Freelance Mills, Cyberbullying, and Plagiarism, Oh My!

This post has been updated.

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that I love the strange and twisted stuff that happens (mostly) at the outer fringes of the publishing and writing worlds. Today, three head-shaking examples.

International Association of Professional Writers and Editors

Gosh, isn’t that an impressive name for an organization? It certainly impressed the person who wrote to me to ask about the IAPWE’s reputation.

Of course, professional is as professional does, and the person wouldn’t have contacted me if they didn’t feel at least a little uneasy. And red flags do fly at the IAPWE’s website, from the cheesy-looking logo to the lack of substantive information about the organization and its members, to the dime-a-dozen advice blog posts, to the fact that its fancy-sounding New York City address is actually a UPS store. (UPDATE: IAPWE’s address has changed–it’s now apparently operating out of an apartment building in Albany, NY.) The organization also seems to be very new–its domain was registered only in September 2015 (which makes it a little odd that its first blog post is dated May 2015).

Another question: is IAPWE an organization “dedicated to bringing the most updated, legitimate and vetted writing and editing job opportunities to its members”, as its About page claims, or is it a writing and editing services provider, as this Craigslist ad suggests?

And then there’s this: a scam alert from an outfit called, a purported watchdog group that claims IAPWE is “One more monumental scam from the same operators behind the infamous Real Translator Jobs / Real Writing Jobs scamming ring.” Whoa, that sounds bad! But wait–here’s an entire blog devoted to alleging that Translator-Scammers is itself running a scam, contacting freelancers and demanding a fee of $50 to “verify” them and, if they don’t pay up, listing them in a “scammers directory.”

Whatever. Scam or no scam, there are enough red flags just on IAPWE’s website to prompt serious caution.

UPDATE:  IAPWE appears to have been caught using random people’s faces on its staff page (the page is no longer on the website). Oops.

Check out IAPWE’s identical plug-in-the-name recommendation letters for members.

I’m not the only one who thinks IAPWE is sketchy. See this discussion on Reddit. Commenters report, among other things, applying for editor jobs on Craigslist, only to get a response from Mike Townsend (listed on the vanished IAPWE staff page as Content Coordinator) advising them that the job wasn’t available but IAPWE was hiring. Hmmm.

UPDATE 12/4/16: I’ve suspected for some time that IAPWE has been encouraging members to visit this post and plant positive comments. My suspicions were recently confirmed when a single negative comment immediately prompted a deluge of responses from angry IAPWEers accusing the commenter of self-promotion, bias, lying, and more. What are the odds that one comment on a year-old blog post would evoke such defensiveness, unless someone were watching? Plus, all the defenders either couldn’t be found on a Google search, or else had suspiciously similar websites and very vague qualifications.

Needless to say, I haven’t approved any of their comments.

UPDATE 7/30/22: Despite its age, this blog post gets a lot of traffic from people searching on IAPWE. From this I conclude that IAPWE is still very actively recruiting. And it is still a very big Writer Beware.

In this article at Medium, the author explains why IAPWE is really nothing more than a bait-and-switch operation to extract membership fees from hungry freelancers. An IAPWE membership is free–but what they don’t tell you when you sign up is that all the good jobs are either available only to those with a paid membership, or require a fee if you want to access them a la carte.

More accounts from unhappy freelancers here and here.

UPDATE 6/11/23: Per recent reports, IAPWE is also soliciting as CSAPPTRACK. The person who sent me the solicitation below said that they received it out of the blue–they didn’t apply for anything. The URL ( defaults to IAPWE.

Authors Behaving Badly–Again

Writers behave badly all the time–trashing-talking rivals, whining in public, savaging colleagues with pseudonymous reviews, even suing reviewers. But this is one of the most convoluted tales of authorial malfeasance that I’ve ever heard.

Last week, authors Steve Mosby and Jeremy Duns alleged in blog posts that fellow novelist Stephen Leather–a bestselling crime and thriller writer–cyberstalked them via blogs and websites set up to disparage them and tarnish their reputations, after they voiced criticism of Leather’s admitted practice of using fake identities to promote his books. Mosby’s post is here. Duns’s much longer article, replete with links and screenshots, is here.

Mosby’s and Duns’s stories have garnered quite a bit of media coverage. As of this writing, Leather hasn’t responded, but his publisher, Hachette, has issued a statement condemning “harassment and intimidation of any kind.”

This story has particular resonance for me, since I’ve been the target of similar cyberbullying campaigns. Here’s just one example (fake books with scurrilous versions of my own book titles). What the hell, here’s another.

ParaDon Books, Spammer and Plagiarizer

A long post today from author and blogger David Gaughran details how ParaDon–via its satellite website,–plagiarized text from one of his books in order to hawk a product and get a commission through affiliate links.

ParaDon is a prolific spammer–I should know, it’s on my block list. It’s been the focus of an expose at Indies Unlimited (essentially, it’s a 419 scam), and is the subject of a long discussion thread at Absolute Write, which details, among other things, how it attempted to impersonate Amazon.

UPDATE: Here’s another, extremely detailed expose of ParaDon Books Publishing, which charts the shenanigans of ParaDon’s owner, Korede Abayomi, from 2011 to the present.


  1. I can confirm that they are still operating and still scamming people in the same ways. I applied in 2019 when I first started my own business (creative studio) but when I didn’t receive feedback or responses to anything, I gave it a miss. Saw further vacancy listings on Indeed about two months ago and decided to try again as they now seemed to have agents in various countries, and I’d hoped they’d gotten their issues sorted. Due to my previous experience with them though, I did do a little test and applied to 3 different listings (USA, South Africa, and Australia) to see what would happen. Over the past three weeks, I’ve been “accepted” by all three and received the exact same copy/paste email regarding each application. All from “Amy Wilkerson” (a name I recognized from my first attempt) and none from anyone named in the various job listings (I presume now that they’re fake and so are their profile pictures – probably stolen again!) I’ve sent 5 emails requesting information, clarity, and feedback on various red flags and queries, but have not received one single reply. I don’t think there is even a human behind the emails, and I’d be very surprised if Amy Wilkerson actually exists in this capacity! It is utterly disgusting that people like this scam those who are trying to earn an honest living and I’ll certainly be speaking out about it loudly and regularly! This “organization” needs to be shut down, but I guess we all know that they’ll just pop up again, as such scammers usually do.

  2. Hi Victoria,
    thanks for highlighting the challenges and concerns presented by IAPWE. I can confirm that it appears to be still going strong as I’ve now received both of the emails shown about which invite me to sign up – the second one, sent from Melissa Coleman arrived this morning. Opinion seems to vary as to whether or not actual writing work can be secured via the site; however, personally, handing over money in the hope that a service might be available is too much like throwing it away – better off putting the money on a horse, or buying crypto, at least you know you’re gambling with those…

      1. Hello Victoria, I am trying to get into freelance writing and came across the Iapwe page. I sent them an emailing inquiring about how I can apply or get started and they sent me an email back as if I actually applied with a submission piece.. I did not, I wasn’t even sure how to start, based off of that, I was already thinking mhmm this doesn’t seem right. I am really happy to see you kept us all updated. So, I suppose I’m just confirming, is this a good or suggested organization to introduce myself to freelance writing? Thanks in advance.


  3. Yeah. They’re still doing this. Applied for a position and when the reply came with the web address, I got those Instagram influencer pyramid scheme vibes. Lo and behold, what did a Google search reveal…

  4. I also received the exact same email after applying to a specific writing job from them via LinkedIn (2 months ago). However upon receiving the email, it is clear that the job doesn’t exist, as i thought i was hired to write for an actual client through them, however they seem to want membership to access jobs, and it appears the job i applied to is non-existent. Everything Ive researched on them is negative, with freelancers noting that they paid memberships for months, but never received any jobs from them.

  5. Hi, I recieved this e-mail from AMY WILKERSON:

    Dear Abril,
    After reviewing your application for the content writer position, we are pleased to notify you that your application has been accepted.
    You will also be receiving an invite to our task area where you will receive details about new assignments.
    We will be making all payments through the content platform, Freelancer. There is no fee to join and your positive work history on the platform will help increase your visibility in front of other businesses and clients that are also looking to hire content writers.
    We also offer different memberships, including a free membership with resources that our writers have found extremely helpful. Please note that we only have open enrollment for new members for limited periods of time. The opening for the current enrollment period will close by the end of this week. Our last enrollment period was approximately 10 months ago and we do not know when the next open enrollment period will be
    If you are still interested in this position, please complete the short registration process using this link.
    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
    Best regards,
    Amy Wilkerson

    I opened that link she sent to me and entered to my account in PayPal. But didn´t buy any membership. Do you think they can steal information of my credit cards of PayPal? Or it´s just if you buy the membership plans. Thank´s for all the information here, very clear an complete.

    1. Abril,

      Honestly I don’t know the answer to your question. I suspect that just doing what you did doesn’t pose any risk, but I don’t know for sure. As another data point, I haven’t heard anything about illict Paypal or credit card charges by IAPWE.

  6. I received an email from this company today. Exact same text in the email and the link is flagged for malware. So, yeah they’re still trying to scam

  7. I can’t even remember when I applied, but I got this email today👇🏻 and working with brands as a SME, I don’t trust their website. But I decided to research before deleting the email. My def. no to this.

    Dear Jana,

    After reviewing your application for the content writer position, we are pleased to notify you that your application has been accepted.

    You will also be receiving an invite to our task area where you will receive details about new assignments.

    We will be making all payments through the content platform, Freelancer. There is no fee to join and your positive work history on the platform will help increase your visibility in front of other businesses and clients that are also looking to hire content writers.

    We also offer different memberships, including a free membership with resources that our writers have found extremely helpful. Please note that we only have open enrollment for new members for limited periods of time. The opening for the current enrollment period will close by the end of this week. Our last enrollment period was approximately 10 months ago and we do not know when the next open enrollment period will be.

    If you are still interested in this position, please complete the short registration process using this link.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

    Best regards,
    Amy Wilkerson

  8. So these guys are still at it, I see. I’m glad I didn’t fall prey to their scam. I was contacted by an “Amy Wilkerson”. Promptly realized they wanted my PayPal info to access jobs. I didn’t even remember applying. If I’ve been “hired” as a freelance writer, why would I pay THEM? I gotta bridge to sell you, alright…
    Found this post after googling them.

  9. Simple questions. Why would I pay you to give me jobs? You’re hiring me to give me jobs. Why can’t you take your cut after the jobs are done? This is a pure scam!

    1. Brian, this post is years old but it’s consistently getting traffic, much more than any of my other older posts. I can’t figure out why, or where it’s coming from. Can you share how you happened upon it? Thanks.

      1. Hello, to answer the question you asked Brian, they are still going at it. I just received today 11 March 2023 an exact email from Amy that I’ve been accepted even though i have not applied to them. I received the email on my adress that i used to apply to other content mills and it seems they target those kinds of people (those that are desperate for money and will accept any jobs immediately). The thing is, the email goes straight into the inbox instead of scam.

  10. This is three years old but I stumbled upon it…
    I don't know this site or anyone else but reading the comments in defense of the IAPWE site are obviously fake, written by the same person. Any experienced writer can read the similarities in each comment's wording and content to understand that.

  11. OMG. Of course its a scam! At best this is an exploitive confederacy of wolves and wannabes. I have done and need to do no research. How do I know? I know because of all these replies defending the honor of the glorious IAPW&FE(?!). Freelance writing (for money) is quite competitive. There is no association of "professional" freelance writers- anywhere!- whose membership would lift one callused fingertip in order to prevent the dewy-eyed competition from being chased away from their watering hole, and more or less discouraged about the scribbling arts in general.

  12. I found IAPWE's job posts on craigslist and unwittingly applied last month. Last week my credit tracking agency sent me a warning that my e-mail had been compromised on the "Dark Web" on the same day I had applied for the job. At the very least it is a phishing website and will sell your personal information. I reported it to Google and hope they will block their search results. I would advise anyone who has experienced similar issues to also file a phishing report on google here:

  13. I have to disagree with your evaluation of IAPWE. I've been a member for several years, and they have done exactly what they say they would do. I am a member mostly just to access their Job Board (one of many that I use). The accusations of 'fake' listings are not substantiated, because I have gotten several jobs through them, many of which are now long-term clients of mine. The IAPWE never 'guaranteed' any work. For a very nominal fee (which probably just pays the costs of maintaining the website, etc…), they give you access to the Job Board, and posted articles, which sometimes provide a little useful information. As far as fake photos, and the physical address, that is irrelevant. Many websites do not want their actual owners identity to be known, mostly because of all the crazies out there. It's no different than using a pseudo-name when posting on Twitter.

    And before you say that you cannot verify that I am real free-lance writer, I will save you the trouble. I have been a successful free-lancer for over 20 years. My website is, my LinkedIn page is, and I have over a dozen regular clients, have written for over 100 clients over the years, been published on dozens of websites and magazines, and authored several books. I am also a member of Upwork, and worked with Elance from 2002 until they were absorbed by Upwork.

    I don't really care, one way or another, because it it's not the only place I use to find new clients, nor even the main one, but in the interests of truth and fairness, if you are going to knock a business, you need to come up with legitimate examples of how they have defrauded someone, and not just the fact that they do not use their real identity and address online. Most online companies do that, for their own protection.

    And it would not surprise me if my comment is not 'approved', because most forums and Message Boards nowadays do not have the stomach to address opposing viewpoints.

  14. I street viewed the address on their website and it showed me a Starbucks coffee shop… Just putting that out there.

  15. ^^ Good point about that Jason Royston review. I also came across it when researching IAPWE. Mr. Royston doesn't seem to have any other online presence other than that website. Suspicious. I agree it's a fraudulent site and review, along with the comments. Hopefully other freelancer writers find these comments instead before they apply for the IAPWE.

  16. I had a very similar experience to many of the others here in regards to IAPWE and I'm embarrassed I fell for it. I answered a Craigslist ad for a job paying $10 for every 100 words. Not bad! I'll admit I was suspicious when I saw the site. They certainly didn't seem to have the need for content that would have prompted the ad, but I also thought perhaps they have relationships with other companies.
    I took the test and like the others received an email a month later that my sample was accepted and I was going to receive an invitation to basecamp. To get started it told me to register for their site.
    I did and opted for the free option but was told I could get the professional option for a one month free trial if I signed up with my pay pal info. At this point I started to worry that perhaps this wasn't the job I applied for, but a ruse to lure writers into paying for a membership to a job board so I did a google search and came up with this:
    This gentleman claims to have received several good paying jobs through them and all his commentators had positive experiences as well. This seemed good enough for me, so I submitted my paypal info and joined.
    The site itself was pretty useless for me. I have plenty of access to job boards. I was mainly interested in the basecamp invite. It never came so I wrote back and inquired about it to Amy Wilkerson. She wrote back after midnight Pacific time after my second request and told me it should have been sent and I should check my junk mail. Why not just send it again in the email? This was a huge red flag (and by the way, I did check my junk mail and it wasn't there). I did some more searching and came across sites like these.
    I am now convinced that the review I originally found, along with all the positive posts is fraudulent. How else can you explain the fact that there isn't one negative comment when every other site is full of them? Heck, even legitimate businesses get negative comments from time to time.
    I have since cancelled my IAPWE membership and received an email offering me another fifty percent off for twenty four hours only if I chose to reactivate. No thank you.
    I've now done a great deal of research. If you're thinking of joining keep in mind the following:
    1) I have not seen a single post from anyone whose sample did not pass the quality test. How is that possible? In fact, I read several posts from writers who claim they deliberately submitted a poor quality sample and were still accepted.
    2) I have not seen any credible posts from someone who received work from them.
    3) A job is a job. A membership is a membership. This company seems to be conflating the two to confuse prospective writers who simply want to earn a living.
    Stay away from IAPWE. Don't even pay for their job board because you are enriching a company that lies and steals from your fellow writers. It's hard to make a living as a freelancer. I am fortunate enough to have more than one steady client and I still squeak by. It makes me sad that this organization is not only seeking to take advantage of us, but also seems to have enlisted the assistance of other bloggers to aid them in their scam.

  17. I had an insane experience with this organization and with Amy Wilkerson! I applied for a freelance writing position with IAPWE and was accepted for a writing position. I was instructed on the next steps, which was to create an account and verify my email address. I did these easily— The last step was to wait for an email to Basecamp; the site where there was supposedly work posted for freelancers to claim. I waiting a week and a half, never got that email. But I sure did get marketing emails telling me about the wonderful benefits of upgrading my free account to a paid account. I reached out to my contact person, Amy W., and bluntly asked if this was a marketing scam/ploy, or if the organization and my “job” was legitimate and if so, that I did not receive the link to Basecamp and I needed it to be resent. She confirmed it was a legitimate organization, and said nothing regarding Basecamp or my next steps. I replied, thanked her for clarifying and that I had been confused due to receiving marketing emails and not the promised job opportunity, and asked AGAIN, for the link. No reply. For a MONTH. I emailed her again this week to follow up for the third time about the next steps in a “job” I was hired for 2 MONTHS AGO. Her response was shocking.

    She was “disappointed in my accusatory tact” when I asked if they were legitimate or not. She was not happy that I “immediately implied they were using a marketing ploy” and did not like the “abrasive tone” I used with her. For that reason, they could not trust me with their “clients” and revoked the opportunity. She wished me “best of luck”.

    I responded.

    “It is not tactless to ask a contact person if the job offer is legitimate after such an experience, or to ask for next steps, two months after hearing nothing about a position I was supposedly hired for.

    It is tactless to hire someone, promise a next step that doesn’t come—for months—send them marketing emails to buy your product, and then take offense when they are confused and frustrated for legitimate reasons, and revoke the position. 

    I will gladly be moving on and spreading the word about my experience.”

    The response I got from this was even more shocking.

    I am apparently “threatening to go out of my way to slander the organization in what would be considered libel”. My question was asked in a “very passive aggressive manner”, “not genuine” and “hostile”. Amy’s worry over how I might talk to clients is the reason she did not provide the Basecamp link to work in my email a month ago (I guess when you’re firing someone, you just don’t tell them…?). She “did not appreciate my underhanded insult” and “due to the tone that [I] used, that is the reason why [she] did not continue correspondence with [me] regarding work after that point.”

    So now I’m spreading the word about my experience. Apparently this is libel.

  18. IAPWE has a job listings board that is not found anywhere else I've looked or been a part of and has actually worked for me. Am I just a good writer/editor/curator or is at least the jobs board good?

  19. Very odd email tonight from IAPWE — or from somebody claiming to be. I do not recall making previous contact with the org. But an email arrived with the subject line "Re: Random 5-digit number."

    BODY OF EMAIL: "Dear [my name], Thank you for submitting your application. Upon further review, we have determined that your sample meets our quality standards and are pleased to inform you that your application has been accepted. We will ask you to also accept an invitation to our Basecamp account where we will assign writing and editing tasks (this is free to join). You may also be interested in our membership … [etc.] … To get started, please go to [embedded link here, displaying ]"

    I didn't click on the link. Instead, opened another tab, went to IAPWE website, and looked around. Could not find a page or link ending in "/register." Email was signed by Amy Wilkerson, followed by two more embedded links, displaying her email address & IAPWE homepage address. And here is the oddest part:

    This email displayed in my inbox as a reply to an email SENT BY ME on Dec 12, 2017. Subject line of that email was "Random 5-digit number," and body contained only the said number. I do not recall sending such an email — yet it showed up in my "Sent" folder when I searched there. Despite the fact that there does not appear to be previous traffic in my "Sent" folder, or in any of my received-mail folders, indicating that I'd submitted an application or sample to IAPWE. Which seems to suggest that the email itself is some sort of spam-scam. But I dunno. Very strange.

  20. So, can anyone here help me to answer my questions:
    I signed up for IAPWE and chose Basic as for free membership. I cancelled my membership right after because I feel something "off" about the website. I have no Paypal account, but IAPWE's cancellation instruction stated that I have to log in to Paypal account first to cancel the payment. So, is that mean I don't have to follow the instruction and so that I'm no longer IAPWE member? Thank you.

  21. *Identical* experiences to the above, down to "Amy" (this Amy is not real, btw, as a quick Google search shows) saying to check my spam/trash (instead of simply resending immediately), then sending the Basecamp invite on follow-up, then seeing no jobs in the Basecamp.

    I was already rather skeptical when I applied given the poor quality of the "articles," and for my editorial submission I shredded a piece on their site that contained serious factual errors (though I didn't fully edit the piece without compensation). The wild thing? *They haven't even used the free labor I gave them, or taken down the article*; it's still there, in all of its totally-inaccurate, didn't-fully-capitalize-Time-Magazine glory. El. oh. el.

  22. I read up a little on IAPWE and the scam issue whilst waiting for my application to be accepted (which took a month). So I was fully prepared for how things would once Amy got back to me — and it's also exactly like Susan's above!

    I had to ask for the Basecamp link, and in response she asked me to check my spam folder, before actually sending it to me. Lol. And yes, there's nothing there! No jobs. Nothing! I've emailed Amy asking about that and am waiting her response (which seems to be taking a little longer than usual).

    It seems like a total waste of time. You don't have to pay for membership or even sign up at all, so that didn't put me off. I just wanted to see if I could get some jobs out of it. I've seen other people online claiming to have gotten jobs through them…so I don't know what to think just yet.

    I'll update if Amy responds.

  23. I am having an exact carbon-copy experience as the one above from Susan. Just this morning, I wrote Amy and explained that I've applied for two copywriting jobs that were included in an e-mail from IAPWE. The application process for each one was quite elaborate-I applied about 2 weeks ago and have heard nothing.

    We'll see!

  24. I answered an ad on Craigslist and sent my two writing samples as requested. That was several weeks ago, and I only received an email from them on September 27, 2017. They asked me to accept an invitation to their Basecamp account, which is supposedly a “free” account. They also stated that open enrollment was only available through the end of the week. As a former internet marketer, I know this ploy all too well. Still, I like to write and welcomed the opportunity. I went ahead and paid the $3.95 monthly fee for the “professional” package. They have quite an online presence, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc., so I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    However, I never did get an invitation to the Basecamp. I emailed Amy Wilkerson. Amy is pretty good about responding, I’ll give her that. She told me to look in my junk, spam, and deleted folders, which I did. Nope. Nada. No email inviting me to Basecamp had been sent. I emailed her back, and only then did she send me a link to the Basecamp account, which I immediately signed up for, still thinking all was well and good. However, when I got into the Basecamp account, there was nothing posted. In fact, I got a message saying that “the owner of your Basecamp account hasn’t created any projects. Hold tight! In the meantime, watch Maru” (a YouTube video of a cat!). I clicked on all the links at the top of the page: Calendar, Everything, Progress, Everyone, Me. Under the “Everything” tab, there are more links: Browse every discussion, Review all open to-dos, See every single file, Read all text documents, Show all forwarded emails, See all deleted items (I mention these tabs so you know that I have, indeed, signed up for Basecamp!) Every single link is EMPTY!

    I communicated this to Amy and received her reply: “We are in the process of moving our newer tasks over to Basecamp. You should receive email notifications once we start posting new tasks on Basecamp. Please let me know if you have any other questions.”

    That last email is what did me in, and the lightbulb went on. Up until this point, she had not mentioned this, and when I let her know that there were no projects for me, only then did she say they are in the process of moving their newer tasks over to Basecamp. Why was this not communicated to me before? I have since canceled my recurring payment through PayPal; however, I am curious as to what excuse they will have next as to my not being able to get started. The first email I got from them was September 27th, and I have yet to be able to even get started! Until I know I have an actual writing job, I will no longer fork out any money to them, even if is only $3.95 a month!

  25. Those who are writing the fake positive comments for IAPWE, you're not fooling any of us. It took less than a minute to see the sea of red flags and that it is a sketchy site.

  26. Boy were you right about IAPWE being a scam!!! They really have this scam down to a science. First you think that you're applying for an actual job with an actual hourly rate. Then about a month goes by, and you're "approved." The next thing you know, you're signing up for a monthly discounted membership. Once you're a member, you really don't get any of the job information that was promised. You're left wondering, "How do I get my job assignments?" And no email about "basecamp." No instructions whatsoever. So you log in with your username and password, and find two "Job Boards." And after hours of clicking on alleged job opportunities, each and every job I clicked on said, "closed" or something to that effect. I called PayPal to cancel my subscription, and the representative, after I asked a number of questions, informed me that on a scale from 1 to 10, she would rate IAPWE as an 8 on the scam meter; that they get a lot of cancellations for their monthly subscriptions. I suspect that the individuals posting that they get work through this bogus association are shills.

  27. You are wrong about Translator Scammers. It is perfectly legitimate, and the anonymous people who run are to be congratulated for their selflessness and dedication with little thanks. I run a translation company and I receive at least five applications a day from fake "translators" many of whom have c.v.s that contain nothing suspicious. As a translator of 50 years' experience, I know the usual signs of a fake c.v. I also recently nearly fell for a scammer myself. I advertised on ProZ for a translator and among those who responded was one who I decided to use. My suspicious were aroused when he demanded instant payment and then claimed he could only accept payment via Paypal. That is a bad sign in itself, had I used him and paid via Paypal, the name that would have displayed as his Paypal account would have been a different one. I eventually discovered via Translator Scammers that he was not a legitimate translator at all and had been banned from ProZ under another name. So my bacon was saved (if you'll pardon my bringing my family into it!) and all thanks to Translator Scammers.

  28. I want to thank you for writing this. I applied to be a writer for the website, but when I got the email stating that my application had been accepted, it did not tell me what position I had gotten. Moreover, when I went to the website to create my profile, it told me there were options to pay to be a member of their website. My dad told me that any job that tells its prospective employees to pay in order to work for them, is a scam. I Googled the "organization" as soon as I saw that. It was not a requirement, mind you, but the situation still seems unprofessional. So again, thank you for writing this post. I will stay on the look out for legitimate freelance writing and editing opportunities.

  29. I would say just stay away — even if not entirely scam-y, definitely sketchy. I signed up for the "30 day free trial" of the professional membership noting I wouldn't be charged until the end of the 30 days but then PayPal informed me there "was a change to my charge." So they lied about the "free trial." I went into the website to cancel my membership which turned out to be — of course — a bunch of long lines and red tape. I "cancelled," however then received an email for "further cancellation instructions." I was directed to yet ANOTHER link to cancel and then received ANOTHER email trying to sell me on another membership only to finally have the cancellation instructions at the bottom of the email. Blugh, just try and do writing on your own. Don't trust shitty places like this. We shouldn't have to pay to get little money anyway.

  30. Scam.

    I signed up, and during the process, they ask if you want to pay for some membership.

    Red Flag #1) when they act like their membership is some exclusive thing that you have to audition for, and then offer you membership that you have to pay for certain benefits.

    2) the ad I replied to said they were hiring for a job which does not exist. They don't actually have any jobs.

    3) I opted for the basic membership, being unwilling to provide any payment details that I would have to cancel later on. I was denied access to the job board because my membership wasn't high enough (I didn't pay enough).

    If that's not a scam, I don't know what is.

    Michael Patrick Lewis, author of Preferred Rewards

  31. I too am in the same boat as Brandy. I have my free membership and was made aware in an email that writing jobs would be forwarded to me. I noticed as well that they are offering 50% commissions for referrals who sign up. It would appear as well that they offer hyperlinks to share with others and allow you to track link clicks.

    Having been in sales, IAPWE feels like pyramid scheme with one base line. Which would make sense seeing as the ad was posted on craigslist and anyone here could post a job posting with our hyperlink to collect massive amounts of referrals and commissions from the "sense of urgency" created by the membership enrollment process. I signed up to get some experience writing and until I receive a writing job from IAPWE I will classify it as a scam.

    Thanks to all those who have posted here. It has given me great insight on the "association" and what I should expect. I'll keep you posted if I get a writing gig from this site.

  32. I was about to sign up for IAPWE but decided to do a little further research first. I have seen some good comments on here in favor of IAPWE, but there are more red flags than anything, and anyone who writes professionally should catch on. By using "Association" in their name and logo, one gets the impression they are, in fact, an association. However, from what I've seen, they lack the qualities of a genuine association. It seems a good ploy to get writers (especially new or struggling) in to sign up for their membership.

    I found them on Craigslist. Filled out what I needed and sent it in. When I received the email back from them it had been 2-3 weeks and I had forgotten I had sent in an app. The email stated the opening for signup was only available till the end of the week. I received the email on the 27th of last month. Yet today, April 9th, I'm still able to sign up. This tells me that they are deceptive by creating an urgency to get you to sign up quickly. This is something used in marketing to create leads and sales.

    There is nothing wrong with using that tactic in sales, but IPAWE is supposed to be an association. I like being thorough, so I signed up for the free account. At least I can see where that leads, but I've seen enough not to want to sign up for any paid membership. Which I also see they claim to mark down considerably if you choose one of the options, and will later be unavailable. Again, creating that sense of urgency.

    So without fully checking out the site, I conclude (for myself, and personal opinion) that they are for membership sales and come across as salesy. A bit concerning for an association whose focus should be otherwise. I'll check it out more and if I find I am wrong, I will gladly come back and change my stance.

    Another thing that raises a red flag is for an association it has too many questions left for those who sign up. A genuine association would have itself together and be transparent. Clear contacts, well defined info, etc. And maybe it's just in its infancy, but if they were established in 2015, they should have it together by now. It does seem sketchy, at best.

  33. IAPWE does not know how to do good business. I signed up for my membership in October 2015 that same month and year (October 2015) I discontinued my membership through the paypal system they had at the time . Over the last two years they charged me $8.00 arbitrarily. I recently contacted them to ask for a refund on my last set of charges and despite it being a small amount of money, me never being a member in any shape or form past October 2015 I find it disconcerting that their email support refuses to issue a refund in this matter. They come across as greedy and useless.

  34. I admit that I did not wade through all the comments regarding IAPWE; however, none of those that I did read, especially submitted by those who claim to be current members, mentioned that they have actually written and been paid for any of the jobs found on IAPWE's job board. Everything is a risk these days, when utilizing the internet for telecommuting jobs. I have been doing it for years; in fact, I also am a captioning typist (a GREAT way to stumble upon the new and unexpected topics for writing). The company for which I work also has come under scrutiny, and they also pay by PayPal. I've had no problems and have made quite a bit of supplemental money that way. I agree that the IAPWE logo is not high quality, but again, all I would like/need to know is has anyone actually been paid by IAPWE for a writing job. Because I am not one to believe everything I read, I will be joining by way of the free lifetime membership offer. I will keep you posted with legit, first-hand information.

  35. I am a member of IAPWE and actually stumbled upon this site as I was Googling the IAPWE site to include information to a prospective client of mine. I personally have not had any negative experience with them whatsoever and just thought I'd throw my two cents in for the sake of providing extra commentary and perspective.

    In the event anyone else has, I apologize for that. I will say that I have not personally utilized their job board as I have just been accustomed to searching through other various sites which don't require a subscription fee — which could very easily be explained by the creator neading to earn an income from spending the time to run and create their business — which I don't necessarily fault them for. Hopefully this provides some insight! Have a nice evening.

  36. This is how you know IAPWE is a scam and that it has people on here trying to pretend it's something else:

    I discovered their "service" because I answered an ad for a SPECIFIC job which paid a SPECIFIC amount–which happens to be the $10 per 100 words a previous "writer" mentioned.

    Unfortunately, in order to find this job, I had to pay them to look at their "Job Board" (a list of links, some of which are broken, all of which do nothing more than direct people to a random site which may–or may not–be hiring at that time, or even offering financial compensation, or even explaining how to apply.)

    Of course, the only way to discover they are not living up to their claims is after we spend the time on the site looking for the necessary information we need in order to actually learn about the alleged writing positions. The saddest part is that there is no place listed on their Great List of Links that has anything to do with the job for which I thought I was being hired.

    Therefore, we can determine:
    1. The job they were advertising does not exist, and…
    2. The only way to determine how to get the non-existent job is to pay a fee to see their "Job Board," and…
    3. Of the "jobs" listed, these are nothing more than links, some of which are broken, some of which aren't for jobs that are available or even offer payment, and…
    4. There is also no point in paying for this "service" when other sites offer far more, for free. Seriously, I am in now way affiliated with Freedom With Writing, but they send its subscribers an e-mail with job links AND descriptions AND compensation, all of which take the writer exactly to the page showing them how to apply for those writing positions.

    Now, knowing that I've been scammed, I'm having to escalate my problem with PayPal, both to stop the service and to (hopefully) get a refund as they are not providing me with the job they offered.

    Having been a full-time professional writer and ghostwriter for more than seven years, I'm disgusted I was so easily taken by IAPWE–in part by their good (fake) reviews, even though I was only looking for some part-time work. What's even sadder is that I would have taken a significant cut in pay to do any work for them, but as it's the holidays and I wanted a little extra income…

    Yeah, let my experience be a warning.

  37. It looks like they are still offering four membership options including the free one. I signed up with them last year through their free option and have done some writing for them on and off. I second the person that said they do not have a high volume of work available at all times, however the pay is better than most clients I've had. I value my time and would rather write less frequently and for better pay than write for some content mill out there that pays far less.

    I am speaking for myself, as I know there are probably some writers that still consider what the IAPWE pays to be on the low end (last time I wrote for them they were paying ten dollars per hundred words which is one of the highest rates I've ever gotten so far) but I am referring to content mills that pay literally a penny or two per word.

  38. I'm not sure if the other posters are going to see your question here. I want to help you but I am not sure if you're post is genuine. I only say this because you've posted a lot of conflicting information and some of what you've said is hard to follow, at least for me. I referred one of my suitemates from school earlier this month and was literally sitting next to her while she signed up. I saw that they still have four membership levels including the free one and it looked like they are still only accepting PayPal. I think the way PayPal works, is if you don't have a PayPal account, PayPal will let you use a credit card but your information would still go through PayPal, not the IAPWE. Obviously if you are choosing the free membership then this is a nonissue. I have contacted the IAPWE in the past and they were really good about getting back to me pretty quick, which makes me wonder why you've posted this here if you're genuinely confused. I'm sorry it's just that some of what you've posted here doesn't really make sense. If you are genuinely confused I apologize. I would try contacting them and hopefully they can sort everything out for you. Not sure if this makes a difference but when I contacted them I used the contact form on their website

  39. Emma, my samples (editor and writer positions) got accepted few weeks back which implies I qualify to apply for membership. Consequently, I followed the link in the success email as required inorder to sign up. In signing up , one is required to choose a membership type from among the five to six options available- from basic through to professional membership and beyond. However, since I am usually skeptical about releasing my card details to anyone I decided to go with basic. To cut to the chase, I figured there were no fields made available for username and password entries in the basic membership option but i still followed through to the end and successfully signed up anyway. I'm confused because in some sense I am an IAPWE member, I receive IAPWE updates and notifications meant for members in my mail but at the same time I am not a member since according to them my email address is not registered, I lack log in details and therefore not privileged to access their resources page.
    Please I need clarifications on how to create a username and password. That sounds like a pretty easy thing but tell you what, it has taken a big toll on my sanity.
    Cc: Emma, Linda Thompson, Julie G,Annabelle Diaz, Rachel and others that've got positive testimonies to share.

  40. I have been with the IAPWE for almost 3 months now and agree with what some of the others have said here. You won't get rich writing for them and you definitely won't replace a full time job but the work that they do have pays well and they pay on time without any issues. Also, their content manager has been easy to deal with, which is a huge plus in my book, and the few revision requests that I have received have been pretty reasonable. One of the better clients I have encountered so far in my 5+ years freelancing online.

  41. To anonymous, I would just make sure that when you sign up you use the same email that you also use for Paypal. I say this because I signed up with a different email and they sent my first payment to that email, which is not my Paypal email, so I didn't receive the funds at first and had to ask them to resend it to my Paypal email, which they did fairly quickly. I wouldn't really say that is their fault, but you might save yourself some hassle if you just use the same email. As far as benefits and jobs, for me, I have only been writing for them directly but they seem to have a lot of new jobs posted every week in their jobs section that I am hoping to check out more when my schedule permits. Hope that helps.

  42. Could you please give more details about the benefits you gained after becoming a member? Have you got access to online jobs whether with them or third parties? Is the payment smooth?

  43. I've been writing on and off for the IAPWE and never had any issues. They have been a great paying gig when there's work, however I don't think anyone should expect to make a full time income or anything close to that working for them. Of course everyone has their own definition of what constitutes full time income…

  44. I joined the IAPWE in May and like Chel and Rachel, I've also had a positive experience. They offer helpful resources and they have a jobs board with several hundred writing/editing jobs that is updated weekly. I find it sad someone would go out of their way to spread misinformation about them. As a member who has found this organization to be professional and helpful, I wanted to share my experience in case it helps anyone else.

  45. I have to disagree with Victoria. I have been a member for a few months and have found the resources that they provide to be helpful.

    Like some of the other commenters here, I feel it would be beneficial for Victoria to get first hand experience with something before writing about it, given that she operates this blog as a reliable source that writers trust. It seems several people have established that someone has potentially been going out of their way to spread misinformation to negatively affect this organization's reputation and based on my positive experience with the IAPWE and not having any issues with them, this appears to be the case.

  46. I am also a member of the IAPWE and Victoria, I'm sorry but I have to agree with others that it seems like you're really reaching here. First, you're saying that the articles on the IAPWE site are generic and then saying that this is sketchy? I am sorry if you think their articles are generic but that is your opinion, not necessarily how we all feel about them (I've found some of them to be quite helpful).

    To then make the leap by saying that they are generic articles, as if this is an objective fact, and then saying that they are sketchy because you feel they are generic is a bit of a stretch?

    Same with you calling their about page "sketchy?" I can't count how many legitimate websites I've visited that don't list their board members or owners. Sometimes it's not necessary when the website is providing a self-serve service. Also, it makes no sense that an organization has to specify if it hires people or posts jobs if it does both; it simply does both. You're saying that they need to make this clear really sounds again like you're reaching for things here. You also conveniently didn't address the points other people made pointing out the lack of basis with some of your other "red flags."

    You write very eloquently, which can create the appearance that you're informed or that you're discussing things intelligently, but I agree with Adam, that you don't seem to have any interest in doing any actual research and you're overall negative outlook is more of a guilty until proven innocent (in your eyes) which is dangerous when you're positioning yourself as some sort of reliable resource for others to trust.

    Based on how many things you've tried to come up with that are not based on anything but your own speculation, it really seems like you're going out of your way to create what you call "red flags." This all fits with the personality of someone who would create a blog to warn others of scams (which is a great thing in and of itself) but you should really be a bit more mature about this and at least do a little bit of research if you're going to be potentially ruining peoples' reputations. I hate to say it but based on some of the sarcasm and immature "bashing" you do towards other people in this blog post and others, one can't help but get the sense that you get some sort of personal satisfaction from denigrating others, being so sardonic while justifying it as doing your duty "warning others."

    I also put that I am a member on my resume and even had a recommendation letter written from them. I've had a very good experience with them so far and they provide many services and resources in addition to their jobs board, and all of this is outlined on their signup page, which it sounds like you never even explored yourself or you would have seen this, which again makes it troubling that you're positioning yourself as some type of trusted resource when you seem to be just going off of what another person says; more like gossip? Based on my experience, the IAPWE is providing more resources than some other sites claim to that charge pricey annual membership dues but I haven't joined some of those sites because the cost has been prohibitive for me.

  47. I was interested to see that you call having a blog post published before the official registration date of a domain name a Red Flag.

    There are several reasons why this may well be not so much a Red Flag, and more of a normal method of working:

    Designing a web site prior to launching it officially, without the expense of buying a domain name, on a subdomain to another site,

    Moving a web site from one domain name which might not have matched the aims of the business to a new domain name,

    Changing the domain name for legal, trademark or copyright reasons.

    When creating web sites I tend to make the first efforts as part of a subdomain which can be seen but costs nothing extra. When I, or my client, am happy with the results a suitable domain name will be sought out and purchased, and a complete, running web site transferred and published. This is not a Red Flag, it is a sensible working method. Perhaps you could ask the designer of the site why there is a discrepancy between first post and domain registration; it's called research.

  48. Hi Maggie, when I was on the site the only information on canceling your subscription said to email the organization directly to do so. There was no information whatsoever about canceling through PayPal. I agree, if you can cancel through PayPal that would be better, as you'd have control over it. A way to cancel through the website system would also be good. But when I visited the site the only way they stated, at least that I found, was to email them directly — which would put you at their mercy.

  49. Hi, Maggie,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I don't have any particular opinion as to whether IAPWE is a scam. In my blog post, I've simply pointed out some things that I think should prompt caution: the generic writing and editing articles, the backdated blog posts, the discrepancy between the Craigslist advertising, which suggests that IAPWE is a direct employer, and what info there is on the IAPWE website, which indicates that IAPWE is a freelance jobs site. Are those two things mutually exclusive? Of course not. But whether you do one or the other or both, your website should make it absolutely clear.

    Also, as a membership organization, what benefits does IAPWE provide other than hiring for or posting jobs? If IAPWE is really just a jobs site, what does it offer that distinguishes it from other reputable sites that do the same thing? None of this is clear from the website, either.

    Of most concern to me, however, is the lack of any substantive information about the organization itself. IAPWE claims to post job opportunities that "have been determined to be legitimate" but without knowing anything about who's running the organization or even how it's structured, how can you be sure that's really the case? Real professional organizations provide a lot more info about themselves and their staff–compare IAPWE's sketchy "about" page, for instance, to that of the Editorial Freelancers' Association, which not only provides structural information but posts bios of board members.

    Perhaps IAPWE will decide to be more transparent about who it is and what it does. That would be great. Until then, though–and especially given all the other reputable jobs sites on the web–I think writers should be careful.

  50. I am a member of the IAPWE and found this when Googling to find out more about them (I probably should have Googled first, right?) BUT from what I can tell they do not appear to be a scam.

    Katharine, can I ask you what is suspicious about signing up through PayPal? On their signup page it says that the first month is a free trial and then they charge one dollar per month thereafter. Just for kicks, I tried submitting the cancelation form on their website and they instruct you on how to cancel your membership by logging into your PayPal account and canceling the IAPWE subscription. This would seem like a really terrible model for a scam since they are offering a membership for free for 30 days while letting you cancel at any time during the free membership or any time after, which makes me really confused as to why Katharine appears to be leaving this information out. Signing up through PayPal actually gives YOU control over the subscription and not them.

    Katharine and Victoria, I'm also confused why you both think an organization offering work from other third parties and clients while also hiring people themselves has to be mutually exclusive? I find it odd that you're reporting on them as if you have first hand information when you didn't actually sign up? If you logged in you would see that they have posted hundreds of new actual writing jobs along with a lot of other resources, but this information is conveniently being left out in your "report." That is what seems suspicious to me if I'm being honest. So far the only people claiming that it looks suspicious or scammy are the people who haven't actually joined?

    I'm sure someone will post and call me a shill for their organization but at a certain point, being a member and then seeing blatant misinformation being spewed about (whether intentional or unintentional) makes me feel some responsibility to share an actual experience. I also put that I'm an IAPWE member on my resume, so seeing people go out of their way to spread inaccurate information that causes people to question their rep kind of rubs me the wrong way and affects me too.

    Victoria, Katharine, anyone else reading this can actually join and can see for themselves that there's no scam. Unfortunately, it's easy for anyone to point and yell "scam" and get others believing they have some credibility, yet still nobody has been able to say what the actual scam is… hmm…

    Victoria, I'm not looking to add fuel to your fire (it doesn't appear to take much) but having what you feel are "dime-a-dozen" advice blog posts and what – in your opinion – is a "cheesy" logo while being new doesn't really scream "scam" which makes me curious why you're so quick to jump to that conclusion; again, without having actually signed up or seen what they are about yourself. It's kind of weird, because this "person" who you speak of that notified you about all of their suspicious "red flags" listed the same red flags in the exact same language you are using on another forum 😉

    I am starting to agree with some of the other members in another thread who were saying that some person or group of people may actually be going out of their way to tarnish their reputation because the degree to which some of the misinformation is so off-base makes it almost seem intentional. Acting like you're "warning" others of these "red flags" of cheesy logos and dime-a-dozen blog posts just really sounds like someone going out of their way to reach for things when they have nothing actually negative to say.

    Anyone who goes to their site and signs up (again, for free) can see for themselves that there is no scam. If anyone has any other questions about the IAPWE feel free to post here. If anyone doesn't want to take my word for it, go to their site, join if you want and see there's no scam.

  51. Thanks for the post on IAPWE. You highlighted all the things that bothered me the most, too — the fact that they couldn't seem to decide whether they were providing space for clients to advertise, or hiring themselves, and also the newness of the site (although I didn't catch the date discrepancy).

    Out of curiosity I started the registration process, and found it suspicious that you had to place an order through PayPal for your free month, but the only way to cancel your subscription is to email IAPWE. I can see them pulling a stunt like Freelance Work Exchange back in the day, where they just never respond or cancel your subscription.

  52. You and your friends have done this type of bullying many, many times. Remember the "googlebomb" with Jin Hines? I;'d even venture to opine that some of it was criminal, although no one was ever arrested or charged. Free speech, remember your stellar defense??? Just "opinion." "Freedom of the press" "chilling effects" or are those rights just for yourselves, not the other guy?

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