LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Scammers are creating fake accounts on platforms using photos and resumes of real professionals to entice businesses with low rates. These freelance imposters are now getting in the way of small businesses by trying to steal as much money as they can.
Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “What some businesses are experiencing is a labor shortage and they’re looking to hire people for particular things that they need done at their type of business and what they’re doing is encountering some consumers that are scammers basically that are pretending to be employees that specialize in certain things like IT or graphic design and when they get paid by the company to do a certain job, they’re not actually completing the job, and they’re making up these fake profiles pretending to be great workers with great skill sets and in the end, that’s not what the business is receiving.”
This so-called ‘qualified freelancer’ is likely an imposter and runs away with the money.
“A lot of them are posting their resumes on resume sites,” explained Babin. “The employers are finding them, contacting them, saying, ‘You seem like you might be a great fit, we need someone who can work remotely with this particular skill set’ and then once they get started with the job, they realize that person was just a scammer trying to see how much money they can make on them.”
The project you hired this freelancer for doesn’t get completed and the freelancer stops responding to messages.
“Try to make sure that the person that you’re hiring is an employee that’s going to benefit your business,” added Babin.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to spot a freelancer imposter scam:
- Do some research. Know the standard hourly rate for the position you want to hire.
- Set up a video interview. Always speak with top applicants over video chat first.
- Find a freelancer on other platforms. Look for your freelancer’s LinkedIn profile, portfolio website, or social media presence.
- Freelancers, make sure you aren’t being impersonated. Scammers can steal your photo, portfolio, and resume from professional job sites.
For more on Eye on Scams, download our Eye on Scams podcast on 10 Talks Acadiana. It’s available anywhere you listen to podcasts.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send an email to email@example.com.