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Sellers, don't get scammed to work for free!


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I thought I should write this post to call other sellers’ attentions to a common scam on Fiverr (and other platforms for that matter) so you don’t fall for it, especially if you’re a new seller looking for your first order.

The Scenario:

You get an message that sounds something like this:

“Hello, we are a movie house and we have a big up coming project and will be needing a lot of voiceover work. We like your voice and would like to order from you. However, we need you to send us a sample so that we can approve your voice with our client. The script is attached. Once this is done, we will go ahead and make a few preliminary orders and get the ball rolling. Oh, and can you let us know your estimate for a script of about 400 words?

Looking forward to working with you soon”

Sounds great right? Wrong! This is almost always a scam to try to get you to record their script for free.

This is how you spot the scam:

The “big time” buyer: “We are a movie house” - You’re thinking ‘yes! I’m about to gain a buyer with lots of money to spend”

The pie in the sky: “…we have a big up coming project and will be needing a lot of voiceover work” - you’re now thinking about how this could become steady income for a while.

The compliment “…we like your voice” - You now feel special. Of all the voices on Fiverr, yours is the one they like.

The ask: “however, we need you to send us a sample… The script is attached”. This is the scam. Here is the script… record it for free, thank you.

The Man in the middle: “… so that we can approve your voice with our client”. In case you were about to direct them to your Fiverr profile page for samples of your work.

The (we really are about to order) question: “ Oh, and can you let us know your estimate for…”

If you take a minute to think about it, all their questions can already be answered on your Fiverr profile. You do not need to provide a sample to anyone. That is why they’ve added the ‘Client’.

How I respond to this kind of message:

I have a quick look at their profile, and confirm they are phoney. They will more than likely have a stolen photo of a young lady, which I can find by doing a Google Image search. What professional organisation would do that?

I would then look at the script. It would almost always be nothing related to what they say they are. It would be work they’ve received from a 3rd party that they are now trying to get you to record for free, so that they can get paid for it!

I would then send them a custom quote with a polite message 🙂

That usually gets rid of them.

Don’t fall for these scams. Don’t work for free. If a big organisation wants to hire you, they will just order your gig. They won’t send you a script to record for free.

Hope this helps someone.


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These buyers are everywhere. The entire selling community that’s had sales before has possibly seen this on more than one occasion, and there are many posts about it.

As you’ve outlined, It’s best to just advise them of the sample cost, which of course would make the situation a win-win. If they run from that, they’ve proven that they can’t even find $5. Case closed.

Very good looking out, and also - one must say, they definitely put their foot in that message. Quite a lot of typing just to avoid spending $5.

Continue to stay sharp.


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I dealt with one this week who wanted to “judge whether we made a good fit” by rewriting a 100-word paragraph. I sent him a $25 custom order and noted that I was unable to do this sample for free, thanks to “unethical buyers getting work done for free via samples with no intention of paying, and although I am not passing judgement on you or suggesting this is what you are doing, you may find this strategy loses you quality contractors.”

Never heard back, funnily enough. Wonder why? Couldn’t have been my wee little j’accuse, surely?

…and yes, he had a humongous rewrite project to be done. Not by me though. Nor by anyone who wants to get paid, either.

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Like seriously some buyer can be so much of a nuisance in here as I have heard, but it is better to have such buyers than have none at all, especially for newbies. More established sellers can afford to discard such buyers since they have so many others and can easily get more…just my opinion

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Guest kaztech2016

I have two experience of this, the first have gone with my work and second wants to cancel order after receiving completed work, did not even give room for revision, threaten me to cancel and misusing the revision button.

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Yea I don’t fall for the do all the stuff first and then pay after even for my work I do off fiverr. Here you can’t exactly do a retainer fee either. So I agree just sending them a custom order quote will either get the biz or not…and your time won’t be wasted. This can be applied for any industry on here. There’s a whole lot of people that want a lot for nothing, because you are on a site that starts gigs at $5. However where the money is, is the packaging and custom orders.

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I’m a writer, and I just had someone message me saying they were interested in having me “rewrite” an article. That in itself is a bit of a red flag, but I checked out the link. You had to give your personal information, do a survey, and agree to their terms of use, which basically said this information is for your eyes only. It specifically said not to use it for commercial materials, even if it was rewritten. I messaged them saying I would be happy to write about the subject, and I stated the reasons why I wasn’t comfortable writing the article. Scam? Or just someone new to the scene?

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yes, but I had similar request few days ago. He demanded a sample. I said: “no I don’t give samples, pls check my profile for the quality of my work and writing”… He ended up ordering $35 order. My point is, you don’t have to be rude and turn them off instantly with a custom offer.

Sometimes you need to negotiate and use the proper communication form to gain new customers. Through the negotiation they can also determine whether you are a good fit.

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Hello All,

I have a buyer who keeps buying my traffic package and then after seven days wants to call me a scam for no reason. He has done this now 4 times and each time wants a refund after 7 days of free visitors to his sites. Now he keeps saying I order by mistake. Not true because he keeps sending me the details I need to complete the job. I send him a thank you with the stat info and it takes 7 days for him to respond back and call me a scam and then want a refund. Sounds like someone just scamming traffic sellers for free visitors. I always refund because its better then having a negative review over and over again from the same buyer. Not sure if I’m the only one going through this problem. I would suggest to Fiverr maybe there should be a button where we can block buyers from buying our gigs.


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