How to spot a fake freelancer

When you’re hiring someone it’s important that you know that they’re not a fake freelancer. Here’s a list of things you should always check to avoid being scammed.

1. Check other online profiles

The first and easiest thing you should check is if they have profiles on other sites. This doesn’t totally guarantee that they’re who they say they are, but it’s much more likely. You can also check for consistency of the content they’ve put up across their different social and portfolio sites. 

2. Google their bio and avatar.

Copy and paste their bio into Google to see where else it appears online. You can also do a Google Image search for their avatar. You will quickly see if they’ve copied it from elsewhere.

3. Look for valid website links

If they have a website listed then make sure you check it out. If the link directs you to an advert or other unrelated company, then there are clear warning signs. If the website looks okay on the surface then don’t just leave it at that, make sure that the links direct to the correct sources. fake freelancer

4. Check feedback

Check their ratings from other clients. Ratings are there to help you quickly see who’s good to work with. If they’ve got 1 star reviews then it’s obviously unwise to proceed any further unless there are exceptional circumstances.

5. See examples of their work

If the freelancer tells you that they have tonnes of professional experience then don’t just take their word for it. Insist that they send you examples of their work so that they have to back up their claims. If you think a claim they’ve made about the work might be an exaggeration then ask them for links to other materials that back it up.

6. Check language quality

The freelancer you’re speaking too might not be communicating in their first language, but if they’re bio and messages to you are full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar then that should be a warning sign that they might be a fake freelancer.

Sometimes the English looks good on the overview page (often because it is stolen from elsewhere), so make sure you check other areas of a user’s profile. Good places to look are their bios, descriptions for projects they’ve uploaded and any correspondence they’ve had with you?

7. Ask previous clients

If all the things listed above look legit and you’re still think they might be fake then message people they’ve worked with to get 3rd party validation. As long as you make sure you pick an unbiased previous then this is one of the most effective ways to get piece of mind that they’re not a fake freelancer.

If you have any other suggestions for things people should check then please leave them in the comments below.


Joe Scarffe

Joe Scarffe

Joe is the CMO at Twine.

When he’s not moaning about the state of the music industry or public transport in Manchester, he works with the Twine community and handles social media, the blog and partnerships with companies and institutions.