Top 3 Ways Writers Can Protect Themselves Against Scammers

I have been working online, home based, since May 2008. I love the comforts and ease work from home yields. The downside of working from home, though, is the risk of getting scammed by the companies I work for. Working online remotely does not enable me to know the companies I work for on a personal basis. I do not get to see my employers and colleagues from the freelance companies I work for. This is because I do not report in person to an office for work on a daily basis. I did experience not getting paid or scammed by certain online companies.

I experienced getting scammed back in 2015, and just recently, in the past week. I was requested to submit about 5 or 6 SEO content articles (500 words each article) for about 3 consecutive days back in 2015. After I have submitted the said articles for 3 consecutive days, the direct contact person whom I was working for became unreachable. I attempted to message that person multiple times in Google Hangouts to request that he send my payment for the works I have done for him. However, he refused to reply to my messages. Just this past week, I can now say that likely,  

I was also scammed by the freelance company I worked for. I did not yet consider that this company likely scammed me, until now. The direct contact person I worked for in this said company promised to deposit my first payment by January 23, 2019. January 23 passed, and he never sent my payment. Since January 23, I have been contacting this person, requesting him to send my payment. However, he has not been replying to my messages nor answering my phone calls. I held on to the hope that this person may still possibly pay me, until today. Since 9 days have already passed since he promised to send my first payment, and he has not yet deposited my payment, and has still remained unreachable,  I have now considered that this person has likely scammed me already.  I am thankful that this person only owes me 1,000 Philippine pesos. A large amount of the efforts I exerted in working would have gone to waste if this person owes me  a larger amount of money.

Below are the top  3 ways I have come up with as tips for other writers to keep in mind so they are better able to  protect themselves against scammers:

Research the companies’ background and history information

If certain companies’ background and history information appears to be scrupulous, then there is a great risk that these companies may be scammers. If only one person is employed as a staff member in companies, then those companies may possibly be scrupulous, too. Likewise, if only one or two persons are employed in companies, then those companies may likely be not stable.  Do not waste your time working for any of these companies, and risk not getting paid for your hard earned money!

Look out for negative reviews previous and/or current employees have posted online about companies.

People would never lie about getting scammed or not getting paid for their work! Therefore, you need to take heed of warnings against scammer companies coming from people who were previous employees or current employees of the said companies. Do not shrug off such warnings once you have read about them in reviews commenting the site.  

Visit the physical office of the online companies you wish to apply for remote writing jobs to.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is always better to apply for a writing job position in online companies that do have physical offices.  Do not be lazy when it comes to exerting efforts in visiting the physical offices of  the companies you wish to apply for writing job positions to. Upon visiting such physical offices, take note of the set up of the offices  and the people working in them. If the set up  of the offices  and the people working there appear scrupulous, then do not waste your time applying for a position in such companies. There should be a high risk that these companies may possibly be scammers.

Even if you follow these tips conscientiously, it can still never 100 percent guarantee that you will never experience not getting paid for your work as a writer. It is always better to be resourceful when it comes to taking precautions against the risk of getting scammed. Two or more heads should be better than one. It would be helpful to enlist the advice of family members, relatives, and friends, whenever possible, as to coming up with other ways to avoid working for scammer companies.