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Has anyone had success after being scammed by a buyer?


jime_l
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Long story short: I was contacted by a buyer asking for help writing his university to request a scholarship. We talked before he placed the order and agreed on the terms. He payed for extra-fast delivery, meaning I had to prioritize his request and delay other work commitments. I sent him a first draft with some questions, he replied, and I sent him a second revised draft. He then cancelled the order claiming I was violating copyright and plagiarising other people's work. 

I've never had an experience like this. Not only did I work for him to run away with it and scam me, but my statistics have now been hurt as I have a ToS violation and my order completion has gone down. I have sent a request to Fiverr for help, but I am just so so so saddened by the entire thing.

The irony of it all? He's studying to be a lawyer. 

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@jime_l,

That sounds so frustrating! Normally if a buyer scam you it only ends up as a canceled order, not all of the things you mentioned.

Violating copyrights and plagiarizing others' work is a pretty heavy accusation and if true (I'm not saying it is), is a legitimate reason for canceling an order and reporting you for a ToS violation.

It sounds like what happened to you was an automatic process that was triggered by the buyer reporting you, so you reaching out to Customer Support is the right thing. If you can prove to CS that your work is original and not plagiarized, then you might be able to get the ToS violation removed and your order completion rate fixed.

One thing that worries me though, is that you offer a lot of services to students. Doing work for student work is a violation of Fiverr's ToS, which could risk your account getting another warning.

I checked out your gigs and you offer services for college applications, personal statements, and essays. You can help students as a proofreader, but only in the form of annotations and comments - if you are using Track Changes, Suggestions, or doing edits, rewriting, and writing, then you risk getting another ToS violation.

I have a writing gig too, and I avoid student work. Since I'm on Seller Plus, I use Negative Keywords to block out any buyers who uses "essay," "sop," or "personal statements" in search to find my gigs. I should add "college applications." It's not worth risking your account to deal with those types of orders.

Edited by vickieito
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Hi @vickieito, I understand and I never (and have never) written an essay for students to submit as their own. I help them edit their university applications and have rejected quite a few applicants that asked me to do their homework or end of term essays for them. I've been very clear on this. 

I'm already in contact with customer support, let's see what they say. 

Edited by jime_l
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They are saying they have found the work to be plagiarized and that "the warning will stay". I just checked the letter I submitted vs. the document the buyer submitted in his requirements and these are the only identical terms/sentences in a 600-word letter:

1. LL.B. programme at Sorbonne Université Abu Dhabi. 

2. an advisory firm active

3. hold an honorable mention on the Dean’s list

I have replied asking them to explain how they've determined the work to be plagiarized and to please elaborate further.

I am just so shocked and so depressed by this horrible experience. 

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How is this plagiarism if you aren't the one writing?

Aren't you only proofreading and commenting on work that has already been written? For student work, it should always be the student doing the writing. As a proofreader/editor you would never supply a finished work. Only annotations and edit suggestions in the form of comments. Then the student would take that and write the finished draft themselves.

This includes applications. You shouldn't be providing any rewriting or writing because that would be doing their work for them.

As long as you are doing this, if there's any plagiarism, that would be on the student.

 

Edited by vickieito
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This was not an application, the applicant only needed a letter to the admissions board requesting a scholarship and the chance to study remotely since he had health issues that prevented him from attending in person. He has already been accepted at Uni (he has not started yet) but wanted to send a request. That was all. 

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But didn't the applicant write the letter himself? I can't see why it would be plagiarism if you were just proofreading his letter. 😔

This is really sad. Hopefully you have repeat customers that can sustain you for the next 60 days until this cancelation and ToS statistics falls off your record (the violation itself won't fall off, but at least your statistics will).

Edited by vickieito
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1 hour ago, vickieito said:

But didn't the applicant write the letter himself? I can't see why it would be plagiarism if you were just proofreading his letter. 😔

I believe Jime_I wrote the letter. They mentioned sending a first draft in the original post.

The 20 or so identical words, especially since #1 includes set phrases that you can't rewrite in other ways do not seem to merit plagiarism claims. Perhaps it had to do with the structure of the letter -- topical plagiarism? I'm absolutely not accusing you of doing this, but perhaps some sentences you wrote were close enough even if the automatic checkers didn't flag them.

Or maybe it was considered plagiarism by the third party in question (the university) because they require the applicant to write all application/scholarship-related documents. 

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The university had no chance to review it as the client cancelled the request the second I sent the second version - and I really mean that, about 5 min after I hit send. And no, it wasn't even about structure. I've gone over the two documents over and over again and nothing. The whole experience has been incredibly appalling. 

Edited by jime_l
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  • 1 month later...

The rate at which buyers are scamming us we the seller's is becoming too much and yet Fiverr are not doing anything to resolved it. 

It's obvious that those buyer's do things they like just because of the upper hand they were given. 

Once you work for them and they already see the results of it. They will try to bring up one issue just to take the credit of the situation. 

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  • 1 month later...

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