I couldn’t disagree with you more. If you are thinking of paying a substantial amount of money in regards to anything, doing a bit of research before making that transaction is merely basic. So no offence, if you get scammed it is probably going to be your fault. Here’s why:
1) Live examples. There are many ways one can research on the legitimacy of a company/individual. The entity you are doing business with should be able to provide you with current/previous examples of their work whereby you can contact and communicate with said clients. This has statistically been proven many times to solve problems like this. If the entity doesn’t offer this, simply don’t do business with them.
2) Researching on the forum. All you need to do is type in “CIS” and you’ll see a plethora of accusations against them. Why do business with them then? Even if there is little or no info on them, at the end of the day, it’s your decision whether you want to trust an entity that has no reviews (I personally wouldn’t).
3) Cost. It is no news that Bubble has created a list of Bubble certified agencies who not only carry projects themselves, but may delegate projects to trustworthy freelancers. I believe there are only two plausible reasons why people won’t turn to that list first - a) they are unaware or b) they are expensive. If you simply divert your interest away from using these agencies because of the latter, then you should only blame yourself for trying to find a budget freelancer. You know what they say… “you get what you pay for”.
I’ve never been scammed in my years of living (hope I don’t jinx that) and it all comes down to how prudent I’ve been with my money. It’s almost as if people are scared to scrutinise; people would rather jump into a deal without assessing the risks. Rest assured, if you follow all of my steps, paying upfront shouldn’t be a problem at all.