Getting an invitation from a potential client is an exciting experience... It usually means you’re on your way to starting a job and building your reputation.
Unfortunately, there are certain individuals out there who are trying to take advantage of professionals like you. They’re everywhere, and that sadly includes on the Upwork platform.
The Upwork Team cares about your safety and success. We want freelancers to get contracts and build reputations without being interrupted, so we’re doing everything we can to stop it. One risk that we’re seeing right now concerns Paid and Leased account fraud.
What Is Paid and Leased Account Fraud?
Paid and leased account fraud takes place when an Upwork account is shared, leased, or sold to another party. After gaining control of the account, the bad actor almost always uses the account and the real account owner’s identity to fraudulently apply for jobs or commit other crimes.
Communications are usually sent outside of Upwork, on messaging platforms or Social Media sites.
Example of a Message
“Greetings dear. My upwork account was recently closed by no fault of mine. If I can use your account I will pay you $1000USD per month and more if i am profitable.
This is a onetime task and you will earn money every month
How Is Upwork Dealing With this Fraud?
The Upwork Team has several safeguards in place to keep our community safe.
This infrastructure helps ensure all users are following our Terms of Service, so freelancers and clients can always feel safe and secure while working on Upwork.
What is the Red Flag for this Fraud?
Asking for personal login information. Think of your Upwork account as your bank account. Would you share your bank information with someone who you never met? Hopefully not! There’s never a legitimate reason for a client or another freelancer to ask for access to your Upwork login information.
What Are the Consequences for Paid and Leased Account Fraud?
Sharing, renting, buying, or selling an Upwork account is a serious and significant violation of Upwork’s Terms of Service. There are a number of serious consequences associated with Paid and Leased account fraud.
What can you do to help??
We have systems in place to protect freelancers from fraud, but sometimes bad actors bypass them. In these cases, it’s important for freelancers to recognize and report the fraudsters who are flying under our radar.
If your account is flagged for suspicious activity, a member of the Upwork Team will contact you to further the investigation. As long as you’re following Upwork’s Terms of Service and cooperating with our investigation teams, this issue will be resolved and you’ll be good to go.
Remember: When you flag and report suspicious activity, you’re helping yourself and other Upwork users have a higher quality experience on the platform and avoid the hassle.
We’re all in this together! Upwork’s Trust and Safety Team, along with our external vendors and internal detection systems, is dedicated to busting fraudsters and protecting Upwork users. If we have the help and support of users in this effort, we’ll be able to do an even better job of making sure Upwork is safe for everyone.
The engineering team came through big for me on this and the new flags have been implemented as of today. Thanks for your continued feedback and keeping me honest.