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Beware of hackers messaging you, posing as buyers - Red Flag Collection


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Today, someone contacted me and wanted me to do a job for them. It started unsuspiciously enough, in a smarter than usual way (some hackers are so unsmart that you can identify them right away at their first message).

But the red flags kept accumulating, their eventually sent file attachment as the highlight. The points mentioned below aren't necessarily suspicious on their own (well, the point with the suspicious file is ;)), but at least in combination, they should make you at least a little wary and tread with caution.

- brand new account

- too good to be true profile image

- pushy but imprecise ("need you to do this as quickly as possible", "ASAP",...)

- wants to send some unusual file type, because they are on their phone or something

- more pushiness

- evades/ignores your questions regarding their pushiness, for example, when they need the job done at the latest

- attaches a suspicious file (in my case today, it wasn't just a file that Fiverr's file scan pointed out as a potential risk, but even an .exe file)

- called out on it, starts to ramble nonsense ("they sent me that file"), acts naive... 

- ceases to reply, when you keep asking very valid questions, won't download their file


Now, there's a chance that she (according to the profile image) just was indeed naive (and those mysterious "they" sent her that archive file, while she was on her phone, oh so in a hurry, and couldn't open it herself to send me the relevant file, and genuinely pushy (vs maliciously pushy), and that she really just wanted to send me her text in an archive.exe file, and that this archive.exe file was a super friendly file, courtesy of "them", to save me the work of unpacking it myself, and... nah, not downloading this, sorry. Being the ever mistrustful sceptic that I am, and especially in the light of the recent hacking attack, I reported this, and by now, the account, and with it their part of our fun conversation, is gone, so I can't re-read it, and might have forgotten one or two flags.

Don't be paranoid, but don't forget that...

you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you - Cat bath | Make a  Meme


Please feel free to add potential red flags that you encountered yourself!
Stay safe, physically, and digitally.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Je voudrais savoir comment l'on peut être sûr de la fiabilité d'un acheteur quand il offre une proposition. J'ai reçu un message me disant qu'il s'agirait peut-être d'un spam ? Je ne voudrais pas m'engager s'il s'agit d'un contrat frauduleux. Merci de votre réponse car je ne dispose d'aucun élément d'évaluation et je suis bien entendu débutante.

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There are, aren't there! (Thank you to the tons of kind and intelligent clients who treat freelancers with respect!) It can take time, experience, gut feeling, and a combination of red flags to be really sure, sometimes, but in the face of what can happen when you get hacked, and your Fiverr account gets suspended for inspection, it's good to not be too trusting too quickly.

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