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Greetings everyone! I am the owner of a marketing agency in Central New Jersey.

I've responded to two quote requests on Thumbtack for website design/development services. I've got contacted both times and the conversation leads to e-mail. Here comes the SCAM!!! The person you are e-mailing has a fake story about a company they have.

No matter how legit it sounds, just look for the keywords at the end. They will tell you that they want so and so project for $2,000 - $2,500 dollars on the Thumbtack request. At the end, they will say they have a private project consultant or a project manager who has "all the text and logos". Other key behaviors to look for: - they avoid providing a phone number, and when they do, it is from a completely different state than their Thumbtack account.

Example: 1st guy that contacted me claimed to have a cafe (Mingles Cafe) in New York but the number he gave me was from Wisconsin. It was a Google voice number. - They do not provide address. - They never answer all of your questions, and they will send repetitive responses - They say the only method of payment is QUICKBOOKS INVOICE or BANK TRANASFER.

Here is how the scam works: - They will insist to invoice them for double the price of the website, and claim that "YOU WILL HELP THEM PAY THEIR PRIVATE PROJECT CONSULTANT". This raised red flags for me, as I continuously refused to pay the private project consultant and the client continued to insist on it. I assume that if I did invoice them twice the amount, they would accept the payment but then withdraw it a few hours later and perhaps file some type of complaint that they were wrongfully invoiced - at this point, you have sent their "private project consultant" $2500 dollars of your own money which you may not be able to get back. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!!

How to avoid it? Do not do business with anyone on Thumbtack unless you speak on the phone with them, and it is NOT a Google Voice number, and they sound normal and not like a quiet Nigerian somewhere who claims not to have time to speak. (I actually got the 1st one to talk to me on the phone, and he barely spoke English - was reluctant to provide any information). MARKETERS, ADVERTISERS, CREATIVE AGENCIES, FREELANCERS, ETC.

BEWARE!!! - A message from Virex Marketing

Product or Service Mentioned: Thumbtack Advertisement.

Reason of review: Bad quality.

Monetary Loss: $1.

Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.

  • thumbtack scam
  • website design scam
  • Marketing Services Scam
  • Thumbtack Marketing Scam
  • Thumbtack Website Scam
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I've experienced the exact same scam on Thumbtack twice; when the person finally got in touch via text and email, the messages were rife with red flags and this "pay my consultant" business.


I've gotten something similar. I turned them into thumbtack and got a refund on my credits.

The ol' Nigerian prince scam is hitting thumbtack. I tell my clients I only accept deposits through PayPal and I really screen who I'm working with.


Very sorry to hear of your experience. We have had similar experiences with thumbtack as well.

What you have described is an almost textbook Nigerian scammer case.

thumbtack cannot foresee or protect Pros from all of these, but I believe they are not proactive enough in ferreting out and aggressively pursuing these scammers.

whenever we notified them of these scammers, we were given credit for the bid.

however there is nothing on the thumbtacks website that teaches or cautions Pros about how to avoid being taken by these criminals.

we were smart enough not to fall for this, but there are many people out there who may not understand the basic mechanics of a scam like this, and thus become victims.

the professionals are the ones who built Thumbtack into what it is today, and more and more it seems like our opinions and experiences are less important then the people who are requesting bids.

I'm trying to be fair in my comments, but every week we come become more and more disgusted by the thumbtack practices and greed we see. We are one of the top Pros on the site, and will not be there for much longer, once we transition into other mediums.


This scam is very similar to craigslist counterfeit check scam. You are contacted by a 'buyer' and they offer to purchase for the asking price.

They send you a 'check' for an amount far more than the purchase price and demand that you compensate for the difference.

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