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I attempted to purchase a post

The question “How much do you charge for a guest article on TechCrunch?” pops up in my inbox a couple times every day. For SEO purposes, people are attempting to obtain inbound links from TechCrunch.

According to the hypothesis, a connection from TechCrunch increases your site’s credibility in Google’s eyes, making it worthwhile to accomplish. But is that actually what’s going on here?

After receiving a few hundred of these, I know I should disregard them, but then I got a message from someone who had paid someone on the freelancing marketplace Fiverr for a link on TechCrunch.

He approached me to inquire about the timing of the article’s publication after being duped.

Evidently, someone had used my name as a contact at TechCrunch, which confused me. Naturally, I told him to contact Fiverr and that I was powerless to help.

So I started to wonder what would happen if I tried to purchase a TechCrunch story.

I think it cost me around $800 to try to have a TechCrunch piece published. I’m the one getting paid to write for TechCrunch, so joke’s on me. Image Credits: Fiverr screenshot

Dozens of people were offering articles on Fiverr, according to a search on the site. I talked to a few of them and gave them money. I also did this using my entire, legal name, so that it was clear who was requesting.

Cleaning houses on Fiverr

Scammers were active in droves. I forwarded this to my contact. It will take 16 days to publish, but if you would please release the money now, I assure you that it will be done. The fraud involves asking for the money to be released before the outcome.

On their website, Fiverr states that “the funds remain under a ‘pending’ status for a 14-day clearing period.

This time frame is for processing payments and ensuring customer satisfaction.” To put it another way, when the vendors tell you that you must wait 16 days, they are not just waiting for their inside contact to click “Publish,” but also for the money to clear.

“These services ought to never have been allowed on our platform. We appreciate you bringing this to our notice so we could improve our tools and prevent this from happening again.

The services you described have been taken down because we take this seriously, according to a Fiverr spokeswoman.

As malicious actors attempt to game the system, we do observe that some of these services manage to get past our toolset, but the team is actively monitoring and adjusting to the strategies utilized in every way.

When they are discovered, they are removed right away, and the vendor is blocked.

We keep improving our algorithms and software tools to proactively find, eliminate, and prohibit these services before they are offered on the market.

Three weeks after speaking with Fiverr’s team, a search for “TechCrunch” presently returns zero results, indicating that Fiverr has improved.

But it doesn’t mean the issue has been resolved; the con artists have just switched to other victims and stopped promising TechCrunch pieces.

Although TechCrunch is no longer a spammer hotspot, there are still a surprisingly large number of individuals providing these services to other publications.

The con artists I dealt with were prepared to go above and beyond to maintain their schemes. Some others made phony websites that claimed to have completed the work.

I received several unfounded arguments in response when I pointed out that a link to a website without in the URL wasn’t to a current item on TechCrunch.

A few people shared screenshots of the story that had been “published” on TechCrunch. The Photoshop work was poor, and the article was naturally nowhere to be located on the website.

I was informed I didn’t know how to utilize Google when pressed on that. When I offered they send me a link, they became agitated.

One of the con artists congratulated me on a job well done and provided a “screenshot” of the TechCrunch piece. Since the piece is not on the site, it is not unexpected that he was unable to give a link to it when it was online.

One of the Fiverr con artists claimed to be in touch with Jagmeet, one of my highly respected colleagues who would never do something so stupid as accept payment for a link on TechCrunch. Jagmeet confirmed that he hadn’t done that when I asked him about it. Then I got a Telegram message from “Jagmeet” saying:

Obviously, that was a ruse; the real Jagmeet would know that even though I haven’t actually met him. Especially incompetent was this Fiverr con artist (“Kurt Dylan,” if you are reading this – Hi!”).

When I called “Jagmeet” out on his attempted con, I discovered that he also struggled to maintain his identity. I took a screenshot of the exchange and asked Fiverr for a refund. which, of course, I got. Image Credits: Telegram screenshot

Dylan tried to submit his work half a dozen times before Fiverr ultimately shut down the account, and after I provided Fiverr the screenshots, I got one last message from my new friend.

Who then is behind these frauds?

One of the con artists who was open to conversation revealed his age as 23 and that he resided in Lagos, Nigeria.

He said that he was unemployed and that he and some of his pals were attempting to charge individuals for these chats.

But it soon became obvious that there was more to it than some lone wolf con artist looking to make a quick profit; it turned out that he didn’t genuinely know that it’s impossible for someone to write an article like this on TechCrunch.

Someone else instructed him on what to say and how to carry out these scams across a variety of platforms.

Although I never had official confirmation of what was happening, I had the strong impression that this was a type of organized crime.

He explicitly stated that he had to give a third party two-thirds of his money when he was paid.

This was a common subject among many of the con artists. They informed me that they needed to make a rapid payment to avoid getting into difficulty since they had to make a payment to someone.

When questioned about who this “someone” was, they remained evasive, but it is plausible to conclude that several of these con artists were being operated by the same individuals who were the brains behind the operation.

The Fiverr representative stated, “We have a Trust & Safety Team that work around the clock to swiftly respond to any allegations of improper content and to undertake manual searches on the site. Fiverr states that establishing confidence in our platform is a top goal.




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