x
Breaking News
More () »

Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Got a side hustle or a small business? The BBB says you're a target for this scam.

You'll need a logo or a website built for your business. Here's where it goes wrong and how to keep your money safe.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Chances are, you know, or are a small business owner. It could be a brick-and-mortar business or an at-home business that many would consider a side hustle. Either way, people need to know about the business. Which is where freelancers, software designers, and graphic artists come in.

For example, a friend of mine is an electrician, he went out on his own and started his own small business, it's called Camel City Electric. His wife thought up the idea of using the camel’s humps as the Winston-Salem skyline. But they needed an artist to create the logo.

The Better Business Bureau is warning small business owners to be careful who they hire. Popular sites are Upwork.com or Freelancer.com.  Both are on the up and up. But that doesn’t mean scammers don’t make their way on the site.

“They have a resume and the knowledge that you need. You have to pay an up-front free. At first, everything is great, but then weeks go by and the job isn't getting finished and eventually, the freelancer stops returning your messages,” explained Lechelle Yates of the BBB.

It's a scam that can be hard to spot because the freelancer appears qualified. In some instances, the scammer has copied a real graphic designer's photos and work. So, how can you tell?

“Do a video interview. We're all used to that these days,” said Yates.  “And this gives you the chance to make sure the pictures and the experience match up to what this person posted online”.

If the person says something is wrong with their computer, hold off, after all, you are hiring them for a tech-related job.