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I have got this client from freelancer.com where he gave an email to contact him. I contacted through the mail, he said he wants a restaurant site built for him, provided an example and said he wants one just like that but maybe a better looking one. I wanted to know some information about the site he wants to build, as like: 1. if the site would be an exact copy 2. what would be in the reservation page 3. how many approx monthly users he expects into his site.

But he never paid a heed to these info and asked me my budget. I told him my asking price. He then said he is based in USA and he will send the payment by emailing me the check. And said he will have his assistant send me all the contents I need.

Also, in the very first email he included that "You would be updating the site for me". I asked what he meant by that. He won't talk about any information.

My question is, how can I make him cooperate with me so that I understand what he wants and needs?

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This is a scam. I completely understood what email you got.

Check the link below for the scam details: https://alexwright.net/blog/web-design/avoid-web-design-scams/

Here is how they extract the money or put you in trouble: https://www.sumydesigns.com/designersdevelopers-dont-fall-for-this-scam/

I have also applied for the scam jobs they posted in Freelancer.com and received a similar reply. This was perhaps 6 months ago. They would simply provide their email address in the job details and that they require a restaurant website. If you notice, the Freelancer.com staff deletes these jobs almost immediately, but they have no control over this because the scammer/bot uses fresh emails to create fake profiles and post the job again.

Simply avoid it, and DO NOT reply to their email. Mark the emails as spam.

Hope this helps!

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To be fair, customers come to us because they don't have expertise in tech in web design. I think that you correctly asked questions that are not very technical to get the conversation started.

You may want to send a note that says something like

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, I am unable to continue without the additional information I have requested from you. If in the future, you have time to pursue this project, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

A scammer will ignore this or send an irrelevant response. A real customer might reply with the requested information or re-think the situation and decide not to pursue the project.

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It's a scam, walk away. Even if it isn't, he's avoiding talking to you like you're a human (sort of like how a Spam Bot would talk?).

If you can't get the client to answer basic questions, then I wouldn't waste too much energy on them.

  • You were right. He is proven a scammer. Never texted back when I asked for sending me all site assets. – Tushar Jul 17 at 3:48
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It's against these website terms to work outside the platform. Usually shady clients have such type of poor communication. So these are two red flags for you.

I doubt he will ever pay you. Your best way will to ask him to communicate only through the website (if you want to give him another chance), or if you ask me, block all communication with him for your safetey.

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If a client can't be bothered to answer questions surrounding the work they want done... I can't be bothered to do the work. It's that simple.

If they won't answer simple questions, they most certainly won't pay invoices.

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Never accept checks unless it's from a trusted return customer and going through a bank you have an account at. And I've ran into clients who seemed great at first but later were scammers. With clients that I do a lot of business or we've worked together for many years, I'm not worried. If it's not a trusted customer like that, just say 'no' or "I'd be happy to take your check but I'll need to wait 60 days to make sure it clears properly." Scammers will just move on when they hear that.

My question is, how can I make him cooperate with me so that I understand what he wants and needs?

I suggest you just move on. There's only two possibilities here: 1. You tell him again that you need info and he ignores that. You just wasted more time on him that you could have spent finding another client. 2. He sends you details and even some money BUT just like he acted like an idiot at the start he's likely to do more of that and make things difficult. See point #1 about your time.

And as others said: the guy is breaking the rules of the site you use. 99% chance that he's doing that because he wants to scam.

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