Beware of scammy websites like Freelancer

A couple of years ago, I was toying with the idea of becoming a freelancer and signed up for a bunch of websites like Freelancer.com. I did some research before joining, and it was confirmed that the site was legit.

Something has happened in recent years, and the reviews for the website aren’t very good. If you google Freelancer.com and Reddit, you’ll note there are many people who have complained that Freelancer is a shady website now.

To be honest, I couldn’t remember when I had signed up with the account until I got an email tonight through my main Gmail account. The email said that owed $9.95CDN and that my account had been suspended.


That didn’t sound right to me, I haven’t used the site since I joined as a FREE member. So, I reset my password and logged into my old account.

Imagine my surprise, when I noticed that I had signed up for the account in 2019!! I haven’t logged into it since then. What the heck? Why am I getting an overdue bill now? For something I’ve never used?

I went through my account settings, thinking maybe I missed something. Perhaps there was fine print in an agreement that I missed. If that was the case, then no problem, I would pay the $9.95CDN.

But no. To my shock and dismay, I found my membership settings and indeed, I was listed as a FREE member.


And then being the diligent person that I am, or rather, overthinker – I decided to head to Google and do some research. It seems that this isn’t the first time that Freelancer.com has pulled shady practices like this.

Apparently, at some point since 2019, Freelancer decided to upgrade FREE member accounts to a basic paid plan WITHOUT our consent.

Not once, did I receive an email informing me about this change. Not once, did I agree to paying the $9.95. And now, I’ve tried to cancel my account, but the website won’t let me until the fees are paid.

I could pay with my PayPal, close the account and then ask Paypal for a receipt. I might just do that. I have zero faith in this company nor do I trust them to close the account.

I changed all my personal information. Luckily, I didn’t have my real address or anything like that on my profile.

But I tell you. I’m pissed. And you should be too.

If you’re on Freelancer.com, consider deleting your account and moving to a business that is ethical and doesn’t try and scam their members out of money.

And if this did happen to you, then make sure to take screenshots and send everything over to PayPal. If enough people report the scam, perhaps they will stop letting these guys use their services.


Update:

I just went to pay the remaining balance and it changed to $42 CDN!! There’s no way I’m paying that for a site I never used. I’ll just be blocking their email address. The sad thing is, I tried updating my email address on the site and they won’t let me without adding a phone number. Nuh huh. That’s not happening!

Update 2:

After receiving about a dozen spam notifications, Freelancer finally deleted my account and canceled the charges. It isn’t the automatic renewals I have an issue with. It’s the lack of communication. When I signed up, I signed up for a free account. I did not at any point agree to pay for the premium plan. Why would this carry on for THREE years? And why wait three years to contact me? This is just bad practice!


Have you been caught in online scams before? If so, let me know in the comments.

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