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How to Avoid Online Writing Site Scams (As a Customer)

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    So, you have decided that you need some help with writing work, and you would like to find a site or service online that can assist you.

    How should you know which site to use? Should you use a bidding site, or a site with a fixed price?

    How are you supposed to tell the legitimate sites apart from hundreds of sites that appear to be scams? When you search Google for help, it’s likely populated with many links that may appear that say things like “Writing scam, Ultius scam, essay service scam, etc.” How is one supposed to avoid writing scams online?

    ScammerSource: Pixabay
     
    A scammer holds a laptop asking for a password

    To work with a professional writer and avoid scams one should look for signs of credibility such the length of time in business, credible reviews from customers and employees, an active social media, federal trademarks, and security protections such as SSL encryption.

    This key question that will be further addressed in this article provided by Ultius, along with the following aspects of the question, including:

    • the basics of credibility
    • site security
    • good verified reviews
    • good policies
    • press mentions
    • state/federal registrations
    • employee reviews
    • verifying country of origin
    • social media presence
    • case studies on credibility

    By the end of this article, you should have a good sense of how you can tell whether you can trust any online writing service to do a good job for you, or if you need a company with strong technology and security behind it, like Ultius. It will become clear that Ultius itself meets the highest standards of credibility and is the go to in order to avoid any online writing scams.

    The basics of credibility and avoiding a scam

    One of the first things you should look at when evaluating the credibility of any website online is its name. Does the site have a professional brand name, or is the name generic and nondescript?

    For example, here is the home page of a company called WriteMyPaper4Me.org, with a St. Patrick's Day promotion, beer in hand, that apparently cannot be closed, making it hard to read the actual content of the website.

    WriteMyPaper4MeSource: WMP4M
     
    This is site generically called WriteMyPaper4Me, displaying a “less than professional” promotional image.

    The point here is that WriteMyPapers4Me is not a professional brand name. It is a generic name, merely describing the nature of the service being offered. This is one of the key things to look for when avoiding writing scams online. It would be as if Google called itself SearchThings4Me.

    Moreover, the slang of "4Me" in the name of a professional writing website should give one pause: if that is the kind of grammar they use in their very name, then one should perhaps feel concerned about how their actual papers would look.

    This is a good example of a generic non-name being a sign of low credibility. On the other hand, Ultius has a professional brand name, like Google or Apple or Amazon. If you were too search a company with a brand name, and a result saying, “Apple scam, Google scam, Ultius scam etc.”, it’s worth reading more into it.

    These companies likely aren’t going to go through all the corporate registrations, trademarks, and other work involved if they were simply running a scam.

    Length of time in business is a key indicator of credibility

    Another important thing to consider is how long the site in question has been in business. For example, the writing site WriteMyEssayZ has another generic-sounding name, but it has domain has in fact been registered since the 26th of September 2012. (This information is publicly available and can be found using the website <http://who.is>.)

    This is comparable to the length of time that Ultius has been in business. If a company has been around for a while, then this could perhaps be taken as a sign that they must be doing something right, as a company that failed to provide at least an adequate service would likely soon go out of business.

    That being said, it is often difficult to substantiate how long a company has actually been doing substantial business, because publicly available information only indicates how long the domain of the site has been registered.

    For example, according to who.is, WriteMyPapers4Me was registered in June 2014. But it is also true that the site has a grade of F through Better Business Bureau, and it is unclear how long the site has been doing business. The registration date of a website's domain must thus be considered as one data point among others.

    See who owns a domain with “www.whois.com”Source: Who Is
     
    The website whois.com lets you see where a domain is registered. Writemyessay4me.com is clearly based outside of the United States.

    If the domain was only registered very recently, then that should serve as a red flag; but a domain having been registered for several years does not necessarily imply in and of itself that a site is, in fact credible.

    Alexa ranks sites based on the amount of traffic they get

    Alexa ranks are determined on the basis of tracked web traffic to different websites. A higher Alexa rank means that more people go to the website and that the website is thus likely more credible that sites with lower ranks.

    AlexaSource: Alexa
     
    For example, Google is ranked #1 on Alexa, and Facebook is ranked #3.

    For writing websites, the general rankings will of course be much lower, given that these sites provide a niche service that is not as universal as the service provided by companies such as Google or Facebook.

    Nevertheless, a comparison between the ranks of different sites and services can prove at least somewhat illuminating.

    Alexa ranking Source: Alexa
     
    Here are the American numbers for five popular websites related to writing. (As of 4/5/18)
    SiteAlexa rank (United States ranking)
    Ultius60,848
    PapersOwl137,182
    WriteMyPapers4MeNot ranked
    WriterBayNo U.S. ranking (only ranked in Kenya)
    MyEssayGeeksNot ranked
    SmartWritingService552,696
    GradeMiners199,962
    Pro-Papers173,429
    EssayShark42,955
    Upwork368
    Craigslist264,903
    Freelancer2,618
    EDUbirdieNo U.S. Ranking (only ranked in India)
    Nerdify227,366
    Scripted32,877
    WriterAccess19,029

    This shows that in the United States, Ultius is about 80,000 ranks above PapersOwl, and is well behind Upwork and freelancer.com. This is substantial, to say the least.

    Not reporting data for Alexa could mean either that the company has not registered to be tracked according to these metrics, or that there is some other technical reason why Alexa has not been able to retrieve information for the company in question.

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    A credible company often has apps available

    If a company found online has an app registered with Google and/or Apple, then this can be taken as a strong sign of its credibility, as the Google and Apple do not generally permit illegitimate apps to be listed on their markets.

    Ultius, for example, has an app available through Google for Android phones. (Ultius is working on developing an app for iOS as well, but works great in any Apple browser, including mobile currently). If you’re asking yourself “is Ultius legit?” this is a great indicator that it is.

    The Ultius appSource: GP
     
    Ultius has an app available through Google for Android phones.

    To the best of the present researcher's awareness, Ultius is the only service that offers an app to let their customers connect with vetted professional American writers. Most sites that have generic names, which have been discussed above, likely do not offer apps.

    Site security is key when avoiding scam websites

    Online sites with verified security are by definition more credible than sites that do not have verified security. Verified security is signified by a lock in top-left of the URL bar on most web browsers.

    Also, you should pay attention to whether the URL begins with "http" or "https": the "s" in the latter stands for secure, which means that all data transferred to the site will be encrypted. That protects your information from hackers who may attempt to access it.

    Ultius security certificateSource: Ultius
     
    You can see the lock, which shows the site is secure, and the extended validation lets you know it’s a U.S. site.

    Extended validation is also present, since the certificate itself indicates that the site is owned by Ultius. Likewise, the extended validation makes it clear that the owner of the site is American. This can be very important when you are looking for an English-language paper that will actually be provided to you by a high-quality, American-English writer.

    Getting an extended validation SSL certificates from GeoTrust is not a quick and easy process. There are several steps that must be taken and verified before a company can receive their certificate.

    Geotrust must be able to verify a company’s registration with a governmental agency, and an entire host of other criteria.

    According to geotrust.com:

    “GeoTrust must be able to confirm all of the following organizational registration requirements: Official government agency records must include:

    • The organization's registration number
    • The organization's date of registration/incorporation
    • The organization's registered address
    • A non-government data source (such as Dun & Bradstreet) must include the organization's place of business address if it is not included in the Government agency records"

    Again, this is just a small sample of what it takes to get an extended validation SSL certificate. At Ultius, we understand your confidentiality is a paramount value when getting connected with a writer. This is why we ensure that our website is secured. You most definitely do not want to give your credit card information to a website that has not been secured. This means that your information could be stolen or even sold without your knowledge or consent.

    When you are looking for a site online that can help you, a lack of a security certificate should in serve as a deal breaker.

    WriteMyEssayz security certificateSource: WME
     
    Here is an in-between example, where a site has basic certification but no extended validation.

    Here is a table of ten sites. Now, in terms of both security certificate and extended validation. This provides an objective basis for declaring that Ultius is more secure than the other two sites in the comparison.

    Security and extended validation
     
    This provides an objective basis for declaring that Ultius is more secure than every other site in the comparison.
    WebsiteSecurity certificate?Extended validation?
    Ultius
     
     
    WriteMyEssayZ
     
     
    WriteMyPaper4Me
     
     
    PapersOwl
     
     
    WriterBay
     
     
    MyEssayGeeks
     
     
    SmartWritingService
     
     
    GradeMiners
     
     
    Pro-Papers
     
     
    EssayShark
     
     
    (in Cyprus, not U.S.)
    Custom-Writings
     
     
    EDUbirdie
     
     
    Upwork
     
     
    Craigslist
     
     
    Scripted
     
     
    WriterAccess
     
     
    Freelancer
     
     

    Source(s)

    Each website listed.

    Look for security protections

    Past the initial certificate verification, you can also explore the sites themselves to determine what kinds of additional security they have in place. The chances are, if the site has additional security, they will tell you about this, which also means that if there is no information about additional security, then they probably don't have any.

    Ultius, for example, has a whole slew of protections, in order to ensure the security of the site and the confidentiality of customer information. They even offer security tips to help keep your own data secure, everywhere online.

    Ultius utilizes six vendors to maximize security and confidentialitySource: Ultius
     
    The six different vendors and services used by Ultius include Armor, Google Apps for Work, McAfee Secure, Cisco, Cloudflare, and GeoTrust, to ensure maximum security of our website and our clients.

    The online writing site WriteMyEssayZ does indicate that their website is protected, such that no third party will ever be able to see customer information. However, no further information is readily apparent on the website.

    This makes it unclear whether they have additional layers of protection (such as McAfee Secure) beyond the simple protection afforded by having a verified basic security certificate.

    When you decide to look for professional writing help, you will want to make sure that they have taken every possible precaution to ensure that your personal data and information will be protected at all costs.

    Verified reviews can help you avoid scam sites

    Another way for you to verify the credibility of a website is to explore the verified reviews that customers have posted about sites that they have used. When doing this, it is important to ensure that the review agents are credible.

    It is possible for people to both post fake bad reviews out of some animus toward the site and also post fake good reviews in order to inflate the reputation of a website.

    Usually, a review website that requires the poster to have a verified personal profile will have greater odds of having reviews that are in fact credible.

    Sitejabber is one relatively credible review website. Let's look at the Sitejabber scores for some online sites related to writing.

    Sitejabber scores Source: SJ
     
    These are the number of reviews reported on Sitejabber for these services related to writing (as of 4/5/18).
    Service name# of 4-5 star ratings# of 1-3 star ratings
    WriteMyPaper4Me.com
    (3.7 average score)
    116
    MyEssayGeeks.com
    (5.0 average score)
    2121
    Ultius.com
    (4.3 average score)
    38673
    Guru.com
    (1.0 average score)
    866
    PapersOwl.com
    (2.0 average score)
    42
    Writerbay.com
    (3.0 average score)
    3434
    SmartWritingService.com
    (None)
    NoneNone
    EssayShark
    (1.3 average score)
    436
    Custom-writings.com
    (2.3 average score)
    316
    EDUbirdie.com
    (4.0 average score)
    1820
    Upwork
    (2.5 average score)
    666490
    Freelancer.com
    (2.5 average score)
    22321416
    Freelance.com
    (3.0 average score)
    52
    Pro-Essay-Writer.com
    (4.5 average score)
    10

    The fact that My Essay Geeks has a perfect score on average is highly suspicious. If all the reviews are valid, then this is admittedly an impressive performance. The score for Ultius is the more common sign of credibility, where about 85 percent of the reviews are positive and about 15 percent of them are negative.

    It is generally almost impossible to avoid negative reviews on review sites, given that happy customers tend not to leave as many reviews. The customers who are on the wrong end of infrequent, but inevitable errors will often make sure that their voices are heard.

    It is also worth looking at the size of the datasets. WriteMyPaper4Me only has a total of 17 reviews altogether, which makes the average itself somewhat non-credible: there is not enough data to determine the credibility of the site.

    Ultius and Upwork have large datasets, and the fact that Upwork has scored an average of 3.3 from a dataset of over a thousand reviews suggests that the score seems credible. Likewise, 4.3 would be a stable average for Ultius, given that the dataset contains over 400 reviews.

    Scam sites likely aren’t registered with the Better Business Bureau

    Not all online businesses have a rating with the Better Business Bureau, (BBB) but if you are contemplating using an online service, run a Google search to see if the site in question has any information registered with the Better Business Bureau.

    There is nothing that says a company must seek BBB accreditation. A company usually applies for BBB accreditation for transparency reasons, in order to show they care about their customers, and try to resolve any complaints.

    In the table listed above, only Ultius and Upwork are accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

    Ultius BBBSource: BBB
     
    Ultius maintains an A+ rating with the BBB.

    On the other hand, Ultius has a grade of “A+” with the Better Business Bureau. Aside from the actual grades, the Better Business Bureau can also be used to find some customer reviews, although there are in general fewer reviews here than there are on Sitejabber.

    Owner responses can let you know if a site is a scam or not

    When examining reviews, another thing to look for is whether the owner has addressed the concerns of unhappy customers in a meaningful and professional way.

    As a general rule, any review with a score of 3 or less warrants a personal response from the owner of the business. The only lack of response being legitimate are only if the review seems to be so rude, slanderous, and in bad faith, that it would be degrading for the business to respond to it.

    Sites and businesses that respond to customer concerns are more credible than other sites that do not.

    Owner replies
     
    Ultius responds to each and every one of our online reviews. We also have a proven track record of resolving issues. The red indicates where a bad review would be, and the brown below indicates the owner response.

    A "scam" is different than being unsatisfied

    Sometimes an unhappy customer may call an online service or site a scam, even if what they really mean is that they were just unhappy with the specific product that they received. There is a meaningful difference between an actual scam, where the products will always be worthless, and a simple bad review from a customer who had one bad experience.

    So, if you see a review that calls a site related to writing a scam, then verify whether this is a common sentiment in other sources as well, or whether that particular customer (real or fake) was just using hyperbolic language.

    Examples of an online writing scam

    The cryptocurrency market (i.e. bitcoin and related digital currencies) have recently come under fire for carrying out what appear to be scams. A procedure called an initial coin offering (ICO) is used in order to sell the currencies to interested parties, but the economics of the whole situation has the structure of a bubble or a pyramid scheme.

    This is where the people who get in early may make some money but nothing of actual value will ever be produced by the system as a whole. That is a scam. Some bad online writing sites may be scams in this literal sense in that they never intended to give you a solid paper in the first place, whereas others may not be scams per se, but rather just businesses that offer very low-quality service. Such online writing scams can be quickly deduced by paying attention to details within the website. For example, fake or misleading information is a good indicator that something isn't quite right. Any clear lies or falsehoods should tell you there's a problem. For example, being untruthful about your staff of writers is a clear indicator.

    Studybay using celebrity pictures for their writers
     
    Studybay not only uses pictures of various celebrities as writer pictures, but one of the pictures they use is of a convicted kidnapper.

    How to detect fake reviews

    If you want to tell fake reviews apart from real ones, there are a couple key questions that you should keep in mind.

    1. Are there too many reviews posted on the same date?
    2. Are there reviews that are close together and saying just about the same thing as each other?
    3. Are the reviews saying anything substantive based on actual customer experience, or are they just saying generic awesome or awful things about the company?

    By asking yourself these key questions, you should be better equipped to discern fake reviews out there for online services from the legitimate ones.

    A credible site will have good policies in place

    A legitimate online site will have good policies in place that are meant to ensure security and fairness for both customers and writers. In particular, if a site is not trying to scam you, then they should have solid revision and refund policies in the event that the customer is unhappy, for legitimate reasons, with the work that has been done.

    Ultius policies
     
    Here is a sample of the policies that Ultius has in place to protect the customer.
    Policy contentSignificance
    Revision policy1
    • You have 7 days from receipt of the order to request a revision
    • The writer will have 3 days to complete a revision, with expedited options available for an additional fee
    • The revision request must fall within the parameters of the original instructions
    • 7 days are provided so that the customer will have ample opportunity to review the work
    • 3 days are granted to the writer in order to ensure that s/he has sufficient time to address the concerns
    • It is a matter of fairness that the revision cannot expand beyond the original instructions, since that would then be a new order
    Refund policy2
    • Partial refunds are issued for delayed orders
    • For poor quality, go through the revision channel first, but if that fails, a refund will be issued
    • Orders can be cancelled within 1 hour of placement
    • The customer has 14 days to request a refund
    • The partial refund policy is meant to both compensate the customer for delays and to fairly compensate the writer for a completed product
    • If the product is low in quality, then we have failed to live up to our commitment, and that warrants a refund
    • Orders can't be cancelled after a writer has begun work, and 14 days should be ample time for the customer to decide whether they are satisfied
    Verification policy3
    • The customer must provide images of government ID and credit card, with key information (address, all but the last 4 digits of the card number) blacked out
    • This policy is designed to protect the security of the customer's information and to ensure that an unauthorized party is not using the customer's identity
    • The information will not be accessed except in the case that an actual identity dispute does arise

    As can be seen from the table, these policies provide comprehensive protection for the customer while also ensuring fairness toward the writer.

    This can be contrasted with the money back guarantee policy of the online writing site EssayShark, which is quite confusing.

    It seems to be a system where the customer pays at milestones while the order is in progress, where the customer can apparently cancel the order at any time (even as the writer is working on it), and where no refund option is available after the customer has already released money for the order.

    This seems unfair toward the writer, and it is probably also confusing enough for the customer that the customer just releases all the money upfront, without seeing any work, and then is no longer able to request a refund in the event that the work is bad.

    EssayShark money-back guaranteeSource: ES
     
    This is a dubious refund policy that produces unfairness both toward the customer and toward the writer.

    Moreover, it is worth keeping in mind that just about any site will promise a money back guarantee to the customer, since they know this will attract customers. It is important to pay attention to whether the actual policy in place is robust, logical, and seems fair to both customers and writers.

    If these criteria are not met by the policies, then this should be cause for concern.

    Does a company have press mentions?

    Press mentions are another way to gauge the credibility of an online company. This is because among other things, press mentions suggest that a company actually wants its name to be known.

    Scammers, of course, would want the exact opposite. When scammers are mentioned in the press, it is usually in the form of a warning to others to not do business with them.

    Ultius, for example, released its Android app, and an article appeared on PR Web covering the new release. The review states the following:

    "After months of designing and testing, the beautiful app boasts a sleek and user-friendly interface, making it easier than ever for consumers to connect with professional writers."

    This is a case of Ultius actively seeking press mentions so that the world can know more about the good, hard work that is being done by the company. A solid online service will want to tell others about the work itself doing through legitimate and public channels, as opposed to just staying underground as if it is hiding something.

    Likewise, there are in fact legitimate websites that provide opportunities for customers and businesses to connect with freelancers who have services to offer. Press attention confirms this, because it means that the company is in the public eye and that if it engages in bad business practices, then people will almost certainly know.

    In contrast, most online writing sites have no press mentions at all, and many of them, with their generic names that could be easily confused for other similar services, seem to be almost purposefully avoiding press attention.

    This ties back into how any online site without a distinctive brand name should raise at least some concern for the potential customer.

    Is the site trademarked, or does it have any service mark registrations?

    State and/or federal registrations mean that a company is on the public record and will be held accountable for its actions. For a scammer the last thing one would want is to be held accountable. This is another great way to verify if a company like Ultius is indeed, legit.

    Checking for registration is another way for the potential customer to evaluate the credibility of an online service or site. To an extent, some of this information can be gleaned through an examination of a site's security certificate (or lack thereof). Past this, it is worth looking to see if the company in question has any trademarks registered with the state and/or federal government.

    Ultius, for example, has registered trademarks for both its name and logo. As a news source has reported:

    "As a Class 35 trademark, Ultius provides online employment information for contracted freelance writers. Under Class 9, the Ultius registered mark recognizes the mobile app software . . . Class 42 recognizes 42 recognizes the Ultius website's featured use of non-downloadable software for connecting consumers and freelance writers."

    Federal trademarks can cost about $1,000 each to register with the federal government, and registration is a way to protect one's intellectual property from unauthorized use. Most sites indicate that they have a copyright, but in general, this only applies to the actual content of the website itself.

    A trademark is required in order to protect the name, logo, and other assets of a company. An online site with a generic-sounding name probably haven’t bothered getting a trademark, and it is unclear whether they could. Especially given how similar many of the names sound to each other. For example, there is more than one online writing site that has some variation of "Write My Papers" in its name.

    Ultius Trademark Publitas
     
    Ultius federal trademark registrations from the United States Patent and Trademark Office
     

     

    EssayShark Trademark Publitas
     
    The trademark for EssayShark shows that the site is not based in the United States, but in Cyprus.
     

    Online writing scams have awful employee reviews

    Another way to verify the credibility of an online service is to seek out legitimate employee reviews. Glassdoor is by far the best website to seek out such reviews. Ultius has a high score on Glassdoor, on the basis of over 150 verified employee/writer reviews.

    On the other hand, the writing site WriterBay has a score of only 2.1, based on 19 reviews. This should cause the potential customer to ask questions about why the writers are unhappy, because unhappy writers are unlikely to produce good work.

    Ultius vs. WriterBay on Glassdoor
     
    Most of the writers that work with Ultius would also recommend other writers to do so.

    Many companies who work with freelance writers that only have 1 to 3 reviews, while many others have none at all.

    My Essay Lab’s perfect score here could seem suspicious if they had more than just a single review. Having a single review simply cannot be a good indicator, given there is no consensus.

    Writing service company ratings Source: GD
     
    Eighty-eight percent of writers who reviewed Ultius would recommend our company to a friend.
    Service# of reviews% recommend to friend
    Ultius
    (4.0 average score)
    5688%
    WriterBay
    (2.1 average score)
    1938%
    EssayShark
    (3.3 average score)
    365%
    Upwork
    (3.7 average score)
    19374%
    Grade Miners
    (No average score data)
    No dataNo data
    My Essay Lab
    (5.0 average score)
    1100%
    My Essay Geeks
    (No average score data)
    No dataNo data
    Freelancer.com
    (3.8 average score)
    65374%
    WriterAccess.com
    (4.3 average score)
    1489%
    CrowdSource
    (2.9 average score)
    6061%
    About
    (3.5 average score)
    10363%
    WritersDomain
    (2.0 average score)
    9No data
    FreshEssays
    (4.7 average score)
    12100%

    If the writers are unhappy, this could mean that the site in question is paying the writers poorly or not giving them enough opportunities, either because of the general business model or because of reliance on writers from the developing world, where American writers would not be able to effectively compete for decent wages with such writers. If you are thinking about trying to buy essay services from such companies, make sure to check that the writers are competent and treated fairly.

    Less than half of the writers who work with WriterBay, for example, are of North American origin. In contrast, Ultius writers are vetted Americans with college degrees.

    WriterBay Origins Source: WB
     
    The fact that less than half of WriterBay's writers are North American does not speak well of a company that is offering English-language services.

    If an online service is actually able to pay enough to its writers to keep them happy, then the odds are good that the site is legitimate. A scam or poor-quality site would have a business model that rips off not just the customer but also the writer.

    When the writer is happy, the customer is often happy as well, so the potential customer should consider evaluating what writers have to say about a given online site or service.

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    Why are American writers important?

    Following up on the theme of American writers, potential customers should know that if the site does not primarily employ Americans, the work produced by them will likely not have the skill and knowledge of American-English, that an American writer would have.

    The nature of the globalized economy is that people in the developing world can afford to work for much less than people in the developed world. This means that there is strong incentive for companies across various industries to outsource labor to developing countries.

    The problem with an online site related to writing doing this would be, that people from developing countries may not speak English as their primary language. They also may not have a college degree from a rigorous institution. They would likely lack the basic skills required for delivering an effective English-language document to the customer.

    This also means that if any online service is offering dirt-cheap prices, then the customer should feel suspicious. When it comes to this business, it is very much true that you get what you pay for.

    Another example of the general rule of not trusting low prices would be the freelance marketplace platform Upwork, where writers from all over the world place bids on orders.

    There is at a small chance a writer from a country like India or Kenya may be fully fluent in English, and also possess an advanced college degree.

    The cheaper prices they are offering are likely reflective of the standard of living in their home countries.

    However, because Upwork does not itself vet the writers bidding on its platform, there is no guarantee that the customer won't end up with a terrible writer. The customer has to do all the work of figuring out who can and cannot be trusted. In general, if a price looks too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true for any purchase made online.

    If a site is offering you a deal of $8/page, then it is almost certain that the quality of work will be very low. This is because the writer may only make half of that at most, and no professional American writer would agree to work at a rate of $4/page.

    The Ultius pricing chart is reasonable for an online service that works with high-quality American writers.

    Beware of sites that make sensational claims

    Google values honesty and fairness, so promotion of dishonest products and services is strictly against its advertising policies. Google is strongly against enabling any sort of dishonest behavior, and lists “paper-writing” and “exam-taking services” as examples of services designed to mislead others.

    Ultius does not condone plagiarism, copyright infringement, or any form of academic dishonesty in its terms and conditions. By submitting an order through Ultius, customers are purchasing a limited personal non-transferable license from the company. Custom writing samples are intellectual property and are meant to serve merely as reference, and should not be copied, displayed, reproduced, re-published, or replicated.

    Online cheating, no doubt about itSource: MAH
     
    The site myassignmenthelp.com offers to take exams for you. A clear academic and ethical violation.

    Many of the websites as mentioned earlier, such as Pro-Papers, make outrageous claims such as guaranteeing “A” grades, or implicitly encouraging academic dishonesty. There isn’t a realistic way for these websites to guarantee a high mark on the papers they write. Letter grades are subjective and ultimately determined by the instructor. Furthermore, guaranteeing an “A” grade implicitly enables academic dishonesty.

    Projecting grade scores.Source: MAH
     
    This site promises “top grades” but grading is subjective, and this claim cannot be guaranteed.

    Australian essay service, My Assignment Help, blasts visitors with a chat-bot pop-up “Get top grades!” as soon as they arrive on the website. When asking the chatbot how they can guarantee a “top grade,” they insist the user be “rest assured” and promise all work comes from “Ph.D. experts.” Upon further investigation on their featured writers, many of them steal profile pictures traced back to university staff members.

    My Assignment Help features an “online exam appearances” service, which not only violates Google’s policy, but is also against university standards. My Assignment Help solicits login IDs, passwords, and “some time to prepare” in order to make an exam appearance.

    Google discourages misleading content because users don’t like misleading content. Google doesn’t intentionally advertise on pages with misstatements, misrepresentation, or concealed information within content.

    Writink Services is one of the biggest culprits of misleading customers. This website codes phrases such as “Can you do my Writing Services for an A grade” and “Essay for sale for an A grade...Guaranteed!” into the title of their web pages to mislead search engines and attract students. The content on the Writing Service page itself does not mention “A grade.”

    Determining if a company has a social media presence

    Finally, one further standard you can use to evaluate online sites or services is to consider whether they have a social media presence. This is important for a similar reason to why press mentions are important: it indicates that the company is willing to be a public presence and thus held accountable for itself, as opposed to just some essay service scam.

    Here is a chart comparing a few sites in terms of whether they have social media accounts on various platforms.

    Social media comparisonSource: Google
     
    Once again, this criterion demonstrates that Ultius is a very credible site.

    My Paper Geek had good reviews on Sitejabber, but it has no social media outreach.

    WriteMyEssayz, has been shown to lack credibility in several aspects, including its name and its lack of social media presence.

    WriterBay has social media accounts, but as has been noted above, over half of its writers are also not from North America, which is problematic for an English-language writing service.

    Considering these various factors together, the potential customer can reach an informed decision about which sites are credible and which ones are not.

    Cumulative comparative table

    To close this article, it will be worthwhile to try to pull the various factors considered here into a comprehensive table.

    Six different sites will be compared here in terms of the various evaluative factors that have been discussed in this article. A “check-mark” for each criterion will be worth 1 point, whereas a blank will be worth 0 points. The points will then be tallied up in order to determine a rough final score for each of the six companies according to the rubric of the present article.

    Cumulative comparative table
     
    Some data may be missing, but only because it is not easily accessible or easy for a potential customer to find, which amounts to the same thing.

    On the basis of this comparison, it is clear that Ultius is the most credible of the compared websites, meeting all 8 of the criteria.

    This evaluation suggests that when a potential customer wants to avoid writing scams online and find a highly credible site that works with professional American writers, they should go with Ultius.

    Works Cited

    Alexa. "Find Website Traffic, Statistics, and Analytics." Author. Author, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo>.

    Better Business Bureau. "WriteMyPaper4Me: Business Information." Author, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. &lit;https://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/business-reviews/educational-consultant/writemypaper4me-in-new-york-ny-161461>.

    EssayShark. "Money Back Guarantee." Author, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://essayshark.com/money-back-guarantee.html>.

    Glassdoor. "Ultius Reviews." Author, 10 Mar. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Ultius-Reviews-E658985.htm>.

    Google. "Ultius." Google Play. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ultius.android&hl=en>.

    Google. “Enabling Dishonest Behavior - Advertising Policies Help.” Google. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6016086?hl=>.

    Google. “Misrepresentation - Advertising Policies Help.” Google. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020955?hl=en=ref_topic=1626336>.

    Kontega, L. "How Not to Be Scammed by an ICO." Block Geeks. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://blockgeeks.com/how-not-to-be-scammed-by-a-initial-coin-offering/>.

    My Assignment Help. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Author, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://myassignmenthelp.com/faqs.html>.

    PR Web. "American Writing Marketplace Software Platform (Ultius) Acquires Two New Federal Trademarks for Its Name and Logo." Benzinga, 13 Mar. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/18/03/p11356470/american-writing-marketplace-software-platform-ultius-acquires-two-new>.

    PR Web. "Ultius Releases New Android App." Author, 18 Feb. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/02/prweb15219225.htm>.

    Sitejabber. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.sitejabber.com>.

    WriterBay. "WriterBay.com: Payment Procedure." Author, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.writerbay.com/payments.html>.

    WriteMyPapersForMe. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://writemypaper4me.org>.

    Writink Services. "Can You Do My Writing Services for an A Grade." Writink Services. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://writinkservices.com/do-my-writing-service/>.

    Writink Services. "Essay for sale for an A grade...Guaranteed!" Writink Services. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://writinkservices.com/essay-for-sale/>.

    WriteMyEssayz. 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://writemyessayz.com>.

     
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