How I got scammed on a webmaster forum and how you can avoid getting scammed :
Webmaster forums have be a good source of sharing knowledge and information about web development and web marketing initiatives. Forums have also played a pivotal role in acting as a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers. Here you ll find sellers offering all types of internet related services ie. article submission, comment posting, logo design etc.
The services are very cheap and can be negotiated based on the sellers experience and iTrader ( iTrader is a pointer or a rating that is given by buyers who have completed projects with the seller )
While this can be a cheaper mode of getting your jobs outsourced it also acts a place where scammers thrive to make a quick buck. I’ve recently got scammed on one of the high profile webmaster forum twice in the last month. Both the times the seller had a high iTrader rating.
I sent the payment to the seller via paypal and never got a response from him in spite of sending several message and postings on the thread. The seller apparently never replied to the thread after a few postings.
Here is what I recommend you to do to avoid getting scammed :
1 ) Avoid getting your work outsourced on forums :
– Use specialized sites like Get A Freelancer or Rent A Coder to get your work done. The main objective of these sites is to connect you with a domain expert. These sites have a robust platform and payment security system to manage your project and funds.
You can check the credibility of the sellers’ work and projects done before you pay for his services. His profile will give you a complete description of the projects he has handled, based on this you can judge his expertise.
Webmasters forums do not have such a robust system hence there is no transparency for the sellers work and other project details that the seller has undertaken.
2 ) Ensure that the seller has worked on other similar projects.
– Sites like Rent A Coder and Get A Freelancer have a very transparent system to giving you details about the sellers history, projects the seller has undertaken for his clients alongwith the bid amount for that project.
This gives you a ball mark figure of the cost involved for your project and the cost of services involved for developing the project from a particular seller.
3 ) Ensure a secure payment system:
– The above sites have their own payment systems or Escrow services that are reliable v/s paypal services that you will use on webmaster forums to send the money to the seller.
Paypal does not take responsibility if the seller does not delivery your project ( they don’t take responsibility for any form of digital media ).
You can open a dispute with paypal if the seller refuses to respond to your mail but paypal will not do anything to help you out in such a situation. Escrow services are closely monitored and chances of the seller scamming you are minimal.
Webmaster forums are good for exchange information and interactivity if you want to outsource you web work I would highly recommend you to use the services of Rent A Coder or Get A Freelancer