Is Fiverr Legit? (How To Avoid Getting Scammed & Stay Safe)

Fiverr home page showing the search bar to find freelancers.

Fiverr is a popular freelance marketplace with millions of users, but many buyers and sellers wonder if it’s a legit platform. With freelancers in all sorts of industries working on the platform, it’s no wonder that many new to it may ask whether Fiverr is safe to use.

Fiverr is a legit freelancer marketplace, with built-in measures and protocols to ensure you’re not scammed out of your money or hard work. Fiverr acts as a third-party between clients and freelancers, handling transactions between the two. This ensures that Fiverr is safe to use.

In this article, I’ll examine what exactly makes Fiverr legit, and I’ll discuss how safe the platform really is. But first, let’s give a bit of information about the platform itself.

Is Fiverr Legit?

Fiverr is legit, as it has shareholder backing and relies on its good business practices to stay profitable. The platform puts rigorous measures in place to ensure anyone that uses the platform is a real person offering real services, and to ensure that buyers don’t take advantage of freelancers.

Fiverr is an Israeli start-up, founded in 2010, designed as an online marketplace for freelancers. Clients can browse the platform for freelancers to hire, based on the services they need. Fiverr has a wide range of services to choose from. These include logo design, data entry, advanced programming, writing services, and animation. Fiverr acts like a matchmaking service for freelancers and clients.

Fiverr is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (listed as FVRR). Companies listed on the NYSE have to meet certain requirements and are regulated by various rules and laws. So, if Fiverr tries to scam its users, regulators would likely sniff it out very quickly and Fiverr would face punishment as a result. It’s therefore in Fiverr’s best interests to operate a safe and legit environment for buyers and sellers.

How Fiverr Keeps Payments Safe

To understand how Fiverr keeps things safe and legit on the platform, we need to consider the overall process for placing orders and paying for work.

After setting up a Fiverr account, a freelancer can post up to 7 gigs (for new sellers) to advertise their services on the marketplace. When a potential client likes the look of a freelancer’s gig, they might contact the freelancer to learn more about their services.

The client then chooses one of the freelancer’s gig packages. Clients can also request custom orders from freelancers, addressing specific requirements and guidelines for the job.

The client makes an upfront payment at this point (although there are milestone options too). However, the freelancer doesn’t immediately receive the money, as Fiverr holds it until the order is complete. Even then there is a 2-week clearance period (1 week for top rated sellers).

WARNING: If a freelancer/client asks for payment outside of Fiverr, beware, as this could be a scam! I’ll talk more about getting scammed on Fiverr later in the article.

After finishing the gig and fulfilling the request of the client, the freelancer marks the order as delivered. The buyer can then mark it as complete, or request revisions if need be.

Fiverr’s Order Dispute System

If there is a problem with the order, and the two parties aren’t able to resolve the issue, they can always turn to the Resolution Center. Here, Fiverr’s customer service team assesses the situation and solves any issues.

This payment model protects both buyers and sellers. It ensures your personal and payment details are only shared with Fiverr. It also reduces the risk of a buyer failing to pay for work done by a seller. It also prevents a seller from being able to take a buyer’s money without completing the work. In exchange for providing this protection, Fiverr takes a cut of the gig price and it charges buyers a service fee too.

Is Fiverr Safe For Credit Cards?

Fiverr is safe for credit cards, and all transactions on the platform are encrypted and secure. Fiverr is PCI DSS Level 1 compliant – the highest level of compliance. Processing over 6 million credit card transactions each year, Fiverr is subject to strict data security requirements. This includes an annual review of its PCI compliance.

Is Fiverr Safe To Use?

Fiverr is safe, as the platform securely encrypts all your data. There are also measures in place to ensure your personal and payment information are always kept safe, which is why you should only ever communicate or accept payments through the platform.

Fiverr also allows buyers and sellers to communicate and share files through its secure messaging platform. This gives you a record of all interactions, which you can reference in the future if there are any issues.

In addition to protecting your financial details and communication, Fiverr also has strict policies when it comes to your personal data.

Is Your Personal Data Safe On Fiverr?

Your personal data is safe on Fiverr. Fiverr has a detailed privacy policy, which discusses how they use your personal data and outlines the steps the company takes to keep it safe.

Fiverr does track and record some of your personal information. On their privacy policy page, they mention that they save your data for “as long as is required to fulfil the purpose for which is collected.” How long this period lasts is uncertain.

Fiverr’s privacy policy also explains how you can access your personal data and make requests to modify or delete it (you can also delete your Fiverr account).

This policy complies with both the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These two pieces of legislation are some of the strictest in the world when it comes to data protection.

How Fiverr Protects Your Personal Data

Fiverr has strong data security processes in place to prevent your personal data from being accessed. Fiverr doesn’t share your personal information with third parties without your permission. But Fiverr can only control and protect the personal data it collects.

Users are responsible for the information they share with others on the platform. For this reason, you should never share bank account or credit card details, physical addresses, or passwords with other users. This should be pretty obvious!

Both as a freelancer and as a client, you have to enter some personal information (including a payment method) when hiring or providing a service. So, it’s fair to wonder if this personal data is going to be kept safe, and thankfully it is. However, there is still a risk of getting scammed on Fiverr, and that’s what the next section of this article will deal with.

Can You Get Scammed On Fiverr?

You can get scammed on Fiverr, but the only way this will usually happen is if you don’t abide by Fiverr’s Terms of Service. Fiverr has measures in place to ensure communications and transactions are secure. If you communicate or conduct transactions off the platform, you could get scammed.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to get scammed on Fiverr. As a platform that connects freelancers with buyers, there is always a risk of getting taken advantage of, no matter which side you’re on. However, if you take the right precautions and do the necessary research to find trustworthy freelancers or clients, you can avoid getting scammed.

Before doing business with someone on Fiverr, make sure you do your due diligence, research their profile, read reviews from people they’ve worked with in the past (as a buyer or a seller), and ask questions about their services before you place any orders.

A General Rule

It’s also important to remember that if something looks too good to be true, it likely is. If the price for a service seems too low and you’re getting an offer that goes beyond the scope of what is being advertised, it’s potentially a scam.

Finally, make sure to pay attention to how a seller responds to your inquiries. A legitimate seller will be happy to answer your questions and provide more information about their services, while those who are trying to scam you may avoid getting into specifics or attempt to rush you into making decisions before you have done your research.

Does Fiverr Refund If You Get Scammed?

Fiverr does refund if you get scammed. If you get scammed or if a freelancer doesn’t follow through with the work, you can usually get your money back fairly quickly. Note that this only applies if you paid for services on the platform. If you used external payment methods, you won’t get a refund.

Fiverr tries to minimize the risk of you getting scammed by holding payments until both parties agree a gig is complete. The seller rating system is also designed to ensure only legitimate sellers appear on the platform.

If you look on review sites, you will often hear horror stories from people who have had a terrible time on Fiverr. Others will talk about how they got scammed. This happens on every platform, and it’s unfortunate of course.

However, below I will outline the key steps you can take to avoid getting scammed on Fiverr, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

How To Avoid Getting Scammed On Fiverr As A Buyer

Only Communicate & Pay On The Platform

To avoid getting scammed on Fiverr, the most important thing you can do is to conduct all transactions on Fiverr’s platform. In addition to violating Fiverr’s terms of use, communicating or paying for services outside of Fiverr also raises alarm bells about the legitimacy of the interaction.

If a seller suggests an upfront payment or using another payment method outside of the platform, you should report them to Fiverr, and do not give them any of your money!

Look At Past Reviews Of The Seller

One of the most reliable ways to check whether a seller is legitimate is by looking at their rating. If they have lots of negative reviews or the reviews look odd, then their gig may be a scam. A review that seems to be a generic template could be a fake one. You can also see when a seller joined Fiverr, and if they joined the platform a week ago but already have 150 reviews, it might be a scammer.

Fiverr has a level system that’s also useful for identifying legitimate sellers. A Level 1, Level 2, or Top Rated badge indicates the seller has received high ratings and produces quality work. Sellers can also offer Pro rated gigs, and these are vetted by Fiverr’s team, but they’re usually very expensive.

Ask For Samples Of Their Work

You should also always request examples of previous work from a seller. If they don’t have these displayed on their profile or they can’t provide them, the gig may not be legit.

Be Wary Of Lofty Offerings

If a gig promises to achieve something unrealistic, either in terms of the service or the turnaround time, it may not be legit. While Fiverr aims to be a home for services at an affordable price, an extremely low price may indicate a scam.

If the gig seems too good to be true, it often is!

Report Any Suspicious Activity

Finally, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, if you believe someone is violating Fiverr’s terms of service, you should report them to Fiverr Support. This helps Fiverr address any problematic users and improves the overall experience for everyone on the platform.

Reporting violations may also result in a refund of any money you’ve paid. At the very least, it helps Fiverr deal with potential scammers so other users won’t have the same experience!

Avoid These Fiverr Gigs

Another easy way to avoid getting scammed on Fiverr as a buyer is to steer clear of certain types of gigs. There are several kinds of gigs you should avoid on Fiverr:

  • Buying backlinks, followers, likes, or subscribers – The algorithm usually detects these as spam and penalizes seller rankings, but as a buyer you should not be looking for these services on Fiverr. There is a high risk of getting scammed with these kinds of gigs.
  • SEO work that promises unrealistic results – Sellers advertising these gigs often use black hat SEO techniques that can negatively impact your website’s rankings in the long run, and they’re often just scams.
  • Gigs that violate Fiverr’s terms of service – These include adult-orientated service or misleading or deceptive gigs. If you buy these types of gigs, Fiverr may suspend you from the platform.

Common Ways You Might Get Scammed On Fiverr As A Buyer

Low Quality Deliverables

Some freelancers on Fiverr will offer you a very low price for their services, but the work they provide may be of lower quality than what they promise. Be sure to read reviews from other buyers and perhaps request samples before getting started with any project.

Unfinished Work

It’s not uncommon for freelancers to take payment and then disappear without finishing the job they were paid to do. While you will be able to cancel orders and get your money back in most cases, it’s still a major hassle that you’d ideally avoid.

Fake Profiles

You should always be wary of profiles that don’t have any reviews or offer services for extremely low prices. These could be signs of a scammer trying to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. While all sellers have to start somewhere and they won’t start out with any reviews, there is still some inherent risk here.

How To Find Legit Freelancers On Fiverr

Things to bear in mind when trying to find legit freelancers on Fiverr include:

  • Experience – Look for sellers who have plenty of experience in the field you’re looking for. Check out their portfolio to get an idea of what they’ve done before and read through their reviews to see how other people felt about working with them.
  • Quality – Make sure that the seller has samples of previous work they can show you. This will help you get an understanding of the quality of work they produce.
  • Reasonable Pricing – Watch out for sellers who are charging too little or too much for their services. This isn’t necessarily a sign that they’re fraudulent, but it could be a red flag and you should do more research before getting into an agreement with them.
  • Communication – Good communication is essential for getting quality results from any freelancer. Make sure to check that your seller responds promptly to messages and questions before placing an order, and if anything seems off or they take too long to reply, it may be best to avoid working with them.
  • Professionalism – A professional freelancer will go above and beyond when it comes to getting the job done right and on time. They won’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify instructions, and they will also be honest about any problems that come up during the project.

Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed As A Freelancer On Fiverr

Only Do Business On The Platform

Communicating or receiving payment outside of the platform is against Fiverr’s terms of service, as I’ve mentioned a few times above. It’s also a red flag if a buyer wants to do so and it may indicate they’re a scammer. As a seller, if you engage with a buyer outside of the platform and are caught, you also risk having your account banned by Fiverr.

Communicate Clearly With Buyers

This applies both to your gig and when answering any questions a buyer may have. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings or mismatched expectations down the track. If their communication seems off or if they take too long to reply, it could indicate they’re a scammer.

Check Buyer Reviews

Finally, you can also check the reviews other sellers have left for that buyer. Be wary of any that look fake, such as lots of reviews that seem to be copied and pasted.

Common Ways You Might Get Scammed On Fiverr As A Freelancer

Low Payment

Buyers can sometimes offer very low prices for services that would normally cost more. Be sure to set a minimum rate and don’t accept jobs that don’t meet your standards. If a buyer is trying to negotiate a very low price, there is a chance they will let you complete the work and then cancel the order, or simply underpay you for the job. While not scamming exactly, this is clearly something you want to avoid.

Bad Reviews

Some buyers will leave negative reviews even if you do everything they asked in exactly they way they asked for it. If you do this and they leave a bad review, there is unfortunately nothing you can do about it. You can only respond to the review and try to smooth out the way it looks on your profile, or do nothing and move on, never working with that buyer again.

Never try to get a buyer to change a review or leave a positive one. This can result in your account being suspended or banned.

Cancellation After Delivery

Sadly, buyers can cancel Fiverr orders after delivery, and while this will open a dispute within the Resolution Center, it often goes the buyer’s way. The only way to really avoid this is to check the buyer has positive reviews on their profile. It will rarely happen, but it’s something to be aware of.

What To Do If You Get Scammed On Fiverr

If you think or know you have been scammed on Fiverr, you should get in contact with the customer service team as soon as possible. Be cooperative with them, and provide as much detail as you can about the issue and they will aim to resolve it quickly.

Fiverr will often try to refund you for any payments as I mentioned earlier, but this is not guaranteed. This is why it’s key that you take the precautions outlined above, whether you’re a buyer or a seller on the platform.

Fiverr Seller Protection

I will also admit that Fiverr’s seller protection is somewhat lacking. There are many cases of freelancers doing all the work as clients asked of them and still losing out in the Resolution Center, just because a buyer told a convincing story.

This is something I hope will be improved on Fiverr in the future.

Now let’s discuss one of the key aspects of staying safe on Fiverr – checking reviews. As this is important for buyers and sellers alike, it’s vital you understand how to spot real and fake Fiverr reviews.

Are Fiverr Reviews Real?

Fiverr reviews are normally real, as the platform only allows real buyers to review gigs. This means the buyer has to go through a real transaction with the seller to be able to provide feedback. The same applies to sellers leaving reviews on buyer profiles. There are ways to tell if a Fiverr review is fake.

Some sellers may work with fake accounts (although Fiverr makes this hard to do) or with other sellers to exchange positive reviews with each other, but this is rare.

How To Spot Fake Fiverr Reviews

The most obvious way to spot fake Fiverr reviews is if a gig has lots of the same reviews (i.e. the same or similar wording), and often from the same buyers. This indicates the seller has set up another account or is working with someone else to provide lots of fake reviews. The same wording of reviews from different buyers would also be a red flag.

You can also see when a buyer left a review. So, if you see a gig with lots of reviews from the same day or week, and not many either side of that, those reviews might be fake.

Fiverr seller reviews showing variety of them suggesting they are real and not fake.
Look for variety in the reviews, and plenty of them

Finally, let’s discuss the idea of order cancellations on Fiverr, and how they relate to how legit the platform is and how you can avoid getting scammed.

Can Fiverr Orders Get Cancelled?

Fiverr orders can be cancelled, and reasons for cancellations can include:

  • One party has stopped communicating
  • The buyer has not given the seller the information they need to complete the order
  • The seller is unable to complete the order for personal or technical reasons
  • The seller has not completed the order in time

Both buyers and sellers can cancel an order on Fiverr if they provide a good reason to do so.

Buyers and sellers can make a cancellation request through Fiverr’s Resolution Centre. The request is sent to the other party to accept or reject it. The party requesting the cancellation should include as much detail as possible in their request.

When both parties agree, the order is cancelled. If the buyer or seller rejects the cancellation request, Fiverr’s Customer Support team may get involved. The other party has 48 hours to respond to a cancellation request, and if they don’t, the order is automatically cancelled.

How Does This Relate To Getting Scammed?

Buyers may try to scam you as a freelancer on Fiverr by getting you to complete work, mark the order as complete, and then cancel it through the resolution center. This means they get the work but you don’t get paid.

This is rare, and as long as you take the steps I outlined above you can avoid getting scammed in this way. However, there is always the chance a buyer might try to scam you by cancelling the order at some point.

For this reason, it’s best to follow these tips:

  • Before accepting an order, iron out all the details with the client and monitor how they communicate
  • Look at past reviews on the buyer’s profile from other freelancers
  • Avoid submitting work until you’re ready to mark the order as complete

Fiverr Is A Safe & Legit Platform

Fiverr is a legit platform and it is 100% safe to use. Staying safe on the platform is all about remaining vigilant and being aware of the kinds of gigs to avoid as a buyer. Avoiding giving out your personal information is the easiest way to stay safe as a freelancer, and you should always keep communication and payments on the platform.

For more tips on getting the most out of the platform, check out our ultimate Fiverr guide.

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