The Trouble with Online Jobs: IAPWE Scam

I’ve  been  looking  for  a  job  for  about  a  month  now  and  my  choices  are  between  online  and  what  I  like  to  call,  “out  there” (it’s  kind  of  a  silly  term  but  it’s  always  what  I  resort  to  when  I  talk  about  finding  jobs  that  aren’t  work  from  home)

Work  from  home  is  like  a  dream,  right?  It’s  also  very  difficult  to  find  a  good  job  working  from  home,  so  why  am  I  even  trying?  Well,  right  after  I  graduated  high  school,  I  knew  I  wanted  to  do  something  in  writing  and  although  I  have  always  been  good  at  writing,  I  knew  I  needed  a  lot  more  practice  if  I  was  ever  going  to  get  anywhere  with  it.  So,  I  started  this  blog  and  have  been  looking  for  a  good  writing  job.

My  Search

First  place  I  went  to  to  look  for  an  online  writing  job  was  Craigslist.  I’d  heard  a  lot  of  good  things  about  Craigslist  from  people  I  knew,  so  I  was  optimistic.  As  soon  as  I  typed  in ‘writing’  I  got  a  handful  of  opportunities  that  looked  promising.  The  very  first  one  I  applied  for  was  for  the  IAPWE  —  or  The  International  Association  for  Professional  Writers  and  Editors.  Yea,  it’s  a  mouthful  but  goodness  it  sounded  important  and  I  was  even  more  excited  about  their  rates.  The  job  paid  $10  for  every  100  words  to  writers  and  $3  for  every  100  words  to  editors.

I  can  write  100  words  in  a  cinch  and  my  last  “out  there”  job  paid  me  about  $10  an  hour  so  their  pay  sounded  perfect.  I  clicked  their  application  and  it  was  very  simple.  All  I  had  to  do  was  give  my  name,  email  and  a  sample  of  my  writing.  I  had  a  bunch  of  writing  samples  so  I  was  having  trouble  deciding  which  one  to  send.  In  the  end,  I  decided  to  send  one  of  my  blog  posts  that  was  a  review  for  a  book  I  read  the  month  before  and  a  short  story  I  wrote  that  I  got  a  lot  of  good  feedback  for.

I  put  both  in  my  application  and  hit  send.  I  felt  confident  my  writing  was  good  enough  —  especially  my  short  story.  I  felt  so  confident  that  I  didn’t  go  over  both  of  my  samples  until  after  I’d  already  sent  them.  That  was  a  big  mistake!  I  mean,  who  doesn’t  look  over  what  they’re  sending  to  a  potential  employer?  Apparently,  me.

When  I  looked  over  my  writing,  I  realized  I’d  used  an  emoji!  I  asked  my  mom  (who  is  a  talented  writer)  if  anyone  would  hire  someone  who  made  a  mistake  like  that.  My  mom  gave  me  a  pitying  smile  and  said  she  didn’t  think  so.  Ugh!  The  rest  of  the  day  I  felt  kind  of  rotten  about  my  mistake  and  practically  told  everyone  about  it. ( because  that’s  what  I  do  when  I  make  a  mistake.  I  tell  everyone  I’m  close  to  about  it  like  100  times)  But  the  next  day,  I  made  myself  feel  better  by  applying  for  a  couple  of  more  online  jobs.

Over  last  month,  I  applied  to  about  fifteen  writing  jobs.  Out  of  all  those,  I  was  only  contacted  by  six.  That’s  not  too  bad  —  especially  since  I  don’t  have  much  to  offer  in  experience.  Every  time  I  was  contacted,  I  was  excited,  but  every  time,  I  was  asked  to  complete  a  test  like:  writing  a  product  description  or  writing  a  blog  and  after  I  sent  the  work  they’d  asked  for,  they  never  contacted  me  back.  I’m  a  newbie  in  the  writing  industry  and  I  know  it.  I’m  pretty  sure  these  jobs  just  found  someone  better  —  and  in  some  cases,  I  felt  this  worked  out  best.  I  wrote  a  blog  for  this  one  job  that  paid  by  words.  The  blog  was  600  words  long  and  I  was  told  I’d  only  be  paid  $12  for  it.

At  first,  that  was  fine.  I’ve  got  to  start  somewhere  right?  But  then,  I  wrote  the  blog  and  realized  it  took  me  around  four  hours  to  finish.  Divide  twelve  by  four  and  I’m  getting  paid  less  than  minimum  wage  per  hour.  That  job  didn’t  end  up  hiring  me  but  it  gave  me  some  good  writing  practice  and  helped  me  realize  I  want  to  be  paid  by  the  hour  and  not  the  words.


August  was  almost  over  and  so  far  I  hadn’t  found  a  job  that  worked  for  me  or  that  I’d  really  wanted.  Then,  suddenly  I  got  an  email  from  who  I’d  least  expected:  The  IAPWE.  Someone  named  Amy  Wilkerson  said  they’d  gone  over  my  application  and  were  interested  in  hiring  me.  She  said  that  all  I  had  to  do  was  become  a  member  on  their  website  and  on  Freelancer,  then  jobs  would  be  sent  my  way.  I  was  so  excited!  Who  would  of  thought  after  a  month  the  first  job  I  applied  to  would  hire  me?  I  told  my  mom  about  it  gleefully.  She  was  surprised.  My  mistake  should  have  kicked  me  off  their  list.  She  was  happy  for  me  but  I  could  see  the suspicion  in  her  eyes.  I  ignored  it.  I  was  just  happy  someone  contacted  me  without  asking  me  to  again  work  on  some  blog  and  not  end  up  getting  hired.

The  next  day,  I  applied  for  a  membership  on  the  IAPWE’s  site.  I  could  be  a  member  for  free  if  I’d  like  or  a  “paying”  member  which  meant  I’d  get  more  writing  help  and  could  be  considered  a  ‘certified’  writer  of  the  IAPWE.  Normally,  I’m  pretty  smart  about  this  sort  of  thing;  I  don’t  ever  pay  a  bit  of  money  online.   But  that  one  word,  “certified”  sounded  so  appealing.  Amy  told  me  in  her  email  that  there  were  a  limited  number  of  memberships  left  and  that  as  a  writer  for  the  IAPWE,  I  would  get  this  membership  half-off  and  for  a  limited  time  only.  I  nervously  chewed  on  this  information  and  looked  at  the  membership  price.  Only  $3.75.  It  really  did  look  legitimate.

So  I  did  it.  I  joined  their  paid  membership  and  then  I  gave  them  my  Paypal  info.  After  I’d  done  it,  I  was  uneasy  and  emailed  Amy  asking  her  what  I  should  do  now  that  I’d  become  a  member.  She  answered  me  promptly  and  told  me  to  join  Freelancer;  that  after  I’d  joined,  I’d  be  sent  jobs  through  there.  I  joined  Freelancer  and  found  myself  going  through  the  site  with  bliss.  Freelancer  had  hundreds  of  short  freelance  jobs  that  required  little  experience.  I  thought  that  if  the  IAPWE  didn’t  work  out,  I’d  look  at  trying  this  site  out  more.

I  emailed  Amy  telling  her  that  I’d  joined  Freelancer  and  awaited  further  instructions.  Hours  passed,  but  Amy  never  contacted  me.  A  sinking  feeling  turned  my  insides  and  I  thought  this  may  have  been  a  mistake.  I  decided  to  go  to  the  IAPWE  main  site  to  see  if  maybe  she  had  made  a  mistake  and  I’d  actually  get  jobs  on  the  main  website.  As  soon  as  I  typed  in  IAPWE,  a  site  popped  up  that  said,  ‘Is the IAPWE a scam preying on writers’.  I  didn’t  even  have  to  read  it  to  know  I’d  fallen  into  a  scam.  I  read  the  blog  anyway  and  sure  enough,  the  blog  described  exactly  what  I  had  experienced.  The  writer  even  used  Amy  Wilkerson’s  name  several  times.

I  was  so  embarrassed  but  also  super  grateful  to  the  writer  of  that  blog,  Tamara  Gane.  Her  blog  was  excellent  and  if  it  wasn’t  for  her,  I  could  have  wasted  my  time  on  the  scam  a  lot  longer.  (so  kudos  to  Gane  ya’ll!)  I  followed  Gane’s  ending  blog  instructions  to  cancel  my  membership  and  change  all  related  passwords.  I  couldn’t  believe  I’d  fallen  for  a  scam  but  I  felt  Tamara  was  a  smart  woman  and  she’d  fallen  for  it  too,  so  I  took  comfort  in  that.  Her  blog  also  inspired  me  to  write  one  of  my  own  so  people  stay  aware  of  this  scam  and  many  more.  I’d  only  wasted  $3.75  (enough  to  buy  a  Chick-fil-a  sandwich  but  I’ll  get  over  it)  It  kind  of  makes  me  want  to  laugh  the  more  I  think  about  it.  I  mean,  IAPWE?  Dudes,  c’mon  shorten  your  name!

I’m  still  looking  for  a  job  online,  but  I’ve  learned  from  this  mistake,  and  now  I  remember  that  a  job’s  not  supposed  to  ask  me  for  money,  it’s  supposed  to  pay  me  to  work.  Also,  the  experience  wasn’t  all  bad.  Now  I  know  about  Freelancer  and  I’m  excited  to  see  if  that’ll  go  anywhere.


9 thoughts on “The Trouble with Online Jobs: IAPWE Scam

  1. Ang & Nick (but probably Ang) February 21, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    Thank you for this! I just was contacted by them this week and was going to sign up today – glad I found your blog first!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isabell W. February 21, 2019 / 8:04 pm

      You’re very welcome.😊 Glad I could help and so glad you didn’t sign up!


  2. danboy82 February 22, 2019 / 1:30 am

    so it is a definite scam, huh? darn


    • Isabell W. February 22, 2019 / 6:18 am

      I’m sorry to say I’m pretty certain it is.😓 The woman so interested in hiring me never said anything else after I gave her money and becoming a member. I hope you will find other writing work though worth your time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sherry E. March 15, 2019 / 5:33 pm

    I submitted a sample in January and just got a reply back from IAPWE this past Tuesday. I was lingering over the “join” button, but your article came at the right time. Do you have any tips for an aspiring writer on how to start? I’ve been told by many to get my printed thoughts out there, and this gave me hope. False hope, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isabell W. March 15, 2019 / 7:37 pm

      I’m pretty new to the writing business too but I would love to give you some ideas! There are so many people that write, it’s hard to be recognized but definitely still possible! Start small, and never expect to get a lot of attention quickly. If you want to be a writer, you will need to have a lot of patience, determination and don’t let failure dishearten you!
      You could try sites like Freelancer or Fiverr where people need writers for small jobs or you could get on Indeed and look for a company that needs writers if you’re looking for a job. Another good way to get recognized could be annual contests that have writing prompts. If you win one of those you could always tell future employers about it which would look very impressive but is also chancy.
      And then there’s blogging and Amazon. Many do blogging like myself but if you have a niche, you could show off your work that way . You could also always write a novella and publish it on Amazon like Andy Weir who wrote the Martian and made a ton of money.
      I hope my advice is helpful! 🙂


    • Isabell W. March 15, 2019 / 7:41 pm

      Oh! And there’s also Wattpad and Smashwords! You could put your work on those sites.


  4. NJ April 1, 2019 / 7:03 am

    Thanks for this post. I don’t like scammers too, lol. I mean, we are looking for a job so why do we have to pay something? If I see a job post that needs something to be paid, I’d categorised it as a scam already. Also, there are job posts that will give you tons of writing tests and later on they will tell you that you didn’t make it.


    • Isabell W. April 1, 2019 / 3:07 pm

      Right? I’ve applied for a few online jobs where the employer gave a ton of writing tests and no feedback too. Those also almost seem like a scam.😅 Thanks for the comment and stay careful out there in the dangerous online world of scammers!😉


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