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Fake spam freelancers everywhere

Active Member
Stephen H Member Since: Aug 1, 2018
31 of 58

I have been reporting them via their profile. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
32 of 58

Upwork can't do video confirmation for EVERY freelancer EVERY years.

 

And they can't guarantee that a freelancer they verified last month is still the person using the account (some of these people are shifty).

 

But YOU as a CLIENT can definitely do Skype or some other type of video verification for everybody you hire if their identity is important to you.

Active Member
Stephen H Member Since: Aug 1, 2018
33 of 58

I've now been setting up Zoom Video conference calls.  However, there certainly is more Upwork can do to automate the verification process.  They MUST do more because this is a REAL problem and is going to seriously drive away business.  Of the five people I tried to interview today, ALL five were FAKE from China!  This has never been an issue for me but apparently fake accounts have overtaken Upwork.

 

Here are a few practical things Upwork can do.  Most of this can be automated

 

  For example,  It would be easy for the backend to record the IP address of everyone who logs into their upwork account.  If someone claims they are from Dallas Texas, yet everytime they have logged in for the past few months they have an IP from Shenzen China, then chances are this is a fake account.  At the very least, this account should get flagged for a second video verification.

 

Additionally, the email address they use for registration should also be the required Paypal email address and or, the bank account country location should match the profile registration. This way, people cannot sell accounts.

 

Lastly, require freelancers to submit a photocopy of identification such as an ID card, Drivers license, or Passport at least for freelancers claiming to be from the US, Canada or European.  This is common practice with financial instutiions and  Crypto currency trading sites like Coinbase.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
34 of 58

@Stephen H wrote:

 

 

 

Additionally, the email address they use for registration should also be the required Paypal email address and or, the bank account country location should match the profile registration. This way, people cannot sell accounts.

 

Lastly, require freelancers to submit a photocopy of identification such as an ID card, Drivers license, or Passport at least for freelancers claiming to be from the US, Canada or European.  This is common practice with financial instutiions and  Crypto currency trading sites like Coinbase.

 

  

 


I thought that was already the case. I know there were some upset freelancers when Upwork added the option for clients to list jobs for US freelancers only. To bid a freelancer had to verify a US bank account rather than use Paypal to withdraw earnings. Some were understandably wary of linking their bank accounts to Upwork.

 

In the past year, I had the bank account verification required to apply for projects listed for USA only, identity document verification to prove I wasn't someone on the banned list so I could withdraw my earnings, and a video interview with Upwork staff to maintain my enrollment in one of the premium programs, and another round of document verification for an Enterprise contract. It is kind of weird I've had multiple types of ID verification yet some freelancers have scam profiles and haven't had any.  I am not complaining, I know the extra verification is required to participate in some programs and that Upwork needed assurance that I am not a terrorist. :-)

 

Hmmm... Did you list the job as USA only? Just curious since I thought they only allowed freelancers with verified US bank accounts to apply to those projects. (Yes, I know that unfortunately excludes Canadians and other great international clients including many native English speakers). 

Active Member
Stephen H Member Since: Aug 1, 2018
35 of 58

Hi Samantha,

  This is good to know.  I've only ever been on the client side of things with Upwork.  Initially I did not have my posting listed as US only because I did want to allow Canadians and other native english speakers to apply.  Additionally, I've been utilizing international freelancers for years with great success so I wanted to even give them a chance (One of the fake accounts I found today was supposed to be German).

 

I had since switch my job to US only. Hopefully that helps stop the fake accounts. 

 

I just hope that Upwork is working on more automated ways to stop fake and purchased accounts.

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
36 of 58

Hi Stephen, 


I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Please know we have a dedicated team that checks for fraudulent profiles. While some fall into the cracks, we rely on our Community of members to report this to us. And we appreciate it when it happens. 

If you have other profiles you would like to report, you may flag it as inappropriate, or forward it to us so that we can check it and forward it to the team for review.


-Avery
Untitled
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
37 of 58

@Avery O wrote:

Hi Stephen, 


[...] While some fall into the cracks, we rely on our Community of members to report this to us. And we appreciate it when it happens[...] 

It's amazing how many clients fall into the cracks . . . 

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
38 of 58

@Nichola L wrote:

It's amazing how many clients fall into the cracks . . . 


There are no cracks on the client side to fall into. Client's identities are not verified. The recent messages in this thread were about a client that encountered fake freelancers, not about clients.

 

Freelancers are free to verify their client's identities through a video-call and by asking clients to show their ID if this is what these freelancers want (I would definitely not recommend trying this, but why not).

 

Clients encountering fake freelancer profiles, on the other hand, can drive business away because clients are the ones who bring money on the platform.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
39 of 58

@Rene K wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

It's amazing how many clients fall into the cracks . . . 


There are no cracks on the client side to fall into. Client's identities are not verified. The recent messages in this thread were about a client that encountered fake freelancers, not about clients.

 

Freelancers are free to verify their client's identities through a video-call and by asking clients to show their ID if this is what these freelancers want (I would definitely not recommend trying this, but why not).

 

Clients encountering fake freelancer profiles, on the other hand, can drive business away because clients are the ones who bring money on the platform.


 ______________________________

I am well aware of all your points, but a lie is a lie, whether it is a client or freelancer. I would imagine that any self-respecting freelancer who discovers that a client is lying, would not wish to work for that client, which eventually would result in revenue loss (to Upwork). 

 

 

Active Member
Stephen H Member Since: Aug 1, 2018
40 of 58
There is really no motivation for a client to lie about their identity or location unless they are planning on not paying. If that’s the case, Upwork has systems already in place for disputes and ways for freelancers to get paid. Additionally, freelancers can leave negative reviews for clients that was dishonest in anyway thereby warning future freelancers in a highly visible way.

I have to believe that impropriety on the client side is very rare and there are actions that can be taken.

However, in my recent experience, fake freelancer profiles are a rampant problem. Like I said previously, 5 out of 5 interviews I conducted yesterday were fake. Though I have paid more than $60K out to freelancers through various jobs, this discouraged me from using the platform. At the very least, I’m less likely to hire foreign freelancers because I don’t have the time to filter out all the fake profiles.
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