Monday, March 26, 2012

Dealing With Bad Clients - Part 1 - Scammers or 8 Tips To Become A Better Online Scammer

Attention: this is one of those personal entries, please ignore it and I promise I will soon write about more important matters. It’s a rant and probably a semi-amusing story to help those who have or will find themselves in the same situation.

Being a freelance copywriter can be really interesting and quite an adrenaline rush sometimes. You learn from experience and you can get scammed a few times even by the biggest companies. After all, the whole trying to do justice thing can take a while and will probably cost you more than the amount they owe you. But some of my clients have been really interesting, some were friendly scammers, others were polite and very professional looking scammers, but lately I’ve been dealing with another type of scammer. Good thing that I’ve had experience in the past and hadn't work that much for him before realizing I was scammed. Well, perhaps I trust people too much and I am too naive, but this experience doesn’t bother me, it was nice and I gained a lot in terms of personal development. So let me tell you my latest scamming story and then I shall paste a few of my emails with the client so that you can learn how to treat such people.

It first started about 6 years ago on one of those freelance websites that I won’t mention here. I used to work a lot on those until I managed to create a client base, but lately I was invited to a project and I accepted it. Then we went off-site and that’s where the fun started. At first they were very condescending and impolite but I just thought that maybe they were unable to communicate properly so I let that go, because I’ve been trying not to take things personally in order to reach that ascetic state of mind numbness. It was when I asked for a proof of payment in my bank account that things got out of control. My amazing client sent me this furious mail:

What kind of question is this? If I need to go, I would have gone by now. so from next when you write an email, make sure you know what you are writing. it will help you working with big guys for long time

Well, what can I say....the big guys usually send you that proof of payment without you having to ask, it’s common knowledge, routine, etc. , but I guess he’s not a big guy after all....but he wishes, he will reach that point if he really, really wants that. He will be that shining star on the new media sky. Please observe the great grasp of English knowledge my client had. It is quite remarkable for somebody who works in copywriting.
I sent him a polite mail, perhaps too polite, trying to make myself clear.

I'm sorry if my question has offended you but I feel it is natural to ask that since I had problems with many clients in the past. If this would have been a secured work environment it wouldn't have been any problem but since we haven't managed yet to build a trusting relationship, I feel it is my right to be reluctant when it comes to such matters. Previous experience has also made me more careful. I believe that it was a normal question considering the circumstances of our interaction.

He then answered:

It can be normal to you, but to ask proof of something is not normal to us anyway

I think that this flawed view upon the world is what makes us terrible human beings. Philosophically speaking, we are nothing without proof and this man asks me to blindly believe in him like a true follower. Anyway, he then asked me the following day for some part of the work I was doing for him but it was well before the deadline and I still hadn't received the money in my bank account. So, I told him that and the fact that I wouldn’t continue working without being paid for the last project. I think he has some anger management issues because he replied terribly. I literally felt his forehead veins bursting with anger when reading the email. Here it is:

Delayed 2 times means? your paying date is Sunday and according to that it has been processed. And we told everything clearly in our project details also.
And last time also you sent us some freaking email  which we did not take personally. But now it is up to the limit. We don’t wish to work with you anymore. You can use all your work or can sale them or can do anything you wish. Cause we will not like to work with anyone who doesn’t know how to talk with the buyer
Hope you will find good client to work with though it is looing impossible for me
Good luck
Note: We will not be replying you anymore as you already humiliated us t wice whih is more than enough
  Thanks alot

This is when I got really sad as I don’t have a lot of interaction and I kind of liked sending useless emails back and forth. So I replied, from the bottom of my heart, with all the friendship there ever was in this world, I replied to help him search his own path and probably become a better man. I usually do that to’s quite fun sending this type of messages and even more fun reading the answers. I recommend it, it has greatly improved my ability to express. Surely, most of the time people have no idea what you are talking about or they get really aggressive and personal, but it’s fun nonetheless. Here is my response: 

Well this was expected. When one creates all the conditions to reach destruction, one should not be surprised with the outcome. It was pretty obvious that you are a scammer as you had about 5 accounts created on ****** and I feel extremely sorry that people like you exist and are cheating hard working people.
I think this is a situation well known to you and I am probably one of the many that were scammed. You showed a great lack of respect towards me as a writer and as a person; that says a lot about you.
"Delayed 2 times" = you just mentioned that payment was on Sunday, when the first Sunday came, you mentioned a threshold (you seem to forget to mention a great deal of vital information when talking to another party, may I recommend a memo application for your smartphone?), on the second Sunday, you mentioned out of the blue that there is a problem with your PayPal (again, lack of information). Now, you are avoiding any sort of payment, which I was expecting.
Thanks alot  Bye – hey, meet Alot
 you already humiliated us t wice whih is more than enough – I feel like I’m in a Japanese movie and I have failed to gain the respect my family deserves. I am sorry, I am beyond ashamed.  However, I find this victimizing behavior quite interesting.  I mean, in my internet writing journeys I met a wide array of scammers, but you are special Sir. Victimizing but also condescending, that’s a unique combination. I never thought of this approach when it came to online scamming, you have taught me new meanings when it comes to deal with people like you.
Talking about the many accounts you created, I guess you get reported a lot, so that’s why you are probably quite confused about the information you send, it has to be dreadful to deal with all those fake email addresses.
I am not expecting you to read all the text above as I seriously doubt your ability to understand complex patterns but considering the fact that I like writing and giving advice, please read the following section that might greatly improve your scamming results in the future, as I believe it is the right career choice for you.

Then I wrote a short article about how to be a good online scammer and attached it to the email. I will also paste it here, perhaps it can help some of those other assholes out there.  

8 Tips To Become A Better Online Scammer

1 – Be polite. Politeness goes a long way. My first scamming client was this beautiful lady who was always polite. You couldn’t believe that she was scamming you because she was really nice like a colorful butterfly. People will like you more if you are nice and polite  and they will also work as slaves without payment for a longer time if you don’t show a lack of proper upbringing.

2 – Send some money. This is crucial as it may create a trusting environment and you will be able to get more jobs done for free in the long run. This is a new level of scamming, sending a bit of money, while you justify with various reasons. It is quite confusing for those who work for you and they will always ask themselves why would you send them money if you are trying to scam them. They won’t believe it at first and you will be able to get more work done.

3 – Learn to write. For proper communication and manipulating your victims, you should learn to write better. Flexibility and clarity are essential for a building a good and long term scammer-victim relationship.

4 – Create an email account that doesn’t look like you sat on your keyboard during the registration process.

5 – Don’t be condescending – it kind of reveals the fact that you are prone to scam. It also doesn’t help in life in general as people tend to avoid you and you end up not having many friends. This makes me sad, everybody should deserve friends.

6 – Give feedback, answer the first emails properly – it makes you seem nicer and people will trust you. We’re going for trust as a scammer, remember?

7 – Be Friendly – for those who want to reach a new level in the art of scamming, being friendly goes a long way. Create bonds and friendship, this way they will become dependent and will work more for free, which is always good. Perhaps you can gain a friend for life.

8 – Have a good memory – vitamins are great to improve memory. Lecithin can do wonders so don’t be afraid to take the daily recommended amount. You will be able to remember all those people you scammed and if you have nightmares, sleeping pills can counteract these effects.

In the end, it really matters to be true to yourself and others. Don’t be that false, make sure that your wonderful personality is coming out and let people discover you, and who knows, maybe you’ll make some friends in the scamming process. Good Luck Sir!

This is my latest scamming story people. Perhaps one day I will tell you about my other scamming story, it’s quite funny as my other client created many accounts and talked to me as she was different people. She was her secretary, herself, and the PR person. Very interesting psychological case study and I also kept the emails for my amusement. I may not get paid sometimes but the fun is definitely worth it. 


  1. hi andreea, how are you/ you have been away for a long time. i took over 2 weeks break and back to blogging.
    Business scam and fraud is so common and these people lie through their to get what they one..
    a lot of people got cheated simply because what is being offered to them by the cheats are too attractive/ lucrative.
    Greedy people fall prey easily to them. have a nice day

  2. Heey, haven't seen you in a while but I was busy this month too. I don't think that all people who get scammed, get scammed because they are greedy. It's also the online working environment that makes you more susceptible to scamming I guess, and also being naive. There's always some risk involved with every client whenever you enter a working relationship with them, especially in this business.

  3. well, that post just MADE my day.

    you should have added scammers to the list of things that drive you crazy.

    i love your technique of sending the follow up. i should have used that for the company president who told me i didn't know how to write a press release (perhaps i suggested he discuss that with the companies I've secured newspaper/magazine and television coverge). Beyond that, his manner was magnificently rude. I could only chalk so much up to his being from a different country. I saved his emails for a long time and only recently deleted them or I'd be happy to share his I am the Be All Of The World correspondences with you. Thanks Andreea.

    1. lately, there have been no scammers so I forgot about them, fortunately :D But writing to this guy was pretty fun, I have to admit. Regarding that asshole company president who was so rude, I guess it doesn't really matter where he comes from...I've had clients all over the world and although some might have a weird approach due to different cultural background, an asshole is still an asshole. :) Also, it seems that some people never respect and appreciate the work of others no matter how good it is. Probably the case with your guy.