I'm a fairly prolific writer and have been published by several free publications and journals, and I want to try my hand at freelancing. The only problem is that none of the freelance platforms I have tried seem to be anything but "Facebook for con artists." Up-work, freelancer.com, Guru etc etc all only net me a ton of guys from India either promising me pennies on the dollar for my work, or just outright phishing for bank data. Whats worse, on freelancer I was finally contracted for a $500 short story project. When it was completed the person simply accepted the submission and deleted their account. I never got paid. This didn't stop Freelancer.com from forcing me to pay them the 10% commission I "owed" them even though I wasn't actually paid anything by the client.
So, where does a person actually get started as a freelance writer nowadays? I cannot find anywhere at all that isn't complete trash or a scam.