employee's rights and responsibilities.
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  7. 7
    Avoid the Sample Trick
    Companies asking for a sample article should provide valid feedback and payment if the article is accepted for publishing. Writers are normally asked to write an article to gauge the applicant's writing skills and ability to adhere to company standards. Before submitting one, have an agreement with the company to send you a confirmation email about whether your article qualifies to their requirement. Some companies will offer payment once your article gets accepted.
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  8. 8
    As much as possible, request a weekly or biweekly payment, especially if you are a newbie in the company. Monthly payments are rigorous, not to mention that you cannot guarantee the safety of your salary, given that it is still a budding employee-employer relationship. It is an even better idea to ask for payment in milestones. This way no one can be fleeced. You don't get the payment unless you finish the next segment of work. Thus, the employer is sure that you are indeed doing his work and aren't going to run away with his money. Similarly, you can stop the work for until you get the next payment.
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  9. 9
    Fraud email.jpg
    Sometimes, you can read through the language. This is a trait of writers. If the language is clean and smooth and everything has been explained clearly, you can be sure of the fact that this isn't a scam. If the language isn't as clean and clear as you think it should be, you definitely need to re-asses your client. It isn't always necessary that everyone shall frame their sentences intricately. Sometimes, it so happens that the writer of the job doesn't really know English. Talking a few times will reveal the real picture.
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  10. 10
    The Gut Feeling
    All writers have gut feelings or else, we wouldn't really be writers. Hence, if something in your insides tells you that it isn't right to work with this client, then don't work for them. Give the client away and work for someone genuine. Always trust your instincts. Sometimes, instincts tell you things very clearly and you refuse to hear it. Hence, take care and don't go against your instincts. You may not always get the best deal, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
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  11. 11
    The "Too Good to be True" Offer
    If something sounds too good to be true and is providing you with almost all the benefits you've ever wanted, then it is best that you double- or maybe even triple-check this client. You don't have to jump into the project just because it has so much to offer. Conduct a background check of this client that appears to be awesome, and then decide whether you want to work with him or not.
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  • It is a good idea to work on references from fellow writers. They are safer.
  • Cold calling is another way to completely trust your client.
  • Advance payment is one of the best options.


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  • Inquire in detail about the project before you begin working on it, you don't want to be in trouble for things such as plagiarism later on. This is also beneficial for you because this way you won't be fleeced.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Online Business & Transactions

Recent edits by: karishma, Lynn, Rebecca M.

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