It’s much easier than you think. You don’t even have to go to the Dark Web to get it done. It’s all there in plain sight on Google and Facebook.
Try it for yourself. All you have to do is type one of these: “buy/sell Upwork account” or “buy/sell Fiverr account.” See what happens. Hey, you can even make demands!
You can choose a new freelance account or a well-established one that has been around for some time. The more reviews it has?—?the more you’ll have to pay for it. Suit yourself!
A Black Market For Freelancers Has So Much To Offer
The most amusing thing for me personally was a situation where someone actually posted a project on Freelancer dot com offering money to pass the English exam on his behalf. And, that’s not all freelance folks.
It turned out that one of my readers was a controversial IT expert?—?a hacker. So, one day he approached me with an “indecent proposal.” He actually wanted to help me. How? Well, he offered to change my IP address and make it possible for me to appear as if I’m a freelance writer from the USA or the UK. You name a country, he can get you a flag for your freelance account.
It goes without saying that as a “native speaker,” I would be able to charge more for my work. Of course, I said, thank you, but no thank you. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. My faith in the “freelance system” has been shaken to the core.
I Freelance by The Rules, Why Should I Worry Or Even Care?
Now, I will do my very best not to sound pathetic, but let me put it this way.
Freelancing is an extremely fragile structure. All it takes is to remove a single brick, with the word “trust” on it, for the freelance wall to collapse in a blink of an eye.
A freelancer who doesn’t care about this black market is just like the Roman emperor Nero who enjoys the view from his balcony by neglecting one “tiny” fact. The whole city is about to disappear in flames.
What Is The Solution?
There’s a surprisingly simple and efficient solution to deal with this problem. It is called – the Digital Credibility.
You don’t have to fight the black market by threatening the freelancers. All you have to do is to eliminate the cause that’s fueling the black market in the first place.
If a freelance website, I’m working on, allows me to use links to my personal website, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile, then it would be impossible for me to sell my freelance account. If the clients have an option to do thorough research on a freelancer, they want to hire, based on available social media information, then the real people will get the real jobs.
It’s more or less easy to buy or sell any digital account, but trying to do the same with your digital identity is a completely different thing. Your digital identity is as strong and reliable as your digital credibility is. Digital credibility includes a dozen different and independent pieces of social media information, you simply can’t fake all at the same time.
What Is The Problem?
A freelancer who’s opposing the digital credibility has something to hide. A freelance platform that’s forbidding you to associate the third-party links to your freelance profile clearly treats you like its property. That’s what Upwork is doing right now.
If a client has to ask himself whether or not freelancers are who they claim they are, then the freelance industry is doomed. It’s that simple. Either the black market will infest the industry with the fake profiles or the digital credibility will become the gold standard of freelancing.
For the sake of all freelancers, I sure hope we aren’t too late.