I'm not sure what it is about this time of year, but I often get people from foreign countries emailing me with work requests (I'm a UK based graphic designer).

I've only ever done work for those based in the UK, but I hate turning work down, especially when it's something quite interesting.

Is it quite likely that they might be contacting me because it will be easier to get away with not paying? I imagine the Small Claims Court is only good for when dealing with UK based businesses.

I'm sure it can't be that hard to find a designer at least in the same continent as them?

There was one occasion where a guy based in Africa was trying to con me out of £1000, but that was just so obvious that it wasn't genuine. However I've had other requests that do seem genuine, but have turned them down just to be on the safe side.

Any thoughts are appreciated


Whether dealing with local or overseas clients, you ideally want them to take a stake in the project before starting (otherwise it can be easy for them to walk away for whatever reason).

I achieve this on most projects by asking for 50% of my fee up front.

Using this method, you'll soon find out if you are dealing with a scammer as anyone who is serious should see this as a professional and reasonable request.

  • 1
    I agree, ask for a (significant) payment up front and you'll weed out the serious assignments from the cons. – user3244085 Dec 20 '16 at 4:25
  • this is true, I normally ask for 50% too... there was one time however where I asked for 50% upfront and the guy sent me a cheque, but it turned out to be a scam... he said he "accidentally" wrote the full amount on the cheque and wanted me to refund him for it. I ended up ripping the cheque up as apparently it was a common scam where the cheque would bounce after I'd refunded them – user15733 Dec 20 '16 at 9:14

With 99,9% of probability is about phishing or malware. They even copy existing templates of real requests from real companies, they attach a zip or pdf with malware then you get some virus or cryptolocker... then you are blackmailed and in trouble with your computers... just ignore them!

  • this one does look quite genuine, I've had a few replies off them back and forth. They've sent over photos of their products and gone into detail about the work that they need me to do Also I've just realised they are a registered Ltd company, they have an office based in the UK but the director is based in Asia... they seem pretty legit (although a very new company) but it does seem strange that they've contacted me – user15733 Dec 19 '16 at 17:34

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