Fiverr scam? Some cautionary tales

Nov 26

Fiverr scam?  Some cautionary tales

We probably spend more time exploring the Fiverr universe than most mortals. Most things are tremendous value and completely aboveboard, but we’ve also come across some questionable gigs, as well as hearing comments from other users who’ve had less-than-stellar experiences.

1) Social Proof or Spoof? You’ve seen all those gigs offering fake Facebook likes or fans. Nobody is going to be impressed when your fan count goes from 5 to 305. Trust us on this.

People can tell when there’s no interaction between you and your supposed fans. These gigs probably aren’t scams as long as the seller doesn’t promise real human interaction while delivering bot accounts. If they pledge likes or fans and you really don’t care where they come from, buy away. Just don’t get your hopes up about making conversions.  Bots don’t have wallets.

UPDATE (08/14/12): Pursuant to complaints from advertisers, Facebook is on a mission to eliminate fake accounts. So fake fan gigs could be a complete waste of money.

2) Calling all Tweeters… Same goes for the followers you’ll accumulate by buying them on Fiverr — or by using TweetAdder, which is probably what your Fiverr seller is going to do anyway. Here’s an explanation why.

“I will tweet your message to my 20,000 followers four times a day for a week” sounds impressive but it’s like rain in the desert; it doesn’t leave a trace. We actually fell for one of these gigs early on in our Fiverr career and boy is our face red. Scam? Maybe, especially if the seller knows his followers are mostly bots.


 

3) Faux Feedback. Warrior Forum member condra says he bought a backlinking gig and left negative feedback because he was unhappy with the results. The gig was suspended and reappeared a week later, with the negative feedback no longer on the page because a long list of positives from one user pushed it down.

While it’s entirely possible that one user buys a gig repeatedly, often it happens in circumstances that are — to say the least — suspect. If you see a relatively new seller who has, say, 10 sequential feedbacks from the same person, it could be he asked a friend to buy his gigs or created another Fiverr account to do it himself. A gig costs $5 and a seller nets $3.92, so the cost of a fake Fiverr feedback would be $1.08.

We wonder if some people buy phony feedback because the potential rewards are high. Just do 100 gigs a month and you’ve made an additional $392.00 or more — nice.

A commenter on this very blog claimed to be a Fiverr insider and stated gigs are ranked on how many positive feedbacks they garner. With over 600,000 active gigs, there’s plenty of motive to cheat.

UPDATE (08/14/12): There’s over a million gigs on Fiverr now.

4) Help You? More Like Helping Themselves Instead. We have an email account on Yahoo with thousands of saved emails. We wanted to extract the addresses but Yahoo doesn’t allow you to do that. A Fiverr seller was offering software that would do the trick. Perfect — until he sent us to a random web page where we were asked to enter our name and password! Alarm bells went off. We backed out hastily. (Just to be clear, a script that could run locally would have been fine. Giving password info to who-knows-who wasn’t.) Come to find out that people use these web pages to scrape email addresses and sell them to spammers. Oh great. At least we got our money back to spend on another gig.

5) It’s Not Theirs. Be wary of people offering to get any ebook or WSO (Warrior Special Offer) you want. Typically they’re buying it on the Warrior Forum or ClickBank, then immediately demanding a refund. They turn around and try to sell it on Fiverr. It’s stolen property, though, and we’re sure you wouldn’t want it to happen to you if you were the author. If you see this happening, report it to Fiverr customer service. They will sometimes remove the stolen property.

6) Ban First and Not Ask Questions Later. We’ve experienced something like this ourselves. A technical issue arises, one party contacts customer service, and CS tells them to cancel the order. It seems canceling is their one-size-fits-all remedy. If you’re the buyer, Fiverr has your money and you can’t get it back. You can only spend it on another order — if they’ll let you. They probably will.

7) Big Promises, Small Work. We bought a gig where the seller claimed to be active in over thirty forums and discussion groups. Said he would promote our site in them. End result? He put our URL in his signature in ONE forum for one week and wrote a couple of two-line responses in threads. We are also quite active there so that was $5 wasted. We were ripped off.

Have fun on Fiverr but remember, it costs nothing to put up a gig, so untrustworthy types may be tempted. Use your good common sense and be careful out there.

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15 comments

  1. If your message is posted once on Twitter for $5… big deal. This is the reason I post messages once a day– Forever– for $5. You get much more bang for your buck. Also, my following has been built since 2008 for my own personal use, so I know a majority of them aren’t bots.

  2. i have signup in fiverr.com
    my user id is : goldflake
    email : goldflake@techgrower.com

    at that time your site never ask document ok?
    then i get some order and i work hard to complete it.
    at that time you also never ask document ok?

    i havent withdraw so i dont enter my paypal id.

    then after few days you block my account why? (I dont know you tell me you havent submit document)
    when i submit my document?

    then i contact to customer support.
    i have submitted my id proof as PANCARD.

    But they havent give me my money…..

  3. Fiverr is a scam!

    ive been banned for no reason and they wont return my money

  4. I’ve discovered something that I’m seeing more and more of on Fiverr and I don’t like.

    You place an order with someone who promises to do something for $5 and once you send them the details they contact you saying they will do it but you must place more orders with them first.

    I placed an order for someone to make a small edit to a logo for my WordPress blog, the guy said he would do it but I would have to place FOUR more orders for him to do it.

    No thank you.

    • I just contacted Fiverr and asked them about this and they said it is fine for the sellers to make this request. :-/

      The seller was offering to create me a banner for a Wodpress blog. I asked him to add text to a banner I already had. I don’t see how this means I have to take out another FOUR gigs with him. :-/

    • jcearrings /

      Can you divulge the seller’s name? We’d have to look at the gig to offer an opinion. We can tell you, though, that we’ve ordered WP blog headers on Fiverr and the results have all been very generic (which makes us believe it wasn’t original work at all but some sort of header generation software). Editing your header would require actual work. Just guessing though.

      Like your blog — most IM blogs take themselves oh so seriously, but you’ve got a sense of humor.

      • The seller cancelled the order over the weekend and was kicked off Fiverr, his profile is gone and so are the gigs he put up.

        I’ve bought a couple of banners through Fiverr in the past and they seem to be hit and miss. But at $5 I suppose you get what you pay for.

        Thanks for the nice words about my blog, I have to have a sense of humour as I support three rubbish football teams! :P

      • jc, this is exactly what we want to do, build a community where we can discuss specific examples of sellers who are both awesome and horrible. At least we can get a somewhat unbiased opinion on who does what, so that people can have a better idea of who to spend their money with.

        One example has already been posted. Check out fiverr exposed dot com for more info.

        @ Dean (below): It may be just $5, but you should at least deal with honest and ethical sellers, not those who just want to pad your pockets a few bucks at a time.

        • jcearrings /

          I saw what you posted about the logo seller. Most of these guys on Fiverr are using free logo design websites that produce very generic-looking logos. They’re not easily modifiable, which is probably why he wanted more money.

  5. Belseth /

    Fiverr is a scam. I spent $330 on voice overs and never received anything. The guy didn’t even start the job and Fiverr refuses to refund the money. Don’t be fooled the buyer takes all the risk!!! I got robbed!

  6. my account blocked Fiverr. Fiverr say is that after 90 days of contact to open the about withdrawals nhung.sau 90 now I contact the customer care department of Fiverr, I do not get the answer
    who can help me get back my money o Fiverr will pay for
    anyone help me $ .300. who help contact yahoo: loilam_laanh62@yahoo.com

  7. I do think fiverr has some really great offers, but you also need to use the thing between your ears when looking for gigs on Fiverr.
    It is not a best place to build a legit business around, but it can be a good resourse to kickstart it.
    With some searching you can find the people who sell legit stuff, except they will not promise on delivering tens of thousands of visitor for a meare fiver, they will give you as much as your fiver can acdtualy buy.

  8. Erik /

    Fiverr is a scam. My account was less than a month old. I threw a couple gigs out there to see if I could get any bites. One of them finally took off. I made over $500 in two weeks, 100% rating, etc. I was loving it. Then out of nowhere my account was banned. I have NO idea why. My gig was legit and I see hundreds of others selling the same service. My friend thinks Fiverr themselves are behind many of the most successful gigs, and mine was a threat. I’m not convinced that is why but right now I’m pissed and hope I get my money.

  9. Thilina /

    fiverr scammed me 435$

    i was a seller and a buyer in fiverr , but my account was banned with out no reason!

    i purchased 23 gigs the day before i banned.and seller did not deliver my orders properly!. once i tried to log in, my account was disabled!.

    i had 320$ clearing.
    Sheana (Fiverr Customer Support) said your account will not be restored.

    never purchase good on fiverr. they ban sellers and buyers also.

    worst in the world.

    i am taking legal action against fiverr

    i connected over 12 persons who was banned from fiverr with their existing money in their account!

    it should removed from google!
    i am a lawyer and now i am now taking a legal action against it!
    Do not hesitate to take legal action against it!

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