As I start looking into the possibility of freelancing more and more, I've run into a problem (as someone had warned me before on here). I am afraid of dealing with scammers online (or even offline). I am generally computer-savvy enough to spot these kind of things usually, but recently I almost fell for a scam online.
I am usually cautious, but wasn't as cautious for this one instance. Going through the experience discouraged me from exploring the freelancing route more. I am afraid of the possibility of getting involved with a client who is doing illegal stuff or trying to scam me in some way. I've read a lot of posts on oDesk (now called UpWork) where people get scammed by clients online or find out later on that whatever work they are doing for the client is illegal.
What do you do as a freelancer to protect yourself from these kinds of situations but at the same time still find new clients to work with?