Be careful what you pay for...

By Katharine Swan On Monday, August 06, 2007 At 2:47 PM

The internet abounds with scams to make you pay for information -- often information that you can get without paying for it. Freelance Work Exchange and GoFreelance.com are perfect examples of this: According to some things I have read online, many of the job ads on this paid membership site are simply reposted from Craigslist and other job boards, where you could have gotten the listings for free.

Here's another example. In doing some research for an article, I ran across an article with some information I wanted. Unfortunately, I had to pay in order to access the article. The prices were ridiculously high: from $9.95 (to access only the articles on my specific subject) all the way up to $99.95 (for a year of unrestricted access).

Following a hunch, I highlighted part of one of the excerpt's sentences and dragged it into my Google toolbar. And what do you know? The same exact article is available, for free, from another site.

I can't help but wonder what exactly is going on here. One of the two sites might be infringing on the other's copyrights. Or they might be run by the same company, on that is betting on people being lazy enough to just go ahead and pay their fees on the membership site...while making money off of the ads on the free site. Either way, it's a disgusting scam.

The moral of the story? Do your research, and beware of any site charging you money to access the same materials you can find elsewhere for free.

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

Yep, I've run across this scam as well. Like you, I was smart enough to paste in some key phrases and find the article(s) for free. Everything's free on the Internet if you know where to look for it...I suppose that's one of the things we've learned from all our online research over the years.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

It's amazing the things we learn as writers...

1) How to search successfully online

2) How not to get taken advantage of by scams

3) How to keep our guard up (read: suspect that just about ANYTHING could be a scam) ;o)

 
 
Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

Katharine said, "It's amazing the things we learn as writers...3) How to keep our guard up (read: suspect that just about ANYTHING could be a scam) ;o)"

To which I add, ...which hasn't exactly helped my dating life. LOL

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

You never know. That suspicion could have saved you from dating any number of scumbags. ;o)

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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