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Fraud Refund Wanted

b6e48e51
Active Member
Lee G Member Since: May 19, 2016
1 of 11

I released initial funds to hire someone who had created a fraudulent freelancer account. The fraud created an Upwork digital marketing professional's profile based on an actual professional based in Australia and I hired this fraud for a job. After releaseing initial funds for him or her to begin the work they took the money and closed their account, never deliering anything at all to me or responding in anyway. Am I protected and can I receive a refund from upwork? I filed a dispute cliam over 1 month ago and there has been no refund offered yet. 

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 11

It sounds like you created a fixed price job with a first milestone which didn't actually require anything to be delivered, is that right? I'm not sure why you would do that - maybe the freelancer requested it? You don't need to pay anything until you have something delivered. If the project you're doing is large, you can break it down into chunks and set them as milestones, and pay each milestone as they're delivered. But there's no need to pay anything up front for work to "begin". With Upwork, you only pay on delivery.

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
3 of 11

That is quite simply untrue.

 

There are multiple reasons why a down payment will be agreed and such an agreement is between the client and contractor.

 

However, the OP needs to contact customer services again to enquire why no progress has been made on their dispute.

 

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
4 of 11

+ 1 Kim's comment.

 

@ Jennifer,  the reasons for requiring an upfront deposit range from buying needed art to specialized programs for the job ... and the most common reason of "start work deposit / good faith / buyer serious and vested in project" to "I am not a scam buyer".    Most professional providers do require one.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 11

@Wendy C wrote:
the most common reason of "start work deposit / good faith / buyer serious and vested in project" to "I am not a scam buyer".   

 That is what Escrow is there for. It means the freelancer knows that the client is "putting their money where their mouth is" and the buyer knows that the funds are safe until work has been submitted and checked.

 

As the OP is now about to find out - when a client pays and releases an up front payment and the freelancer withdraws it there is no way to get that money back.

alexandruifrim
Ace Contributor
Alexandru I Member Since: Apr 5, 2016
6 of 11

@Wendy C wrote:
the reasons for requiring an upfront deposit range from buying needed art to specialized programs for the job

I wasn't aware that the client is supposed to buy the tools needed for the provider to do their jobs. In case they do buy the programs, shouldn't they own what they bought? Why would the provider buy those tools (with client's money) instead of the client in the first place?

 

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 11

Sorry, I should have been more clear in my original response, which was to the OP's statement "After releaseing initial funds for him or her to begin the work...". Like Petra said, with Upwork you don't need to provide a "good faith" up front payment because that is what escrow is for. You can of course choose to negotiate that with your freelancer. But to me it sounded like the OP was a little confused and thought that this was the normal way it's supposed to work. I was pointing out that Upwork is structured in such a way that this is not the case, The general idea behind Upwork is that you only pay for work delivered.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 11

It's too risky to release escrow to people on here. It's the internet not someone down the street that you can sue. I would never expect a client on here to send me money upfront and I'd never do it if I was hiring either. That's what escrow is for.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 11

@Kim F wrote:

However, the OP needs to contact customer services again to enquire why no progress has been made on their dispute.

 


 There is no meaningful dispute.  "Dispute" only works if funds are still in Escrow. Here the client released funds from Escrow, the freelancer withdrew and went away. Their account has been suspended. That is all Upwork can do. If a client releases funds from Escrow without having received any deliverables there is nothing more Upwork can do other than take action against the freelancer's account. They have no means to retrieve the money the client willingly sent to some stranger.

 

The client can request the freelancer's details and seek to take legal action against the freelancer. Whether that is cost-effective is another question.

aocumen
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 11

Hi Lee,

I'm sorry about the bad experience you had with this freelancer. I can confirm that actions have been taken against the freelancer's account. I would suggest that you continue to communicate with the team via the open ticket because we will not be able to discuss the details of your ticket here in the Community.

For future reference, I recommend that you only release the Milestone funds if work has been submitted to you and meets your expectations.


~ Avery
Upwork
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