When a Buyer purchases an Offer service or accepts a custom Project proposal; they are asked to pay funds into an Escrow account.
These funds are held in the Escrow account until the project has finished, the Freelancer raises an invoice, and the Buyer confirms they are happy that the project has completed and pays the invoice.
As a Freelancer, the Escrow facility provides you with security before you start working. We urge that, for small projects or where you have no record working with the Buyer, you request either all the funds to be put in Escrow or agree to milestones, which need the payments pre-funded to escrow (as a deposit) before you start work on each milestone.
Please note: you do not need to raise an invoice for each milestone. All you need is to ensure that the funds are in place by requesting a deposit. It is usually best you complete the project and invoice for the whole lot in one go in the end.