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Fake Chinese Freelancers

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
11 of 57

@Ethan E wrote:

I don't buy it.  As a company you have known about this issue for many years and I cannot believe that you are taking any steps to control the problem because it has become 10x worse.  



Those of us who maintain truthful stats about who, what, when, where and why in regards to our profiles feel nothing but distress (and quite a bit of embarrassment) when clients point out these failings. And oh yeah, quite a bit of anger too. As Janean has stated, we get scolded when we point out fraudulent profiles; I've mostly given up or curtailed that practice ... it's easier to bite my tongue.


Upwork claims to be doing something about this problem by doing ID verifications. They've stated that everyone on the site will be verified. What I've pointed out but have never gotten a response to is that as long as they keep letting five million (exaggerated to make a point) new people sign up every single day, they're never going to be able to verify everyone.


I don't get it. It feels like Upwork doesn't care about it's reputation as long as their bottom line isn't affected. Instead of working on this (serious) problem, they keep coming up with totally useless initiatives to "improve" our experience with the site.


Priorities are not in order ... at all.



Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
12 of 57

Hi All,


A few posts have been removed from this thread as they were in violation of Community Guidelines. I would like to clarify once again that we do take reports of ToS violations seriously. What we can't allow is publicly discussing specific violations, specific violators and actions taken against their accounts. Not only because it's against Community Guidelines but also because we want to protect the integrity of our processes for identifying fraudulent accounts. 


Thank you.

~ Valeria
Active Member
steve r Member Since: Nov 2, 2018
13 of 57

I have to say I posted a Job and so far I have not seen one real account, European Accounts specifically even Mexico, after speaking with these people they clearly had very strong Asean Accents, the Account from Mexico did not understand his language. The chinese German, in each case, the picture was fake and so if these freelancers lie about their identity and Location how can I be sure about their skills or honesty in general.


Fake Accounts happen far to frequently on this site....




Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
14 of 57

Hi Steve,


One of our team members will reach out to you via ticket where you can share more details with us about this. Our team will investigate the freelancers further and if any violations are found, proper actions will be taken. Thank you.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
15 of 57

re: "I have to say I posted a Job and so far I have not seen one real account"


I completely believe that this is what happened to you.


But I don't believe this is a universal experience. I have hired over 70 freelancers on Upwork. This has not been my experience at all.


Perhaps this is a particularly bad problem in a certain job niche?



Could you tell us what type of freelancers you were hiring? What job niche or skill set you were looking for?

Active Member
steve r Member Since: Nov 2, 2018
16 of 57

Mobile applcations and Ruby Developer at that time.

Active Member
David A Member Since: May 9, 2018
17 of 57



Both points of view can be true.


we had a good 2 year run when we hired over 50 freelancers, all seemingly legit.


But recently, it seems everyone we interview (and one we hired) are ALL fakes from China.



Active Member
David A Member Since: May 9, 2018
18 of 57

We've spent over $100K on Upwork, most of that in the last year. We use Upwork a lot -- mostly to staff our technical team, but also for specialized skills and some busy-work help.


We recently hired a high level European developer with a great history of work at a high level. We interviewed him and he had very strong understanding of Node/AngularJS. He also had work history in large team projects with very hard core back end skills.


When we hired this developer, all kinds of problems occured. He would constantly make excuses, ask for delays, complain about headaches, or just complain that he was sick. We didn't make the freelancer use the time tool. On closer inspection, his accent had changed from a broken Slavic-to-English to more of an Asian-to-English. And on screen share, his windows profile turned out to be "Xientian" instead on Nikita.


We fired "Nikita" and have been interviewing new candidates. But now, we see problems everywhere. Candidates are suspiciously unable to use their video chat. Even though we actively employ 4 remote hourly freelancers as part of our team, we're at the point of moving off of Upwork for future resources. It seems as though fake profiles run rampant through Upwork.


Before we take that dramatic of a step, I was wondering if anyone has any experience that's reassuring. We heard from Upwork contact that we can "flag" suspicious profiles, but we don't really have the time to do cleanup for Upwork.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
19 of 57

David, sorry to hear you've been taken advantage of. Did the freelancer in question have a blue check mark after his name when viewing his profile? That indicates they passed Upwork video verification. It's something to look for, although I suppose a cheat could have a European accomplice do the verification.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
David A Member Since: May 9, 2018
20 of 57

Yes, the candidate had the check mark that he was phone verified and video verified.


All candidates we interviewed have been verified.


Not only that, the candates have all earned over $10K on Upwork. Many have earned many times that.


I no longer think Upwork Verification is worth anything. Thats bothers me.