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Freelancer Fraud - after payment

Active Member
Eric B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
11 of 19

Valeria Thanks for your feedback. There was work that was reviewed completed and paid for. Not all work was reviewed. There were 3 payments made. 2 of which had been reviewed and paid. After the last payment the freelancer destroyed work that was completed and reviewed from the first 2 payments with a promise to complete the job. Unfortunately if I review after the first payment and approve, Review after the second payment and approve, And the freelancer decides he wants to destroy that work that was completed and demand more money from me to do the job again, because the rules say that once the money in escrow is released the work is completed, he can freely attempt to extort money from the client. As done in my case. And UpWorks resolution to this is to pay an additional $291 for arbitration. I would think that UpWork would not allow such fraud or charge the client even more money for a resolution. I would assume that UpWork would not tollerate this type of fraud and attempted extortion at the expense of honest well paying clients.


I've learned a great lesson here though.

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
12 of 19

Eric, Upwork can't protect you from yourself. If you give freelancers complete control over your website and don't keep backups separately, that was unfortunately a bad decision and Upwork can't stop you from making that decision.


Regarding the $291 arbitration fee - the freelancer and Upwork would also have to pay that fee for the dispute. If the amount that the freelancer has already made is less than that, they might not want to go to arbitration. Saying you want to go to arbitration and are happy to pay the fee may "call the freelancer's bluff" - if they don't choose to also pay it, then you win by default and don't have to pay and will get your money back.


Regarding advising you your account would be terminated if you disputed the payment you already made - I know that feels like you are being attacked, but by disputing the payment you are also violating the agreement you made with Upwork and are also doing the wrong thing. Unfortunately, two wrongs don't make a right.


This is a horrible lesson to learn, and I'm sorry you had this horrible experience. But I hope that you do learn from it and understand what you need to do next time to avoid it happening again.

Active Member
Eric B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
13 of 19

So I am having an issue with a freelancer who ruins work on my website and attempts to extort more money from me to get the job done after recieving payment. I attempt to get a resolution from UpWork. Would think UpWork would not allow Extortion. While I am waiting for some kind of resolution because the freelancer is still seeking more money from me in order to do the job they screwed up, UpWork says that we can go to arbitration for $291.  I wrote the following in the resolution center.



If I pay the $291 and win, does the freelancer have to reimburse me for my fee of $291 as well as any monies agreed in the settelment?

08:37 AM

I do understand that when funds are released they work is considerred approved. I was not aware of this when I trusted the freelancer with payment and explained that I did not have a chance to review it. But the freelancer was fully aware that the work was not approved. And then freelancer malisciously destroyed work on my site after recieving payment and according to the rules if the work is considerred approved he should not have touched my site again with out another contract. Instead he destroyed work on my site and wants more money to fix what was in the agreement of this contract. So I am VERY interested in "filing arbitration for a legal ruling"

08:45 AM
After I write this UpWork begins to attempt to charge my account and when the amount doesn't go through they begin to send me messeges stating they are suspending my account if I don't pay $291.
I have not provided any authorization for this. I asked a question and said that I was interested in arbitration. I never agreed to anything. If I did I would have provided a payment option.
This is extremely frustrating because I am already disappoited in the fact that this freelancer is attempting to extort money from me and UpWork has thus far allowed this type of activity. But then for UpWork to begin to charge me for arbitration when I asked a question. I even started the question with "If I pay..." meaning I am NOT agreeing to pay. And that I am interested.
But after going through such a frustrating problem I am not going to just cough money up with out questioning. And now I feel like UpWork will probably suspend my account because I have not paid them for what I didn't agree to, as well as show favor to the Freelancer although I've done nothing but trust UpWork and the freelancer.
I came here to get work done. Not get scammed!
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
14 of 19

Best advice I can give you is this.


On Monday, after 9 am Pacific Time, call Upwork on the phone. Say that you are a client. An unhappy client.


Ask to speak to a manager.


This is the only way you are likely to get any sort of resolution, though I suspect that the money itself is probably long gone. Smiley Sad

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
15 of 19

They will tell him to go through teh dispute process. My client tried to go around the process too when he didn't want to pay me, and they punted him back to the dispute process. If it's going to arbitration, there must be money in escrow still.


And no, you don't get that money back.

Community Guru
Lanie M Member Since: Jun 24, 2015
16 of 19

 Hi Eric,

I checked and it looks like our Dispute agent has explained the arbitration process in the Dispute Resolution Center since you were interested in it. I'll follow up with our dispute team and ask them to update you directly. Please, communicate with them via the Dispute Resolution Center as we won't be able to share details here in the Community.

Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
17 of 19

at 8.45 you say i am very interested in filing arbitration.


Hence the 291 charge.

Contact the upwork support, may be they can do somehing.

You do not get that money back in any case.Plus since the contract money is released already, you will probably not get those back too,unless freelancer gives it back.It is,ofcourse, highly unlikely.




Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
18 of 19

Eric - As I understand it, If you go into arbitration, you will need to pay the $291 fee. So will the freelancer. If it is determined that you should get your money back, then you will get whatever is still in escrow. if there is nothing left in escrow then you will not get anything back. The only thing that might? get accomplished is for the freelancer's account to be suspended. But I don't talk for Upwork. So I don't know what they would do.


If there are still funds in escrow, and it's determined you are in the right, you will get those funds back, but you'll still have to pay that $291 fee. If what's in escrow is less then the arbitration fee, you'll come out with a loss. If what you already paid the freelancer, is more then what the arbitration fee, then she will come out ahead.


This would totally be your call, ... to call her bluff. because if a freelancer doesn't show up for arbitration, you will get the fee back, plus whatever is still in escrow.



Active Member
Mrs. P Member Since: Oct 11, 2017
19 of 19

I am extremely sorry to hear this... But the real thing is you could have asked the freelancer for providing the support on the work which he/she has done.. then you can realease the last milestone, if they fails then provide them a bad feedback and i hope this will eliminate them from this competetive market...