I will be working on a website for a client. They say they can only make payment by cashier check whereas I can only receive payments by credit card transfer. Now they said they would like to make an upfront payment, but I live in another country and I need some time to find someone in their country to receive the payment. Is it bad to reject the upfront payment and ask for the full amount on completion?

I am not sure whether the salary tag is relevant here, but I couldn't find another one.


Client wants to make an upfront payment, is it bad to ask for payment on completion?

Even if this client is legit (which I highly doubt it is), you will not be able to get paid for your work. You stated that you can only receive payments by credit card transfer. The client has stated that they cannot pay with credit card transfer. By your own policy, you cannot get paid. So it doesn't matter if you ask for the money now or 10 years from now, you will not get paid.

This is the only thing you need to tell this client:

Hello X, unfortunately we only accept credit card transfers. As soon as you are able to pay with a credit card transfer we can arrange a payment schedule and commence work on this project. Thank you for your interest.


Payment by check is unusual and often a sign of fraud. The way the fraud works is that you receive a check for more money than you are owed, and you are asked to send the difference back. The check is likely stolen or forged, so 6 weeks or 6 months later your bank figures it out, takes the money out of your account, you lose the money that you sent back, and you don't get paid for the work (which is often a lot worse, so the scam artist might make $600 while you lose $3,000 of payment for work, plus $600).

My window cleaner is the only business I know that accepts checks. He can do it, because he knows where I live (obviously), and if my check bounces, I'll need new glass in my windows soon after :-(

  • Because you won't be able to get another cleaner, right? Not because you suggest someone may go and cause criminal damange in revenge :P – Tymoteusz Paul Aug 29 '20 at 12:42
  • And if I don't pay the amount back, what happens? – Wais Kamal Aug 29 '20 at 13:18
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    You will have a massive overdraft, which the bank will sue you to recover, bankrupting you if necessary. – Owain Aug 29 '20 at 19:24
  • @WaisKamal do you mean what if you refuse to send back the overage? Nothing really, except you should still expect to lose the full amount the scammer sent you, and obviously you won't get paid for any work you do. – Kat Aug 30 '20 at 3:06
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    Wais, you can’t refuse to pay your money back. Say the check was for $3,000. One day your bank account shows $3,123.45, the next day it shows $123.45. It’s your bank. They can do that. – gnasher729 Aug 31 '20 at 10:42

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