How I got cheated by a Freelancer

How I got cheated by a Freelancer

Last night (on 3rd November), I realized that I’ve been cheated by a freelancer for money. Let me tell you the background story. I’m a third year engineering student and I recently got into designing websites using WordPress for my clients to make some pocket money for myself in college. I got contacted by a client online about 20 days ago. He wanted a particular website for him. I agreed for the project and since it was my first project and I did not know how to handle projects as a freelancer. I decided to take 50% of the sum as advance and rest after completion of work. Everything is fine in this part of the story, he paid me my advance and I’ve been working for him since then and the project has almost reached its completion.

A few days ago there came up a problem with the project where I realized I couldn’t solve on my own. I needed help from someone more experienced in this. So I went online to look for experienced developers at a freelancing website where I posted the job posting online and hired a freelancer to do the work I needed help with. My budget was Rs.1.5k but he insisted for Rs.2k. Since we had a bargain he asked me to make the payment through BHIM transfer and not through the website as they cut for every transaction I wanted to get my work done so I agreed. We agreed upon Rs.2k where I’d give Rs. 1k in advance and other Rs. 1k after completion of work. The work will be completed within 3 days.

I gave him access to the website so that he could start working right away on Day 1. I noticed he had started working on it as soon as I gave him access. However after figuring out and having a look at the website he asked me to send Rs.1k. I said yes I will send him the next day (Day 2) and the same day, I asked my client who hired me to do the project a release of RS.2k so that I can get the work done from the freelancer I hired. My client sent me Rs.2k but it took a day extra to arrive ( because of NEFT Transfer ). So Day 3 was the deadline of the work but I hadn’t paid any advance to him so I made Rs.2k payment to him at once because I’ve already been late making the payment and today was the deadline so I will have to pay him the rest the same day itself. So I thought it would be best to pay him in lump his money.

I used BHIM app to send the money and I received transaction successful message in the app. Rs.2k has been deducted from my account. Everything is perfect till here, but now it’s Day 7 and my work isn’t completed. He claims to have not received the payment when I’ve clearly proof of sending him the money and Bhim app doesn’t fail transactions just so easily like that. So I asked him to send me a screenshot of his bank statement as a proof so that I can write a mail to the bank regarding the payment issue. He hesitantly agreed. He sent me his transaction history that happened on 3rd Nov ( That’s the date I made the Payment ) after I asked him THRICE to do so. And he ends up sending an amateur photoshopped image of his transaction history last night, being careful enough to crop his name off it and his account number. He uses SBI Bank just like I do so I caught his poor Photoshop skills at once. I’m attaching this link to the screenshot of the thing onlineSBI here for you to have a look.

You will notice that the table lines do not meet and the column descriptions are not aligned with the column details. I will send a screenshot of exactly the same page of how SBI displays transaction history.

This is my bank statement. Spot difference? I mean come on, if you want to be a fraud, be good at it at least. He doesn’t want to send me the full screenshot of the transactions with his name on it because he claims he has transactions he wouldn’t like to “disclose” about and that Rs.2k is just a small amount. But I am a student Rs.2k is a lot to me.

I am not sad about losing money. I tried contacting SBI they said they have no process to look into my beneficiary account to see if he has received the payment. I sent an email to BHIM they replied saying the payment is verified and the beneficiary has received transaction. I’m still looking for ways in which I can get my money back.

What happened to me must not happen to others, I want to stop him. Now if I lodge an F.I.R and get into our legal system I’m going to lose more than what I lost. So basically I can almost do nothing to stop him and a person like him.

End of the day, all I wanted was my client gets his work done and I get my payment and that’s there. My first client won’t be very happy to know that I screwed up with his money.

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