15 June 2018

A warning to freelancers

I'm teaching a life drawing class this summer. It's quick and intense; next week is our last week. I'll post some of my drawings that turned out okay. But I'm always looking for freelance or remote work, so I'll share a recent negative experience in hopes of keeping others from my same fate.

I found a remote job working for Vimeo posted on my local Craigslist. Maybe that should have been my first red flag. I was selected for an interview, and went through a fairly intensive online set of questions. After a bit, I was told I had the job. They were going to provide the hardware and software, but as a freelancer, I had to purchase it in my name. Vimeo would send me the funds to do this. Maybe you can see where this is going. Unfortunately, I didn't.

Anyway, the end result is that it was all a scam. Vimeo doesn't hire like this. I have lost thousands of dollars through a loophole in banking regulations that lets you purchase secured funds (a cashier's check) with unsecured funds (a questionable check that has been deposited). So a warning to all of you out there: don't do it. Don't send anyone (a client, new employer, business partner) a cashier's check. You can't stop payment on it and if you are the victim of a scam, you are on the hook for whatever has been stolen from you. Your bank probably won't help you out.