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Any Recourse for Massive Upwork Scammer?

Active Member
Keith C Member Since: Oct 13, 2020
1 of 3

Is there any way to:

1.) recover any funds that were paid out to a freelancer who only worked a fraction of the hours they billed for?

2.) Prevent that same freelancer from scamming anyone else here on Upwork?


I'm guessing there's no way to recover the thousand of dollars I paid out. But, I'm hoping there is a way to prevent this freelancer from taking advantage of anyone else. I wrote an honest, factual, detailed review. But, I feel like that will accomplish little. This freelancer needs to be stopped.


LONG STORY SHORT: I hired a freelancer who was charging me 20 hours per week to manage my Google AdWords account. He said it can take several months to see results. Months passed, and I started to get suspicious because there was zero improvement in the account. (The account actually got worse and more costly over those initial 6 months.)


So, I had a trusted collegue who understands AdWords look into whether or not there was any work being done on my AdWords account. -- It became instantly clear that this freelancer was not only not doing anything with my account, but he had barely logged into the account at all over that 6 month period.


I spent a good deal of time on Upwork and Googling, looking for a way to file a complaint via Upwork. The closest thing I found was this:


BUT, I tried to follow the steps, but the options that the article stated would be available, were not. I couldn't find anything about "Request a fefund" or "Complete the dispute form". Also, this freelancer has been stealing from me for at least 6 months - it looks like I can only dispute a single week?


Thanks in advance for any help or direction.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 3

Keith C wrote:

Also, this freelancer has been stealing from me for at least 6 months - it looks like I can only dispute a single week?


I'm afraid that's generally the case, so it's a pity you didn't consult your trusted colleague sooner. There may be special circumstances where you can dispute over a longer period of time, but that's something I don't have direct knowledge of, being just a freelancer. If it's any consolation, your review should at least slow down the freelancer, provided they were't top rated and used a perk to remove your feedback.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
3 of 3

Hi Keith, 

I'm sorry to learn that a contract with a freelancer didn't go as expected.


On hourly contracts, you are invoiced every Monday for the previous week's hours based on your freelancer's Work Diary. Your default billing method is charged automatically for the balance due. If there's an issue, you have until Friday to file a dispute for the hours logged in the previous week. You can only dispute the current invoice, not past invoices (click here to learn more about the Weekly Billing Cycle). If you miss this window, you and your freelancer should work together to resolve any issues and possibly discuss a refund request. You may check out this link for more information about requesting a refund from your freelancer.

I am unable to identify which contract you are referring to. I wanted to check if the last payment on the contract was within the previous 30-days because Upwork Dispute assistance is available from Upwork Customer Support if this is the case. If you can share the Contract ID for the contract you are referring to, our team can look into this for you.