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Freelance Designers are posting Portfolio work that is not their work

Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
1 of 9
I find it very disturbing that so many of the freelance designers on here are posting work that was not created by them. I found this out when I actually started contacting some of the companies on the portfolios that were being submitted. Much of the work looked too polished and made me suspicious. I would encourage others to verify the portfolio work before you sign on with any of the designers on oDesk. Unfortuantely this does not give me faith in using oDesk as a service.
Active Member
Daniel John B Member Since: Oct 3, 2013
2 of 9
It worries me when you say too polished, as if us freelancers on oDesk cannot have high quality 'polished' work? But, yes, I agree that people posting work that is not there own is a very bad thing, but also a very hard thing to police. This goes on everywhere not just on oDesk. It sadly is just one of the joys of the internet.
Ace Contributor
Susan B Member Since: Mar 28, 2009
3 of 9
[quote=Daniel John Baker]It worries me when you say too polished, as if us freelancers on oDesk cannot have high quality 'polished' work?[/quote] I think the key word there is that much of the work looks too polished. I spend a lot of time checking out my competitors' portfolios and, believe me, it's ridiculously easy to pick out the stolen items because they are mixed in with real work and stand out like crazy to anyone who has any design taste. Unfortunately I find that I use the report option, include links to where the art originated, and absolutely nothing happens. The item stays in the portfolio.
Ace Contributor
Alexander N Member Since: Sep 14, 2013
4 of 9
This problem is pretty widespread. And not only with designers. From personal experience, I can say that there are a lot of "translators" with fake portfolio items they never worked on, and a huge number of "creative writers" posing with stories (sometimes slightly rewritten) which are publicly available on open sources and have nothing to do with particular contractor.
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
5 of 9
You can often tell which writing profiles are fake because parts of the profile will look like they are written by different people. If they post on the forum, the quality of writing in the forum will be different than the quality of writing in the profile. I suppose there will be discrepancies in quality in the cover letter, as well.
Community Guru
Marissa S Member Since: Feb 6, 2008
6 of 9
.. calls for desperate measures, geez. Some shady freelancers do this for this one-time, big-time shot at earning a few dollars at the expense of their online reputation. Sure, they must have gotten away with it but for long-term? I don't think so Smiley Happy
Active Member
Stephanie K Member Since: Jun 20, 2008
7 of 9
I've had it happen and I called the contractor out on it! I was looking for a very specific kind of illustrator and the guy sent me a pretty neat example of what he said was his work...But I'm smart enough to run things through Google Image Search! Turns out the image was taken from Deviant Art from an illustrator on the other side of the world then the contractor!
Active Member
Magnus E Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
8 of 9

I understand the amount of scepticism, as there are a lot of fake freelancers around. However, I've seen that this also affects a lot of legit freelancers, people are being declined for having fake examples, even though the example is theirs.

This is quite worrying for me, I am a new user to oDesk, but have degrees within my field, and have a few relatively polished portfolio pieces.
How can I make sure the client doesn't believe I'm lying?

Could someone take a look and give some suggestions?

Ace Contributor
Susan B Member Since: Mar 28, 2009
9 of 9

Due to these messed up boards, I can't see your profile, but I'd say if you have really good work and some less impressive work - dump the less impressive. Quality over quantity. As well as looking consistent. As I mentioned before - polished work is NOT what makes me suspicious - polished work mixed with banner ads made with Comic Sans makes me suspicious Smiley Wink


Your rate isn't super high, but it's not in the cheap range. Clients with no taste won't know the difference between your portfolio and anyone else's, so they'll be going for people at $5/hr anyhow. Sell yourself on your skills - to clients who recognize the difference.


I get a lot of invitations to interview and even job offers without even interviewing all because of my portfolio. I've put a lot of effort into keeping it up to date, providing detailed information in it and presenting it in an eyecatching way.