Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Freelance Platforms in Nigeria: Scams to Watch Out For

Last Updated on November 13, 2023


Freelance platforms in Nigeria have become popular avenues for individuals to find freelance work and for businesses to hire freelancers.

These platforms provide opportunities for freelancers to showcase their skills and connect with potential clients.

Brief explanation of freelance platforms in Nigeria

Freelance platforms in Nigeria are online marketplaces where freelancers can offer their services and clients can hire them for various projects.

These platforms provide a platform for freelancers to create profiles, list their skills, and bid on projects.

Importance of being aware of scams in freelancing

It is crucial for freelancers and clients to be aware of scams in the freelancing industry in Nigeria.

Scammers use various tactics to deceive both freelancers and clients, such as requesting upfront payment, promising high-paying projects, and not delivering the promised work.

Being aware of scams is important to protect oneself from financial loss and reputational damage.

Freelancers should thoroughly research the platform and client before accepting any project.

Clients should verify the freelancer’s credentials and check their previous work to ensure their legitimacy.

Moreover, freelancers should be cautious when sharing personal information and avoid platforms that ask for unnecessary details.

It is advisable to use secure payment methods and to set clear expectations and terms with clients to avoid any misunderstandings.

In essence, freelance platforms in Nigeria offer great opportunities for freelancers and businesses.

However, it is crucial to be aware of scams and take necessary precautions to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities.

By being vigilant and conducting due diligence, freelancers and clients can have a safe and successful freelancing experience in Nigeria.

Overview of freelance platforms in Nigeria

In Nigeria, freelance platforms have gained popularity among freelancers as a means to find work opportunities and showcase their skills.

These platforms provide a space for individuals to offer their services to clients in need of various skills and expertise.

With the rise of digitalization, the popularity of these platforms has increased.

Popular platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer


Upwork is one of the most well-known freelance platforms globally, including in Nigeria.

It connects clients with freelancers from various fields such as writing, design, programming, and marketing.

Upwork offers a wide range of projects and has a large user base in Nigeria.


Fiverr is another popular freelance platform that has gained significant traction in Nigeria.

It allows freelancers to offer their services in the form of “gigs” starting at $5.

Fiverr has a user-friendly interface and a diverse range of categories, making it accessible to freelancers with different skills.


Freelancer is a global platform that has gained popularity among freelancers in Nigeria.

It provides opportunities in various categories, including web development, graphic design, writing, and virtual assistance.

Freelancer offers a competitive environment as freelancers bid for projects, showcasing their skills and expertise.

Their reach and popularity among freelancers in Nigeria

These freelance platforms have a wide reach and popularity among freelancers in Nigeria due to several reasons:

  1. Increased job opportunities: Freelance platforms create a space where freelancers can find a diverse range of job opportunities. This allows them to explore different projects and expand their skill set.

  2. Access to international clients: These platforms connect freelancers with clients from all over the world. This opens up a larger market for freelancers in Nigeria and allows them to work with international clients, gaining exposure and experience.

  3. Portfolio building: Freelance platforms provide freelancers with a platform to showcase their work. They can create a portfolio of their projects, which acts as a virtual resume and helps them attract potential clients.

  4. Payment security: These platforms often offer payment protection, ensuring that freelancers receive their payment for completed projects. This feature provides a level of security and trust for both freelancers and clients.

Scams to watch out for

However, freelancers need to be cautious of scams on these platforms. Here are some scams to watch out for:

  1. Fake job postings: Scammers may create fake job postings to trick freelancers into providing their personal information or completing tasks without payment.

  2. Payment scams: Freelancers should be wary of clients who ask for upfront payment or offer to pay in an unconventional manner. It is essential to establish clear payment terms before starting a project.

  3. Identity theft: Freelancers should be cautious when sharing personal information or sensitive data. Scammers may pose as clients or platforms to steal personal and financial information.

  4. Unreliable clients: Some clients may not pay on time or may try to negotiate lower rates after the project is completed. It is important for freelancers to thoroughly research clients and communicate clearly about payment terms.

In short, freelance platforms in Nigeria, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, have become popular among freelancers due to their reach and job opportunities.

These platforms offer a space for freelancers to showcase their skills, gain international exposure, and build their portfolio.

However, freelancers must stay vigilant and watch out for scams to protect themselves and their work.

It is crucial to research clients, establish clear payment terms, and be cautious when sharing personal information.

Read: How to Start Freelancing with Nigerian Companies in 2024

Common types of scams on freelance platforms

Freelance platforms in Nigeria have become popular for connecting clients with skilled professionals.

However, it is important for freelancers to be aware of common types of scams that can occur on these platforms.

By recognizing the red flags and being cautious, freelancers can protect themselves from falling victim to these scams.

Fake job postings

Scammers pose as legitimate clients by creating job postings that seem genuine and attractive to freelancers.

They may provide enticing project descriptions and promise high payment rates.

Freelancers should be skeptical if the job posting does not provide specific details or has unrealistic requirements.

Payment scams

Scammers attempt to trick freelancers into paying upfront fees or providing personal information.

They may ask for payment before starting the project, claiming it is for equipment or registration fees.

Freelancers should avoid making any payments or sharing sensitive information until they have received proper payment.

How scammers pose as legitimate clients

Scammers often create profiles on freelance platforms using fake names and photos.

They may claim to be established businesses or individuals with a reputable background.

However, freelancers can spot red flags by conducting a Google search on the client’s name or business to verify their authenticity.

Red flags to look out for

  1. Unrealistic payment rates: If a job posting promises unusually high payment rates, it is important to be wary as it may be a scam.

  2. Poor communication: If the client’s communication is inconsistent or they avoid direct questions, it could indicate a scam.

  3. No contract or agreement: Legitimate clients typically provide freelancers with a contract or agreement outlining the project details and payment terms.

Identifying and avoiding payment scams

  1. Research the client: Perform a background check on the client by searching their name or business online to look for any negative reviews or scam reports.

  2. Use secure payment methods: Freelancers should insist on using secure platforms or escrow services that protect both parties.

  3. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it’s important to trust your gut feeling and proceed with caution.

In short, freelancers in Nigeria should be vigilant when working on freelance platforms and watch out for common scams.

By closely examining job postings, avoiding upfront fees, and conducting thorough research, freelancers can protect themselves from falling prey to these fraudulent schemes.

By staying informed and cautious, freelancers can ensure a safe and successful freelance career in Nigeria.

Read: Freelancing Sites in Nigeria for Beginners: A Guide

Warning Signs of Potential Scams

When it comes to freelance platforms in Nigeria, it’s important to be aware of potential scams.

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their methods, making it crucial to stay vigilant. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

Poorly written job descriptions or unrealistic offers

If a job description is poorly written with numerous grammatical errors, it could indicate a scam.

Unrealistic offers that promise excessively high pay for little work should also raise red flags.

Requests for personal information or payment outside the platform

Legitimate freelance platforms have secure payment systems in place, so be cautious if a client asks for payment outside the platform.

Scammers may also request personal information such as social security numbers or bank account details, which should never be shared.

Suspicious communication or inconsistent details

If a client’s communication seems suspicious or doesn’t align with their initial job posting, it’s best to exercise caution.

Inconsistent details in the client’s messages or changing requirements without explanation can be warning signs of a scam.

Lack of verifiable information about the client

Before accepting a freelance job, research the client to ensure they have a legitimate online presence.

Scammers often operate under false identities or provide limited information, so if you can’t find any credible information about them, be wary.

By staying alert and recognizing these warning signs, you can protect yourself from falling victim to scams on freelance platforms in Nigeria.

Remember to trust your instincts and never hesitate to decline a job if something doesn’t feel right.

Read: Tech & IT Freelancing: Top Websites for Nigerians

Freelance Platforms in Nigeria: Scams to Watch Out For

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Freelance Scams in Nigeria

Freelancing has become increasingly popular in Nigeria, offering individuals the opportunity to work on their own terms and earn a flexible income.

However, like any online marketplace, there are scams to watch out for. Here are some important tips to protect yourself from freelance scams:

Research the client or company before accepting a job

  1. Do a thorough background check on the client or company before accepting any freelance job.

  2. Look for reviews or feedback from other freelancers who have worked with them.

  3. Verify their contact information and ensure it is legitimate.

Always use the platform’s messaging system for communication

  1. Avoid conducting important discussions or sharing sensitive information outside of the freelance platform’s messaging system.

  2. Using the platform’s messaging system provides a level of protection as the platform can track communications and intervene if necessary.

Never provide personal or financial information without verifying the client

  1. Be cautious of clients who ask for personal or financial information upfront without a legitimate reason.

  2. Always verify the client’s identity and legitimacy before sharing any sensitive information.

  3. If necessary, ask for references or proof of previous work to ensure the client is genuine.

Trust your intuition and avoid opportunities that seem too good to be true

  1. If an opportunity seems too good to be true or promises unusually high pay for minimal work, be skeptical.

  2. Listen to your instincts and trust your gut feeling when assessing freelance job opportunities.

  3. Avoid rushing into accepting a job without thoroughly evaluating the details and legitimacy.

By following these tips, you can protect yourself from falling victim to freelance scams in Nigeria.

Always prioritize your safety and security when engaging in freelancing work.

Read: Building Client Relationships: Freelancing Etiquette for Students

Reporting and Dealing with Scams on Freelance Platforms

Finding freelance work on platforms can be a great opportunity, but it also comes with risks.

Scams are prevalent, especially in Nigeria, and it is crucial to be aware of them and take necessary precautions.

Here are some steps to take if you encounter a scam on a freelance platform:

Recognize the Red Flags

Scammers often use certain techniques to deceive freelancers.

Look out for projects that promise unusually high pay, request payment upfront, or have vague job descriptions. Trust your instincts and be cautious.

Research the Client

Prioritize research on the client or company offering the freelance project.

Verify their authenticity by checking their website, social media profiles, and online presence. Look for reviews and feedback from other freelancers.

Communicate and Clarify

Have open, clear, and frequent communication with the client. Ask questions to gain a better understanding of the project requirements.

Legitimate clients will appreciate your engagement and address any concerns you have.

Secure Payment Options

Use secure payment methods provided by the platform. Avoid transferring money outside the platform or providing personal banking information.

Familiarize yourself with the platform’s payment policies and processes.

Report the Scam

If you believe you’ve encountered a scam, report it immediately to the platform administrators.

Provide detailed information about the incident, including any communication, job description, or payment requests.

Cooperate with any investigations conducted by the platform.

Share Your Experience

It is essential to raise awareness among other freelancers to prevent them from falling victim to scams.

Share your experience on forums, social media groups, or online communities dedicated to freelancing. Warn others and provide them with valuable insights.

Support from the Freelance Community

The freelance community can offer support and guidance when dealing with scams.

Reach out to fellow freelancers, discuss your concerns, and seek advice. They might have encountered similar situations and could provide helpful suggestions.

Learn from the Experience

Every encounter with a scam is an opportunity to become more cautious and better prepared.

Analyze the scam and consider the warning signs you might have missed. Enhance your ability to identify scams and protect yourself in the future.

Keep Up with Platform Updates

Stay informed about any security updates or changes in policies on the freelance platform.

Read through the platform’s terms and conditions regularly, so you’re aware of your rights and responsibilities as a freelancer.

Trust Your Instincts

Your instincts are often your best defense against scams. If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is.

Trust your intuition and prioritize your safety and financial security.

While scams on freelance platforms can be disheartening and deceptive, being proactive and educated can significantly reduce the risks.

Stay vigilant, report any suspicious activity promptly, and help create a safer freelance environment for yourself and fellow freelancers.


It is crucial to be cautious when using freelance platforms in Nigeria. Scams are rampant, and freelancers must stay informed and vigilant.

It is important to remember that scams are prevalent on freelance platforms in Nigeria.

Freelancers need to be cautious and aware of potential scams to protect themselves.

To avoid falling victim to scams in freelancing, it is essential to stay informed and vigilant.

Stay updated with current scam tactics and be cautious of suspicious offers or requests.

Being cautious on freelance platforms is vital for the safety and success of freelancers in Nigeria.

Stay informed, trust your instincts, and verify potential clients or projects before committing.

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