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Verifying freelancer identity prior to hire


boomfiverr
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I have had some bad experiences on Fiverr (and other freelancer websites) with fake accounts.

I intend to pay freelancers through Fiverr, however, I am planning to screen freelancers prior to hiring them.  I want to use a tool called OnFido for verifying identity documents (like passport, drivers license etc) along with a selfie.  If a freelancer declines to complete the screening (or fails) I will not hire them.

Before I request this of freelancers, I'd like to confirm this does not violate Fiverr terms of service.  Any thoughts?

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9 hours ago, boomfiverr said:

Before I request this of freelancers, I'd like to confirm this does not violate Fiverr terms of service.  Any thoughts?

Fiverr's Terms of Service strictly forbid to ask for personal contact information, so yes, it does violate them.

Not to mention that Fiverr is meant to be an anonymous platform.

If you want to hire sellers with a verified identity and credentials, use Fiverr Pro. They won't show you their IDs (because nobody in their right mind would show their ID to a random stranger on the internet), but at least you'll know that they have been verified by Fiverr and that they are who they say they are.

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47 minutes ago, boomfiverr said:

Before I request this of freelancers, I'd like to confirm this does not violate Fiverr terms of service.  

Would you share personal documents with a random buyer over the internet if you were a freelancer? I guess that answers your question 🙂 It's not about breaking the rules, it's way too much and something that no one would agree with. I had people ask for an NDA after I worked on their stuff and I canceled just because I didn't want to sign anything online. Let alone share my identity and personal documents...

Your request might be genuine, but it seems like identity theft in the eye of any freelancer. 

Edited by donnovan86
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Anyone asking for my driving licence or passport would be reported and blocked as an attempt to steal my identity.

Well, this is exactly what is happening on Upwork. They are requiring me to give a drivers license and a picture of me holding the license. I have refused to do that because I had some trouble in the past. Now that I have refused to give this personal information, Upwork did block me and I could not even get into my account. They now have unlocked my account, but I am unable to get my money because I did not give them all my information that they asked for. They never asked for it when I joined, but later Freelancer started asking for it and I refused. Then Upwork gave us 30 days to comply. I never have and never will. This is how people get their ID stolen. All that information in one place is not good. I have asked for my money, but they are not budging. 

Edited by kendal1747
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6 hours ago, kendal1747 said:

This is how people get their ID stolen.

Well Upwork is a website. I can see how they require your ID, I think Fiverr required my ID for a verification. That's fine.

What's not ok is when random buyers ask for ID and other stuff. As I said above, I don't even messaround with NDAs and stuff like that, let alone sharing personal information. As a freelancer you are free to choose how you work and who you work with. That's the beauty of freelancing, so if I see any request like this I move away big time 🙂

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On 11/1/2022 at 7:31 PM, donnovan86 said:

Would you share personal documents with a random buyer over the internet if you were a freelancer? I

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Anyone asking for my driving licence or passport would be reported and blocked as an attempt to steal my identity.

Exactly. And even if this weren't against Fiverr's terms (ask support to get a definitive answer), you know, I'm pretty sure that the sellers who would oblige wouldn't be the ones you'd want to work with.

The most probable thing that will happen if you ask sellers who are actually worth hiring, is that you'll get reported and blocked, IMO. Maybe you'd score a few who are very desperate, naive, don't know Fiverr's terms, and aren't able to get hired without jumping through random not-even-buyer-yet's hoops.

On 11/1/2022 at 8:53 PM, kendal1747 said:

Well, this is exactly what is happening on Upwork. They are requiring me to give a drivers license and a picture of me holding the license. [...] This is how people get their ID stolen. All that information in one place is not good

On 11/1/2022 at 9:45 PM, vickiespencer said:

I thought I read on the Forum that this is one of the options Fiverr uses to verify Fiverr accounts?

Yeah, I'm not happy about that either, and it's certainly worth a discussion, that I'd love to see with Fiverr staff involvement, and you can only hope that at least basic security management is in place, so that the fewest possible number of people could get their hands on the fewest possible data needed, however, a platform management policing its own platform is a completely different thing from what OP is asking about.

 

I do understand your wish for more security, though, OP, but this isn't the way to go about it.

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9 hours ago, boomfiverr said:

Before I request this of freelancers, I'd like to confirm this does not violate Fiverr terms of service.  Any thoughts?

As long as you provide your identification and allow the seller to decide if you are a "real buyer," most level-two (and level one) members with a good number of reviews are at least somewhat reliable. I wonder if your personal experience has something to do with what you are willing to pay for a reliable seller who communicates well.

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6 hours ago, vickiespencer said:

one of the options Fiverr uses to verify Fiverr accounts

Yes. I was verified by providing the required documents.

I understand that new sellers are not vetted though; one seller that I know of personally is now a level two and was never requested personal documents to verify their identity

Edited by strategist_ceo
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7 hours ago, kendal1747 said:

They are requiring me to give a drivers license and a picture of me holding the license.

I believe this is a fair request, as anyone who does not trust the platform should not be working there. There is always a risk of identity theft, but platforms have the right to know if you are an actual person to protect your account integrity (like some sellers are selling their accounts).

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3 hours ago, strategist_ceo said:

As long as you provide your identification and allow the seller to decide if you are a "real buyer," most level-two (and level one) members with a good number of reviews are at least somewhat reliable. I wonder if your personal experience has something to do with what you are willing to pay for a reliable seller who communicates well.

Thanks for the response.  As one of the issues to resolve is contractual, both parties need to know who the other is and I have no issue sharing my identity.  I understand a seller will need to decide if it's a legitimate request.  This is typically required in any employer/employee relationship (regardless how short the duration is).  Simply, I need to know who is handling our code.  If a freelancer wishes to remain anonymous that is their right and it is my right not to hire them.

I have seen freelancers with multiple accounts, I have seen freelancers reposting projects of other buyers, I have seen freelancers reselling past projects, I have seen agencies posing as an individual freelancer and more.

Fiverr terms of service requires that payments and communications use the Fiverr platform.  I am not trying to circumvent those requirements.  The terms of service also allows for the exchange of personal information.  The purpose of the verification is simply to confirm who the individual is and to reduce risk of fraud and intellectual property theft.

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3 hours ago, catwriter said:

Fiverr's Terms of Service strictly forbid to ask for personal contact information, so yes, it does violate them.

Not to mention that Fiverr is meant to be an anonymous platform.

If you want to hire sellers with a verified identity and credentials, use Fiverr Pro. They won't show you their IDs (because nobody in their right mind would show their ID to a random stranger on the internet), but at least you'll know that they have been verified by Fiverr and that they are who they say they are.

I will check out Fiverr Pro.  That still may not address my requirement to screen freelancers.  I do not believe Fiverr is intended to be an anonymous platform... nothing in their terms of service states this.  I have not found any term that strictly forbid asking for personal information.  In fact, the TOS explicitly acknowledges and permits the necessary exchange of personal information.  To clarify, I am not planning to request an email as this is not a reliable method of verifying an individuals identity.

  • To protect our users' privacy, user identities are kept anonymous. Requesting or providing Email addresses, s***e/IM usernames, telephone numbers or any other personal contact details to communicate outside of Fiverr in order to circumvent or abuse the Fiverr messaging system or Fiverr platform is not permitted.
  • Any necessary exchange of personal information required to continue a service may be exchanged within the Order Page.

If there are other relevant terms I missed please let me know.

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5 minutes ago, boomfiverr said:

If there are other relevant terms I missed please let me know.

If you have an opinion on how Fiverr should work, it's entirely up to you. Why are you asking other people to justify your assumption?

People who don't have a great deal of talent will find it difficult to grow on Fiverr, so any level above Level 1, they are somewhat reliable (especially if they have tons of reviews). 

Many sellers have enough work to refuse to work with you, because you're asking something that no other buyers are asking. The relationship between a buyer and a seller is one of mutual benefit, just as you think you can "shop" around for the best deal, a seller can have enough workload to tell you to buzz off if your special needs aren't worth the time, effort or against the standard norm.

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13 minutes ago, boomfiverr said:

That still may not address my requirement to screen freelancers.

Sorry for asking, but what kind of work are you asking freelancers to do? I am curious, because without mentioning that, it seems very strange to go through all the hassle of checking identities, etc.

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2 minutes ago, strategist_ceo said:

image.thumb.png.9517fcf59c6d9edf2d9407a80c4285a7.png

Well the reputation of a freelancer is seen through reviews. There are many people that just don't want to share their name, let alone their personal ID and other stuff like that, for a very good reason. There's identity theft... and I wouldn't risk my identity for a Fiverr order, no matter how much it would pay 🙂

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16 minutes ago, donnovan86 said:

Sorry for asking, but what kind of work are you asking freelancers to do? I am curious, because without mentioning that, it seems very strange to go through all the hassle of checking identities, etc.

The work is application development.  The project is broken into smaller tasks such as designing UI in Figma, developing the UI in Flutter and developing the underlying app functionality.  I'd like like to eventually have 2 or 3 reliable devs to work with on a regular basis.  I think it's normal (and often required) for any company to screen employees and to know who has access to their intellectual property.

Edited by boomfiverr
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Freelancers are not employees. They're freelancers and you have no right to invade their privacy because of your own insecurities.

Rent an office and hire staff is the best advice I can offer you.

Contractors, vendors and other third-parties too.  Thanks for the suggestions.

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I won't work with someone who, instead of judging my work, judges me. 

 

I'm just somebody who helps you take some burden off of your shoulders and that's it. You don't have any right to ask me to prove I'm who I pose I am. 

 

Also, I have already been verified by Fiverr by checking my govt ID card, my selfie, and some other documents. I'm sure several other sellers would also have verified their legitimacy. 

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12 hours ago, kendal1747 said:

Well, this is exactly what is happening on Upwork. They are requiring me to give a drivers license and a picture of me holding the license. I have refused to do that because I had some trouble in the past. Now that I have refused to give this personal information, Upwork did block me and I could not even get into my account. They now have unlocked my account, but I am unable to get my money because I did not give them all my information that they asked for. They never asked for it when I joined, but later Freelancer started asking for it and I refused. Then Upwork gave us 30 days to comply. I never have and never will. This is how people get their ID stolen. All that information in one place is not good. I have asked for my money, but they are not budging. 

I have been verified by upwork as well as Fiverr.  Fiverr also randomly asks sellers to verify themselves and put their accounts on hold until their IDs are verified. 

 

However, I see no problem with getting myself verified from these marketplaces; my problem starts when a random guy (say buyer) asks me to show him (or her) my legal documents just because he (or she) pays me a few bucks for writing them an article. 

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1 hour ago, boomfiverr said:

I think it's normal (and often required) for any company to screen employees and to know who has access to their intellectual property.

These are not employees though. They are contract workers. So it's quite different. And the identity was already verified by Fiverr!

Edited by donnovan86
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14 hours ago, boomfiverr said:

I have had some bad experiences on Fiverr (and other freelancer websites) with fake accounts

It might be so, however it seems that you have a new account here and 0 reviews...

  

14 hours ago, boomfiverr said:

 If a freelancer declines to complete the screening (or fails) I will not hire them.

I highly doubt that any seller on this platform would fall for this no matter how new they are 

14 hours ago, boomfiverr said:

I want to use a tool called OnFido for verifying identity documents (like passport, drivers license etc) along with a selfie

This is completely against the TOS , you're a buyer not Fiverr Staff, you don't have any rights to ask any kind of documents from any other users on the platform. 

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Why the reservations of validating your ID on a platform? Hiding from the IRS is the first thing that jumps to mind 

No, I do not owe the IRS anything and I am not hiding from anyone. I already filled out a W-9 for them, so they can report the income to the IRS. Not one site has asked for a copy of my drivers license with a photo of me holding the license since I have been working for the past 4 years. I did audiobooks on ACX for a year before coming on here.

If you have ever had anyone steal your ID, then you would know the harm and trouble that this can lead to. You are left trying to pay off debts that you never incurred (for your info, I do not owe anyone now). The law does not protect the victim. It protects the criminal. Of course there is LIfelock that you can pay to protect your Identity. There is titlelock to protect your home.

Something isn't right about this whole mess. People that steal your ID or your home are criminals, and they should be put away for a long time so they can't do it to anyone else. But also the people that make the loans on someones ID or home (be it mortgage companies or just loan companies in general) should be required by law to know who they are lending to. It should not be put on the homeowner or person that their ID was stolen, to make things right. I rest my case.

Edited by kendal1747
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37 minutes ago, vickiespencer said:

Every US sellers must provide a valid SS #, so that is how Fiverr validates that we are who we say. 

I already filled out a W-9 for them. They have all that information. They are refusing to go look at that. They still want a picture of me with my drivers license. 

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