Case Study: $90,000 Lost by Using Fiverr – Here’s What Happened

Reddit user ShogunSpirit4 (we’ll call them SS4) reports they lost $90,000 because of a developer they found on Fiverr.

SS4 hired a developer to create a website that could accept payments via QR code or by entering their credit card number.

As far as SS4 knew, everything was fine and dandy. That is, until they did an audit and realized funds were missing.

It seems the developer swapped out the QR code for his own. Customers who used a QR code were paying the developer, not the site owner. And the developer was savvy enough to install a backdoor through which he sent payment confirmation and access codes to the customers, making everything appear legitimate.

The total amount of money lost was $90,000 and the developer is nowhere to be found.

How might you prevent this from happening to you?

Your first answer might be to never hire strangers, but you can quickly see the problem with this. Everyone is a stranger until you get to know them, and if you never get to know anyone new then you’re going to be quite limited in business and in life.

A few suggestions:

  • Look for people who have plenty of substantiated testimonials from happy clients. If they are new, don’t let them near your financials.
  • Audit your site often. A quick check could have told this entrepreneur that they had X number of subscribers which meant they should have Y amount of money. This isn’t complicated and would only take a couple of minutes to get the totals and do the math. How it was allowed to progress to a whopping $90,000 is a mystery, unless perhaps they were doing this amount of business in an extremely short period of time.
  • Change all passcodes often and keep tabs on when your site is accessed and my whom.
  • Run test purchases often to make sure everything is working properly.

Being just a little bit paranoid at all times is a good thing. This is your mode of income we’re talking about, the very money that allows you to have a roof over your head and food on your table.

Be vigilant and keep tabs on the numbers like your livelihood depends upon it, because frankly, it does.


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