Why every client is a cheater ?

Hello there.


I am new to the oDesk and i have experienced cheating serval times. There's always unverified client and he never pays. Last job that i did a guy from china asked me to do few scenes for his game (though i am really good at it i have serval years of experience), i asked him what about payement, he told me he is gonna pay me over paypal, which is against rules of oDesk. I did those scenes, but i watermaked them, and he was all a like, YOU DON'T BELIVE ME ? I never sent him unprotected pictures, nor he ever payed, he just desapired.  Second client is from UK i am doing sprites for him, he is not verified and i guess he cannot pay me until hi verify his profile, he acts all dumb, i tell him to verify his profile and to pay me upfron a half after he sees my progress. I am sure this guy wants to cheat on me, i will send him protected sprites, and will give it to him until he pays.  I am scared now to apply for jobs, i am new and i have to apply to unverified jobs, but they are most of the time cheaters. Is there any way avoiding this ?


You realise what you just said violates odesk policy? I would be a little careful about talking about work outside odesk on the forum, they are getting quite strict on freelancers, especially those without a proven track-record. 


That said, not every client is a scammer:


1) Don't accept any other payment method


2) Check their feedback


3) Check their milestone payments


4) Check how long they've been working for


5) Do not send them any free samples




I just want to say that you don't need to only apply to unverified clients, even if you are a new contractor.


It doesn't take long to verify a payment method, and any client who intends to pay someone for their work will very likely verify their payment method as soon as possible. It does not necessarily follow that every client with a verified payment method is legitimate, however, so you still need to be on your guard.


As a new contractor, you might need to apply to lower paying jobs than you'd prefer, in order to get going, but you should still get paid for your work. And you can apply to clients with verified payment methods and still have as much a chance of getting the job as you would have if the payment method was unverified, with slightly less risk of being cheated.


Hey Darko

I know lots of clients are cheaters, but it is up to YOU to decide whether or not you want to do the contract BEFORE you do any work... and definitely before you submit any!!

If the client doesn't want to proceed through an oDesk contract, then just say "No, thanks!"

You have all the power in this situation. It's much more difficult for clients to cheat you if you go through the oDesk contracts. If a client asks you to do something that is fishy, you have every right to say no!

Also, if you are new you can still apply to verified clients... you can offer to do the work for less money, or you can offer to do a small piece of it as a paid tester sample (with a contract)!

There is no point applying to unverified clients who don't want to set up an oDesk contract - they won't leave you feedback anyway!


Hi Darko


Welcome to this community! I feel very sorry for you and your bad experiences so far.


Personally, I have never had any isues with clients at all - and I had more than 100 projects in the last 12 months.


Listen to the other responses in this thread and you should be good to go. However, not all clients are bad clients.


I usually apply to all suitable job postings, even if the client has no verified payment method nor feedback. Nothing can go wrong at this stage. Apply for projects, get your interview with the client and check his/her professionalism. There are various instances according to which you can still decline your application. Just to mention a few:


1) Communication issues

2) Unrealistic deadlines (you can assume the client has no experience)

3) Unrealistic payment ideas (you can assume the client has no experience)

4) No availability

5) Free demos, tests

6) Many freelancers being interviewed doing each different "tests" (actually the whole project being split between those freelancers)


Again, not all new clients are scam!


I have applied for a job saying "English to German Translation". The description was nothing more than "Payment is xyz". The client had no verified payment method, no feedback. He was completely new to the website. Guess what? I was hired and he is now my best client of all time. He pays every week, is highly professional, communicative, etc.


Yes, be cautious, but do not hide somewhere in a corner. Be open-minded, give people a chance and be careful especially in the beginning.


You said you were working for a Chinese game developer or something? I have several different Chinese clients - one is indeed a game developer who needs his game texts translated. The payment was always prompt. Maybe you need to be more direct? Your text here also has many mistakes in it. Maybe your client does not understand you? After all, they are no English native speakers. My Chinese clients have always paid me - like all my clients.


Long text, short summary: Be open-minded, selective, and direct.

Great tips, but I 'd also add , in your profile stands "My English is Native American level.."

It is not.

I mean, this is not relevant for visual arts /developing anyway,but it is just not accurate representation (or self-evaluation.)


After working for 4 great clients, I have also been cheated by one. I accepted work sent via email and he is very clever about it because he sent it during the interview process and hasn't even hired me, so I can't leave negative feedback or be protected with Escrow. I don't know what to do about it now but I want him banned so he can't cheat any more freelancers.


I mean no offense, but how can somebody cheat you by sending you work via email?


If you don't have a contract in place on oDesk, why would you do work just because somebody asks you to via email?


It sounds like the person you accused really did cheat you, but he was only able to cheat you because you agreed to do things in a way completely outside of how oDesk works.


You said this person "hasn't even hired me."


When somebody hasn't hired you, isn't that a good sign that you shouldn't work for them?

You're right Preston,


It's just that he had so many good reviews and was all rushing about a 24 hour deadline that I did the job in my eagerness to get long-term work. What matters to me now is that he doesn't do it to other freelancers. Only later did I see two bad reviews from freelancers who also said he disappeared after taking the work. Isn't there some way to ban these people?


Why don't you apply for hourly jobs instead? Those are guaranteed.

Don't correct my grammar!

Okay, I just want to weigh in here with my general opinion. I don't like the title of this thread at all. "Why every client is a cheater?"

I mean, that's just ridiculous. I feel bad for the original poster whose experiences prompted creating such a thread. But really, that suggests the poster/contractor was using oDesk inappropriately, because that does not reflect my experience and I don't think it reflects the experience of most contractors.


In my experience, oDesk clients have been honest and great to work with. I think nearly all oDesk clients are people who have money and are willing to spend it to get work done by strangers. That's a remarkable thing, really. Clients exhibit a lot of trust in using oDesk.


ODesk wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the money of real clients paying real money -- clients who are most certainly NOT cheaters.


As for the clients who ARE cheaters: In most cases, they are only able to cheat or behavior inappropriately due to the improper behavior of contractors.


For example, if a client asks for free work, that's wrong. But clients would not be able to continue to ask for free work if contractors were not giving them free work. If you are a contractor and you provide free custom samples to a client, you might not be a "bad person," and maybe you are not doing anything that oDesk will be able to "catch" you and penalize you for. But you are being a "bad businessperson" and you are contributing to the problem by not helping to enforce oDesk's policy against asking for free work.


Similarly, if clients found that they were never able to get oDesk contractors to get paid outside of the platform and participate in their scam jobs, then they would not continue posting those jobs here.


Because oDesk allows for a fairly free and open policy on communicating with clients, there is no physical way for oDesk to prevent all bad behavior by clients. If oDesk contractors were consistently professional and consistently acted as knowledgeable experts about how oDesk works and refrained from facilitating bad behavior by a small minority of clients, then there would be far fewer cheating clients on the platform.

@Vesna, Hourly are guaranteed if the client has a verified payment method. If they don't have a verified payment method then the guarantee doesn't cover you, and I have been seeing more and more clients with unverified payment. 

Hmm... I wasn't aware of that. Is this something new that changed or it has been since before?

Don't correct my grammar!

@Vesna, It's always been that way as far as I know. That's why it shows on the job posts whether they have a verified payment method or not. You can find more info about the Guarantee here.


Hi Darko,


I fully understand your frustration.  I became a member of Odesk last year but didn't start applying for any jobs until last month.  I'm thankful for these forums that discuss warning signs of certain offers because I've been approached by a handful of job offers that seem suspicious. Within this last week, I've had messages asking if I would accept a certified check instead of Odesk payments and job offers that seem like captcha jobs.  I've politely declined letting them know that I can't break the Odesk rules.   It seems you really have to rustle through the weeds to find the flowers on this site which is kind of disheartening for a new member.   Anyhow,  I have worked on two small projects for a very nice client.  So not all hope is lost.  


Best of luck with your future jobs!