Scam Reports & Tips

I have been using the “Got Skills? Looking for Talent?” section for several months. It has been a great service to my development, however, there is an issue that I believe needs to be discussed. Over the last few months of using this tool, I had several scams from quite sophisticated individuals. Many of the these individuals are quite clever, and take advantage of this development community. I do not want this to happen to any development team, and I am going to do my best in order to contribute to the security of this community. In this thread, I am to report all of the scams that I have encountered, and I am going to provide tips in order to prevent other individuals from being scammed. As this thread becomes more popular, I would hope to have this moved to the “Got Skills? Looking for Talent” section in order to ensure that recruiters are clearly aware of this situation. Thank you, and if you would like to report any scams, then post your situation!
Scam Reports

**1. Scam Artist: Wilson Guerrero Rojas
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Type of Scam Artist: Money Scamming, Time Scamming, & Skill Scamming
Position of Scam Artist: Hired Agent
Position of Reporter: Leader of Project Recruitment
Reported By: michaelw352 (Michael Phillips)
Resolution: Disputing | Individual Cooperating (Stage 2 of 2)
Skype: live:wilsonguerrerorojas (
Community Username: jugsig (0 Posts | Extremely Active)
How to Detect: When he is making an attempt to contact you, he will always claim that he is the lead modeler of Press Start.
Incident Report:
I hired a map modeler quite some time ago. We made a deal, and he requested a down payment of $100. After providing him the requested money, he actually did show me progress, but did not show me many pieces of the map. Then, he asked me for another $300, and he never even finished anything worth $100. I told him that I was not going to give him more money, but that I would create a progress checklist for him. Then, I would pay him through pieces of the map being completed. After this, he contacted me to advise me that he would show me progress. After a month, I still did not receive the progress. I spent many weeks attempting to contact him on Skype, which is how our group had been organized. He did not respond. I told him to even let me know if he had a situation that would prevent him from working. I clearly advised him that I would be kind enough to understand his situation, and work with him. I still received no response. I decided to do an attendance check on my entire team. I gave them three days to report that they were still active. He still did not respond. At that point, I removed him from the group, and also requested the money to be returned due to the simple fact that we did not receive a single piece of that map. He was watching and reading our messages the entire time, but chose to not even make an attempt to respond. After removing him from the group, he removed me as a contact. I have opened a dispute with PayPal, and we are still attempting to resolve the situation. Stay away from this individual! He absolutely lurks the forums for possible targets, and just attempted to scam another team leader I work with. Be advised!

**Tips: **

  1. PayPal has a 45-day dispute policy! Do not let that date miss your calendar. Be flexible with your deadlines, but if the task should not take longer than 45 days, then create a deadline within that 45-day frame of time. Scam artists are aware that many project leaders are not aware of this, and will certainly take advantage of this policy.
    PayPal Dispute Policy

  2. If possible, then DO NOT hire somebody outside of your home country! Speaking from experience, attorneys will rarely ever take a case that involves justice outside of your home country. The international relations in the scam artist’s country may vary with your country, and will make it extremely difficult to ever resolve your dispute. Just remember that when you are transferring money, use a secure service! PayPal can resolve your situation in the case that your frame of time is in the correct place.

  3. Check the individual for credibility! This community serves as an excellent place to detect the credibility of an individual! If the individual has no reputation in the community, then be sure to use other methods in order to confirm the individual’s credibility.

  4. Do NOT give down payments! This is only conditional. There are some very credible artists on this forum. Ironbelly is an example of a trustworthy team of artists. If you can verify that they are trustworthy, then give the entity the down payment. Otherwise, if you do not have any proof that the entity can provide you with quality service, then refrain from giving a down payment. Remember, this forum is a great place to check the credibility of an individual!

  5. Do Attendance! If you are the leader of a group, then you will realize that several individuals are not going to be dedicated members of the team. If there is an individual no longer interested in your project, then remove this individual. It is apparent that if the individual has not even given you a notice of departure, then it is apparent that this individual is no longer interested in your project. This person has no reason to continue being a member of your development team.

  6. Communication is a great virtue, but NOT a quality of guarantee that protects you from a scam! In this situation, “Wilson” had great skills in terms of communicating with the group’s leader. We would have voice calls, and even sessions that involved sharing screens. I did notice, however, that he rarely ever displayed a shred of progress. For the majority of these calls, it would be discussing plans. Scam artists will use this tactic in order to sway your direction of thinking in regards to progress. Do NOT let this happen to you! If you just continue hearing about “plans” in regards to an assigned task, then this individual is not qualified to complete the given task.

**2. Scam Artist: Aron “Engaged Graphics”
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Type of Scam Artist: Skill Scamming, Time Scamming, & Resource Gathering
Position of Scam Artist: Hired Agent
Position of Reporter: Leader of Project Recruitment
Reported By: michaelw352 (Michael Phillips)
Resolution: No Cooperation
Skype: aron8254
Community Username: Unknown
How to Detect: Check the individual’s username. He also goes by “Engaged Graphics.” This individual also claims to have turned down “AAA” titles in order to work with smaller teams.

Incident Report:

In this field, scam artists have the potential to come in several forms, not necessarily just in the form of financial scamming. Aron is known across at least three projects to scam in terms of his knowledge of modeling. These teams have hired Aron as a modeler. In the beginning, he is an extremely active participant in your development group. When a task is given to this individual, he will accept it after being given a quote. After a few days of issuing the assigned task, and very little progress, he will claim to have a major life event. In our case, he was supposedly having a child. The other two teams had the same issue with this individual. After telling you that he needs two weeks away from the project, he will not come back for months. He always stays online, however, he will not respond to you. After a few attempts over several months of attempting to contact this individual, he will give you a series of additional life-changing events. In our case, he claimed to have been through multiple family-oriented deaths over the last few months, and he spoke in regards to being kidnapped. He does move across several small projects, and three teams have verified his poor ethics. This is likely for attention, or collecting game resources. We can, however, acknowledge two points. He is a waste of time to have in your development group, and likely cannot complete a given task.

**Tips: **

  1. Communicate with other development teams that are in the same community! Scam artists typically tend to stay within the boundaries of the same community, and you are almost never the first time. I cannot begin to tell you how many scams I have avoided by just simply communicating with other development teams, and team leaders. They will gladly tell you what they know in regards to a particular individual.

  2. **Avoid the “unlucky” man! ** Everybody can understand that there are a number of tragedies that can occur throughout one’s lifetime. If, however, there are weekly tragedies, it is likely not true. Even if it were true, then why is the individual interested in game development? How can you adequately participate in a project with all of these “tragedies” occurring at the same time? This tactic is generally utilized in order to gather your game’s resources for future “business-related” ventures, or this is just an unfortunate case, in which an individual joins a team for attention.

  3. Be honest in regards to a difficult situation! If you would like to believe that these situations are actually valid, and the individual has not been completing any progress, then be honest about the situation. He obviously has too many tragedies to deal with, therefore, he does not have time to contribute toward the game. If you do keep such an individual, then you might potentially ask yourself in regards to why he is receiving incoming group-oriented files.

**3. Scam Artist: Lewis Foo
Location: United Kingdom
Type of Scam Artist: Skill Scamming & Resource Gathering
Position of Scam Artist: Hired Agent
Position of Reporter: Leader of Project Recruitment
Reported By: michaelw352 (Michael Phillips)
Resolution: No Cooperation
Skype: lfoo813208
Community Username: thefoothing (5 Posts)
How to Detect: When he is making an attempt to work with you, he will claim to be an advanced programmer, and only in “secondary” school.
Incident Report:

Lewis Foo joined our development team to work as a C++ programmer. He has been known across two development teams to give an impressive background, gather your game’s data, and then abandon your project. When you meet “Lewis” Foo, he will claim to have an impressive background in regards to being a programmer. He will begin by stating that he started programming at an extremely young age. After this, he will state that he has been taking several computer classes in secondary school, and will accept any challenging task. We decided that due to his “impressive” background, we would provide him with our most challenging programming-oriented task. He immediately accepted the tasks, and guaranteed that it would be finished in two weeks. He even gave made very intelligent programming-oriented statements in the group’s development chat. We were impressed, and expected the task to be finished within two weeks. We gave him the UI-based components in order to complete the task. Well, two weeks passed, and it was clear that Lewis had set his Skype-based status to “Offline.” After several days of attempting to make contact with this individual, he finally responded to my messages. He claimed that the task was going relatively, and asked us for additional resources. Then, he assured us that there would be images in regards to his progress in a very short frame of time. After giving him several weeks to once again show us progress, we have to find him for the second time. He told us that he would have progress within the next few days, and that he has a friend assisting him. Well, a few days passed, and we still received no progress. After no response after the third attempt to contact him, we finally decided to remove him from the team due to inactivity. Almost a few hours of being removed from the development team, Lewis removed me as a contact. We strongly believe that “Lewis Foo” was on our development team to gather free resources, and likely could not complete the given task.

**Tips: **

  1. Always have two programmers! At the very least, have a programmer that can verify your programmer. Scam artists posing as programmers typically learn programming terminology in order to sound similar to an extremely intelligent programmer. A second programmer can verify the legitimacy of your primary programmer. If the primary programmer does not sound legitimate, then you will be notified.

  2. Always be cautious of the “life-saving” programmer! Legitimate programmers never just accept a task, and go silent for weeks. True programmers will discuss the possibility of the task, the resources required, the time required, a starting quote, and will constantly be in contact with the rest of the team. The life-saving programmer will give you a difficult-to-believe background, accept the task, free resources, and then you are not likely see him again.

  3. As mentioned in several other scams, always keep track of activity! If your programmer is offline, then how are you supposed to track the progress of your game’s programming department? If the programmer is inactive, and you have to constantly to contact him for progress, then it is time to “cut the connection.” It is obvious that he is no longer interested, and no longer has an honest reason to be a part of the development team.

**4. Scam Artist: David Lami
Location: France
Type of Scam Artist: Skill Scamming, Time Scamming, & Resource Gathering
Position of Scam Artist: Hired Agent
Position of Reporter: Leader of Project Recruitment
Reported By: michaelw352 (Michael Phillips)
Resolution: No Cooperation
Skype: lamiville
Community Username: Unknown
How to Detect: He will request to see the previous modeler’s work. Then, he will always tell you that he can do it much better in such a short frame of time.
Incident Report:

“David Lami” joined our development team, and was set to be our UI Designer. Before you assign the first task, he will claim to be an exuberant UI Designer, and will ask to see the work of the former UI Designer. After taking a brief look at the assets, he will exclaim that he can do future tasks ages better than the previous UI Designer. I believe he actually does show you some form of a portfolio. We took him. Our next task required the UI Designer to use a previous asset, and build from that asset. Well, he elatedly retrieved the UI-oriented resources, and assured us that the task would be completed. Several weeks passed, and I decided to contact him for progress. His weak time of response was not very pleasant at all. He once again assured the team that the task would be completed much better than the previous UI Designer. Weeks passed, and we did not receive any updates in regards to the progress of the assigned task. He did, however, always stay online. After first, I was curious to know the reason as to why he would stay online, but I soon realized the truth. Relevantly similar to the situation with Aron, he was staying online, and gathering resources. After not responding to our various attempts to make contact with this individual, we were coerced to remove him from the development team. Similar to the situation with “Lewis” Foo, and “Wilson” Guerrero, he removed me only a few days after being removed. We can conclude that he was definitely active, but not completing the assigned task. In conclusion, he was very likely on our development team to gather our UI-oriented assets, and gather intelligence.

**Tips: **

  1. **Verify the legitimacy of the individual’s work! ** I can go online, rip a collection of assets from the internet, and copy my signature at the bottom-right corner of each image. You need to verify the individual’s legitimacy, and you can do that with some very clever tools that are readily available. Use TinEye! TinEye is a free reverse image search engine. Upload the image to the service, and you can very easily tell if the image had been ripped from another online source. If this is the case, then it is likely that you are going to be scammed. Using this service will verify the legitimacy of the individual’s work, and minimize your chances of being scammed.

TinEye - Reverse Image Search Engine

  1. Be cautious of the overqualified, or overconfident individual! Many of our best team members are never overconfident about their tasks. Many of them want the difficult task to be described several times, and will only claim that it is a possibility. Although it might potentially make you nervous to see that you have a team member saying that, do not let that make you lose confidence in the member. He is likely only underestimating himself, and you are even more likely to see a really great outcome within a considerable frame of time. Similar to the “Lewis” situation, the overconfident individual is fairly likely to accept a challenge that s/he cannot handle, or cannot do the task in general. The overqualified individual is fairly likely to not have enough time to dedicate to the project, or does not actually have the mentioned skills. Always be cautious of these individuals, but as they begin showing progress, increase your level of trust.

  2. Watermark your assets! If you cannot trust a stranger to take your assets in day-to-day life, then how can you trust somebody to “play fair” with your online assets? The answer is simple. You simply cannot trust somebody you just met on the internet. If the individual is asking to view the work of the former individual assigned to a particular task, then watermark the image. Watermarking an image simply means to take the image you are going to show him, and draw something over it. This will allow him to not have the potential to use your assets in future “ventures.” If you are assigning only a specific task that would only require the use of one asset, then do not give the individual the entire folder of assets. Only give him what he needs. After that, if your trust in the individual would be increasing, then you can begin distributing additional UI-based assets.

  3. **Do NOT keep giving an “MIA” member second chances! ** When you implement another team member, be absolutely sure to mention that you do NOT condone inactivity. For the first offense, it is alright to pass a warning over to the member. After this, especially if the individual has not been showing you any work at all, then it is time to remove him from the development team. These individuals are likely to waste time, and have no reason to be on your development team.

**5. Scam Artist: Sean Leonard
Location: Acton, California
Type of Scam Artist: Contract Scamming & Money Scamming
Position of Scam Artist: Recruiter
Position of Reporter: Hired Agent
Reported By: pinosh (Ovidiu Diac)
Resolution: No Cooperation
Skype: sean.verisurf
Community Username: Hellraisen (5 Posts)
How to Detect: In many of his messages, he frequently replaces the position of “n” by replacing it with “b.” He also misses several of his coordinating conjunctions.

Incident Report:

Ovidiu Diac is a contract-based programmer, and found the Unreal community! Diac is a very dedicated programmer to say the very least, however, a scam artist has once again found a way to attempt to dismantle a strong community. Diac was contracted to perform a task for Sean Leonard’s project. Diac described the project to Leonard. He was assigned to create the beginning of a pool-oriented infrastructure via the “Blueprints” function of the engine. The instructions were made in a very clear manner. The cue stick was to be designed in order to interpret given force in the process of rotating around the cue ball, and apply the force toward the cue ball in order to begin a reaction with the other balls. Leonard concurred to the statement of $80 for the task to be completed, and he assigned a date for Diac. Diac completed the task in a very timely manner, and provided the resources to Leonard. Leonard assured Diac that he would return after a very brief observation of the source. Unfortunately, quite a bit of time has passed without any notifications from Leonard. Diac has attempted to contact him several times, and has still not been compensated. At this point, It is very likely that Leonard has taken advantage of Diac, and will not be compensating him.

**Tips: **

  1. **Never just give your work to a client! ** When another individual with negative intentions has possession of your work, you are not likely to see the compensation for the work. If this individual would like to see proof of your work, use alternative methods. One appropriate method would be to record the work in order to show the client that you have completed your assignment. Remember, build legitimacy with your partner!

  2. **Investigate your client prior to doing any work for the individual! ** It is relatively difficult to detect a scam artist, however, there are many ways to reduce your chances of being scammed. In order to reduce your risk in terms of being scammed, you need to perform a background check. A free way of approaching this situation would be to perform a search regarding the individual’s username. This might potentially show any records of the individual’s online activity. You can also perform a real background check by using “Intelius.” This service will allow you to do a very detailed check with your potential work-oriented partner. This does come with a small fee, however, I have found it to be an extremely useful tool.

Intelius - Live in the Know!

  1. **Build a relationship with your client! ** Scam artists generally do not wish to build a relationship with the partner. Building a stable relationship with your client will assist in terms of validity by learning additional details about the client, and being able establish the legitimacy that is virtually required to feel confident in regards to distributing larger tasks.

**6. Scam Artist: Jason Welge
Location: Delavan, Wisconsin
Type of Scam Artist: Contract Scamming, Money Scamming, & Resource Gathering
Position of Scam Artist: Recruiter
Position of Reporter: Hired Agent
Reported By: DieByZer0 (Chris Ioakeimoglou)
Resolution: No Cooperation
Skype: welge8
Community Username: PanzerGamingStudios (8 Posts)
How to Detect: After you are finished completing a task for him, he will claim that he is moving. Also, he will generate false claims to have paid you after the task has been completed.

Incident Report:

Chris Ioakeimoglou is an avid designer, and an integral member of the Unreal community. As a freelancer in the community, he was just doing his job, checking the forums for a few solid tasks. In the process of the search, Ioakeimoglou found a job with Panzer Gaming Studios. This studio is operated by Jason Welge. Welge contracted Ioakeimoglou to complete a number of tasks, which Ioakeimoglou has described as a “plethora” of tasks. In the contract, both of the parties were in accords to the fact that there would be a cap in terms of how many hours Ioakeimoglou would work for each month. After that month, Welge claimed that Ioakeimoglou would be compensated for his work. Out of the entire given list, Ioakeimoglou reached the “cap.” This cap only gave him the ability to complete one asset. After completing the task, the end of the month had been nearing, and Ioakeimoglou was looking forward to his compensation for the asset. Rather than being properly compensated, he was told that Welge would be moving. After briefly discussing his plans, he would not respond to Ioakeimoglou, even given the fact that his contact clearly indicated activity on Skype. It took weeks before Welge made the decision to finally contact Ioakeimoglou. Welge claimed that he had absolutely no internet, and could not pay Ioakeimoglou, however, with the evidence given in previous statements, it is likely that Welge had access to an online connection. Immediately after making this claim, he told Ioakeimoglou that he sent the payment through PayPal via a mobile device. After weeks of not receiving any payments, it is clear that Welge has never paid Ioakeimoglou, and his statement of sending a payment is clearly false. Ioakeimoglou was determined to see he was compensated for his task. After multiple attempts to contact Welge, he was removed as a contact. All of his attempts were ignored, and not taken seriously. In this situation, due to the fact that Ioakeimoglou gave the asset to Welge, he lost approximately $253.68. What is more unfortunate would be that Ioakeimoglou worked ahead, and prepared additional assets from the list that would have given him over $1,000. After this situation, other individuals have also confirmed that Welge is running a scam operation.

**Tips: **

  1. Do NOT begin completing large tasks for clients! If you are binding your first contract with a new client, then it is very likely that you do not know that individual very well. A form of mutual trust needs to be established prior to large tasks being completed for the client. Never just complete a number of tasks prior to “testing” your new partner because you might have just wasted your time, which indirectly means that you are losing money. This will certainly reduce your risk of being scamming in either spectrum.

  2. Have no tolerance for excuses! Great project directors are required to know that their workers also have obligations that are in need of being fulfilled. Never allow the director to make multiple excuses in regards to why you cannot receive compensation for your work. If s/he cannot fulfill the duty of a director, then s/he should not be running a project that requires quite a bit of time in order to observe success in the future. It would be the director’s responsibility to delay, or discontinue the project due to time constraints. In this situation, it is clear that the director likely capitalized on life-based situations in order to avoid sending a payment, however, issues regarding running a project due to time constraints do occur.

  3. [COLOR="#FF0000"]If you are in the same country as your partner, notarize your contracts![/COLOR] Contracts without notarization are fine, however, to ensure the security of your compensation, have a lawyer notarize your contract for legitimacy. Do not let anybody tell you that a lawyer is not worth the money, and insanely expensive. Common lawyers have never been extremely expensive, and if they were, then there would not be many lawyers in business right now. In the United States, a notary public will notarize a contract for about $3. A lawyer would charge about $40, and it would be a flat fee. It depends on how your country operates.

  4. Go with your first instinct! If you feel uncomfortable with your partner, then you should not continue any future ventures with the individual. For example, if you felt uncomfortable with the payment process that this individual uses, avoid future ventures with your partner. If you felt uncomfortable with your partner’s intentions throughout the process of the task, then do NOT continue seeking future ventures with your partner. Remember, do not stay in a situation that does not make you feel comfortable.


Keys are used in order to understand the meaning of particular sections of this article. Use the keys below this text in order to gain a better understanding of this article.

** Resolution Key **

[table=“width: 500, class: grid, align: center”]


 ***No Cooperation*** 
 *The scam artist has interest in neither disputing, nor resolving the situation. Attempts to resolve the situation have been ignored.*  

 *** Disputing | Individual Cooperating (Stage 1 of 2) *** 
 * The individual is showing interest in cooperating with the other entity. At this stage, the entities are communicating in order to understand the position of each entity, however, the entities may not potentially completely understand the gravity of the situations that each entity would retain.* 

 *** Disputing | Individual Cooperating (Stage 2 of 2) *** 
 * The individual is cooperating. At this stage, the entities are in accordance with the gravity, and perspectives of the situations that each entity would retain. At this stage, resolutions are being proposed.* 

 *** Legally Disputing | Individual Will NOT Cooperate***
**[CENTER] The dispute is attempting to be resolved, however, legal intervention is being utilized in order for the individual to cooperate. *[/CENTER]*

 *** Dispute Legally Resolved | Individual Will NOT Cooperate ***
**[CENTER] The dispute was resolved, however, legal intervention was required. *[/CENTER]*

 *** Dispute Resolved | Individual Cooperates ***
**[CENTER] The individual has displayed genuine interest in resolving the situation, and has successfully resolved the dispute. The dispute could potentially be resolved through apologizing, distributing the appropriate number of resources for the money paid toward particular items, completing a task that was compensated, signing a contract that will solidify that resources that are in possession will clearly not be utilized in terms of being used for monetary purposes, or any other resolution that would resolve the dispute. *[/CENTER]*

There will additional reports in the near future.
I am the team leader of the Horizon project, and we will NOT tolerate scamming.
We would also like to assist our preferred engine’s community by providing up-to-date information in regards to this topic.

  • Michael Phillips

I think that this should be stickied, perhaps moved to the Got Skills/Looking for Talent forum too.

I respectfully appreciate the positive response in regards to this topic! I also hope to see this become a sticky in such a section. :slight_smile:

GET THIS STICKIED on the got skills/looking for talent section!! man michael thanks so much for sharing the link with me on skype . almost got scammed by wilson . lol he was gonna be the project lead for us haha thanks for letting me know about them. :cool:

I am doing what I can in order to maximize the scope of the security of this community, and this is one way I would like to contribute.

thanks for this info, scams like this can truly cripple indie teams by wasting time, and very valuable resources (not many indies have money to toss around)

Most legitimate freelance artists will ask for a down payments, Normally around 40-50% down payment, and they will often refuse Paypal because artists can easily be scammed and denied money after transferring the files.

Any decent freelance artist will have a contract with all the their details and terms of service, they’ll often include a limited number of revisions before extra charges occur. Any contract should protect you and the freelancer.

You get what you pay for when it comes to artists.

I agree with this statement. Not all scams are related to money. Many of them will claim to know a trade, acquire resources, and then leave with what they have in order to use for their own ventures. You can defend yourself by saying that you should create a contract, but be honest. Do you really think that anything is going to happen in the case that an individual from Vietnam is planning to share your resources? It is just going to convert itself into an issue that would be beyond difficult to solve. Scam artists know the difficulty involved in such situations, and that is why you should do your best to keep your freelancers in the country you reside in. The best advise I have is to just really watch the individuals joining your team. You may go through some of these issues, however, after you gain experience in leading a team, your recruitment skills will gradually increase. This thread is meant to assist this community in regards to avoiding such situations, but I can only do a number of things. I do appreciate the positive input! :slight_smile:

I apologize, however, I am not going to concur with some of these statements. My best freelance-based modelers accept PayPal, and although PayPal has its flaws, it is a very safe service to use. As I have stated prior to responding to your statements, PayPal does have a 45-day dispute policy. Western Union is generally frowned up, and is known to be a scam artist’s best friend. Craigslist even advises against using the service. After quite a bit of experience in regards to game development, I have learned that contracts are typically not taken seriously over the internet, especially when there are many boundaries. First, you have to understand that smaller teams are not big companies. If you focus all of your time toward going after scam artists, then when are you spending time actually developing your game? It is not as if you had your own legal department to handle your case. You have one attorney, and many attorneys are generally not interested in working outside of national boundaries. Just remember what I keep reiterating. The focus of your game should not be discussing millions of possible legal-oriented situations. The team should be focused on the components of the game. If the game ever reaches the point that would call for binding contracts, then you can begin distributing contracts. Otherwise, do not waste your own time. My best advise is just to choose the right candidates. Freelancers generally do not ask for down payments. It only happens after a freelancer went through an unfortunate situation with a client.

Most professional freelancers will be able to provide a contract, and typically will ask for upfront payment, unless you are just using the cheapest amateur freelance artists you can find. The more you are willing to pay a freelance, the less likely it’s as scam and the more professional the freelancer will behave. Legally it’s much simpler to deal with freelancers from your own country. If you want to be really safe, go with a out sourcing studio like

Also read How NOT to hire an artist | Jon Jones, smArtist

Thanks for the heads up here. I’ll make sure we keep a watchful eye on this sort of thing, and see if any measures can be put in place to help fend this stuff off.

Thanks for the info…

In my experience, the best way to work with new people is in very small clearly defined milestones.
As trust increases the person can be relied upon, then you can relax the rules a bit and work on larger milestones.

Regarding payment upfront, in most cases artists/programmers will only start work if they have 50% upfront, this is usually standard practice.
The way to minimise this risk is once again, to work in very small clearly defined milestones. So if they run with your money, you only lose a few dollars.
Report this person to the community.

I see where you are going with this, however, we generally do not tend to work with outsourced studios. We work as a group, and we follow our own guidelines. Outsourced studios typically do not retain the communication-oriented aspect that we need in a group. We will, therefore, seek an individual entity. Also, I believe you are under a false assumption. We definitely do not hire the least expensive modelers, and I can confirm that the majority of these individuals will typically state that they will begin the task. They also mention that they would only like to be paid after the job has been finished, approved, and tested. I will admit that a number of artists have requested down payments, however, after explaining my situation, they understand the situation. We were even able to turn the tasks into pieces in order to prevent scamming. There are a number of scenarios, and solutions in regards to this situation.

I appreciate your response, and that I am receiving support from the community’s security sector. I am glad that we are gaining additional “eyes” within the community. I believe that a considerable course of action would be to migrate this thread to the recruitment-oriented section, and have this listed at the top of that section. This will definitely alert individuals looking to recruit.

I agree with this statement. Prior to a task being issued, you should determine the milestones. You should also only assign a larger task to a trusted individual. The down payment depends on the individual.

Hey, thanks for the information I really appreciate it.

Personally, I always feel it’s best to not work with anyone unless they hand you over work that is clearly their own first.

For example, if they show you a scene and put their name into to image (personally I just sign it on the bottom) or link you to their blog.
Please, always ask to see previous work first it’s a good way of determining if the person you are hiring is a scam artist.

~ Jason

Thanks Michael this is more than helpful! Much appreciated.

I appreciate the positive feedback, and your advice is perfect. Check for previous work, however, also consider other mentioned factors.

I am glad that I could assist you! :slight_smile:
If there are any scams that I am aware of, then I will notify this community as quickly as possible.

Also, I will be adding another scam artist to the list later today, and I will be correcting a few typos that I found in my thread. Be sure to check back later today for all of the up-to-date information regarding security threats to this community.

As a freelancer programmer who has been hired a few times, here is how i make sure everything is alright.
First, the tasks have to be precisely defined and perfectly clear, if they are a few small tasks that get combined into a bigger one, then better.
For the payment, normally i understand people not allways trust that directly, so i normally do a small task of the contract, or a part of it, and that gets paid, for more or less what its worth(30-50%). If the contractor pays that smaller part, then he probably will pay it all, if he doesnt pay properly or “ill pay later” or similar, just leave, at most you lost an hour or 2 of work, instead of the complete contract. Anyway, its important that if you are the contractor, look for the possible employee in the forums, portfolio, etc. Try to ask other people you know he worked with to have an idea.
This is very important becouse we cant let scammers go free, or just get scammed, this is a serious community and there are serious professionals, this thread is pretty good.

The thread has been updated with a new scam artist, fresh tips, and a few corrections!

Let me start by thanking you for the positive input in regards to this thread, and topic in general. It means quite a bit to have a moderator supporting such a “touchy” topic. I appreciate it, and I completely agree with your statements. The tasks should be “precisely defined.” It assists the contracted individual, and also the leader. I also concur with many of your other suggestions, such as being in contact with other leaders, and checking for legitimacy. I only hope for this topic to be a “sticky” in the proper section in order to notify a number of leaders about such a growing issue. It would bring additional scam artists to the page, and with this being in the proper section, it would notify a greater number of recruiters.

agree agree agreed! just because i give money for my Project doesnt mean that i’ve got all this money toss around when i don’t. and then if you don’t give them all this money they want for a task they accuse of being a selfish rich person and oh my gosh it goes on and on and on. if only they knew the reality of our budgets.

I can actually relate to that, and I believe other leaders would also concur with such a statement. Quite a few of these scam artists morally believe that you are incredibly wealthy just because you can fund a project, and they typically justify their actions as tenable due to this manner of thinking. It is true that we have quite a bit of funding for our project, however, that definitely does not mean that we have a “tree” that tosses money our way after a scam artists decides to run with our money. Great point, GameStar…

Also, I will be adding another scam artist to avoid in a short frame of time, so stay tuned!

I really do not want to be “that guy” but from my experience. Threads like this can incite witch hunts so to speak and can chase good community members away.

EDIT: I guess I should clarify -

  1. People who report scam artists should be done privately to moderators and admin staff.
  2. These guys whose community names are unknown. Can easily just create a new Skype account. See Number 1.
  3. It make the reporting person (IF a big list of scams pile up in a single thread) seem like they are actively seeking people out to name and shame them. See Number 1.

Just my take on it :slight_smile: