Deadbeat is Threatening to Blacklist Me

Hi Angela,

I have been a subscriber of yours for at least two years and I have learned a lot about freelance writing from your articles. My writing has developed over this time and I have even ghostwritten a couple of books, although I still take steady work writing articles from time to time. I am writing you because of an issue I have seen over and over, although it has only happened to me once before, when I first started out.

I was approached about a month ago by a person who said he was referred from a former client. I did not know this client well, but I had worked for him once. The man asked me to write some articles for him on a regular basis, which I agreed to do. He sent information to me regarding these articles and the information did state that he paid after 10,000 words was reached. I agreed to this.

During all this time, the man gave the impression he was in the United States. He was very good. My first indication that he was not in the United States came when we started talking about the day he would pay me every week. He mentioned that he would have to “recharge” his Paypal account to pay me that way, which he said he did not want to do. This conversation came about only last week. He then said, no worries, he would do a bank transfer.

He was supposed to pay me on Monday and I gave him my banking information, including a routing number, which is what you need in the United States. He contacted me and told me he needed a SWIFT code which is what is used for international transfers. When I gave it to him, he then contacted me and told me there was a problem with it, so I double checked again with my bank.

Needless to say, he has had one excuse after another for not paying me. He now says he did not use any of the articles and therefore, he does not owe me anything. He gave me assignments right up to Monday, the day he was supposed to pay me.

This is a big problem, especially for new writers trying to break into the business. People from foreign countries bid on jobs meant for native English-speaking writers, pretending they are, and then hire American writers to do the work.

When I first began my freelance writing, I took work from someone that at first pretended to be American, but then decided to be honest with me. He then offered me money to bid on jobs specifically for English-speaking writers so that his team of writers in India could do them. I refused and ended our relationship.

I don’t know what can be done about this issue, but it is becoming more prevalent every day. Unfortunately on the Internet, you have no way of knowing who you are really working for.

He told me if I continued (to post warnings about him online) he would make sure I was blacklisted as a writer. I have done nothing wrong. I provided the articles requested and I have proof of every conversation I had with this man. He can threaten me all he wants, but I will still continue my crusade to help ensure other writers don’t get burned by him or others like him.

Angela Responds:

There is no “blacklist” of writers. He’s blowing hot air at you because he knows he owes you money.

I would be FAR more concerned about him having your bank account information. Never give your bank info. to anybody. If they can’t send you a money order or check, or pay you through Paypal, there is something very wrong with their business.

Writers with complaints about deadbeats like this one can post complaints here:


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