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I have just begun freelancing. Earlier today I received an unsolicited project offer. The person wants me to be the virtual assistant for his art gallery, two hours per day. He seemed like he was sidestepping measures such as putting payment in escrow and really wanted to communicate via email. He said he was sending files, but they didn't arrive, and I haven't heard from him since. (Maybe I'm glad they didn't arrive.)

Now, a few minutes ago, a second person sent a second unsolicited project offer, almost identical to the first. I asked him about it, and he said it must be his assistant who contacted me earlier, but the email addresses aren't at all similar. Obviously I won't accept the second project, because if it really was his assistant, why would he want me to communicate with him separately?

Is this a common scam? Perhaps to send my computer malware, or to hack into my PayPal account? It seems anything is possible these days, and the first one already had me suspicious...

Maybe just insist on some sort of good faith payment upfront, or proof of his legitimate business (other than files sent by him). Does anyone have advice, or have you dealt with this before?
#employers #scam
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  • Wait, how did you get the clients?
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    • Profile picture of the author Coryhandstand
      I'm registered on Freelancer.com. They contacted me through my profile.

      I ended up reporting both. I just don't feel good about it, and I have pretty good intuition. I was afraid if I didn't report them, I'd still have to pay Freelancer their commission, even if I got scammed.
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      • But keep going things like this always happen in the freelance world. soon you'll get great and high paying clients
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        • Profile picture of the author Coryhandstand
          I've got one already, and it's not great pay, but I understand about working my way up. Thanks for the encouragement!
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  • if they accepted your bid, you might end up paying the commission either way. Good thing they got to you through your profile
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  • Profile picture of the author Coryhandstand
    I only accepted the first one. The second time was too obvious. They are both deleted now, but the commission charge is still there, so I suspect I'll have to jump through hoops with Freelancer to get it back. I was caught a little off guard by the first one, because it wasn't a place I'd expect to need to be that cautious. At least now I know.
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