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Freelancer I hired hacked website - Upwork does nothing

Active Member
Marlene S Member Since: Apr 2, 2017
1 of 23


I have hired a freelancer over upwork to work on my wordpress website.

He was not to happy after the job and said he wasted to much time on it and this was a lost project for him. I gave him a big bonus of 50 USD.


He than claimed my website was under attack..claiming a new administrator has hacked my website. He removed the new admin for 200 USD.


After that he wanted to "show me something" .. claiming the website is still under attack. He wanted 650 USD to protect my site. 


I cant believe it took me so long to figure out that this was fishy. I installed a security plugin and found out the "error.txt" was uploaded when he wanted to "show me" something and I was no longer able to login but found a matrix like screen and the words "you hav been hacked".


A fried of mine overwrote everything and changed all password because he had excess to everything.


Upwork did not believe me because he has used multiple IPs to break into my website.


I am constantly getting emails that someone tried to login and failed. (Probably trying in a password guessing brute-attack)


Upwork does not care about this and has not answered any of my questions!!!!!!!!!


What can I do?


He got angry and stalked me on all social media accounts and threatened me (I have sent proof to Upwork but they do not care)


I want this idiot to stop bothering me or harming my website. My website visitors have dropped since interfering.


What can I do?


Would you considereing taking this to the police?


Thank you!

Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
2 of 23

Have you been dealing with Upwork's CS team online?


Tomorrow morning, after 9 am Pacific Time in the US, call Upwork on the phone, explain the situation and ask to speak to a supervisor, Be polite but persistent.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 23

re: "Would you considereing taking this to the police?"


No. You would be wasting their time, and yours. There is nothing the police could do about it, and it is not clear that they would have jurisdiction.


Charles is correct. Contacting Upwork authorities is the correct thing to do.


As you already know, the freelancer you hired is a bad freelancer and a horrible person. Upwork may not be able to help you recover the time and expenses lost to this freelancer. But they should know about what he did and remove him from the platform. Clearly he can not be trusted to continue as a freelancer here.

Active Member
Vic V Member Since: Mar 26, 2017
4 of 23
  1. Big bonus of 50 USD? Yeah, no. If that was "big" for you, then you must have paid him peanuts. (Just to clarify, tips are not expected, but if 50 USD is considered "big", then the overall budget must not be so far off.)
  2. You get what you pay for.
  3. Provide limited access to WordPress/FTP/MySQL next time; especially when you're offering a budget that certainly can't sustain a freelancer.

Police can't do anything. Unless he lives in the same country and you have tantamount evidence that he's the freelancer that extorted from you, then the police can't do jack. Maybe try Interpol, that would humor me.


Maybe offer a better budget to attract the freelancers who respect their trade and their clients. Oh and also, stop providing freelancers with total access to your systems!



If you want reparations for the damage he's done, contact Upwork. They might be able to ban him, maybe for harrassing you in social media. But other than that, I doubt Upwork does refunds. What's theirs is, now forever, theirs.

Active Member
Marlene S Member Since: Apr 2, 2017
5 of 23

I have contacted Upwork already but they regard this case as done.

The person I was dealing with did not have a lot of knowledge about IP addresses and I asked if she could let me speak to someone else..but that never happened and she closed the case.


I still think that 50 USD for this small job was a good bonus. 


Upwork did not block him and he seems to work as normal. I reckon he is still trying to log into my website to delete his traces.


Is there a way to contact supervisors directly?


thank u

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
6 of 23

@Marlene S wrote:



I still think that 50 USD for this small job was a good bonus.


I've never received a $50 bonus but that's besides the point. Upwork isn't a restaurant, so no one is epected to leave a tip, and I'm happy when I get one, regardless of the amount. 


I also concur with Preston that contacting police will likely not produce any results. Police have their hands full solving street crimes. But what the freelancer perpetrated is cyber crime, and Upwork must punish the freelancer by immediate expulsion.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
7 of 23

"Is there a way to contact supervisors directly?"


Directly? No, unless a moderator has a way of getting one to put in touch with you.


But what I said works. Here's roughly how it should work.


Dial the number. Probably go through phone menu, get put in queue etc.


Regular Upwork CS person will answer. They will want you to explain the entire thing from scratch.




Say something like: "Thank you, but this has already been the subject of an existing case. The number is ______ if you want to look it up. This case was closed without being satisfactorily resolved. My website was hacked and I was blackmailed. I need to speak to a supervisor."


If the person doesn't cooperate, then reiterate: "I am a paying client who had her website hacked and a freelancer attempt to blackmail me into paying hundreds of dollars. I need to speak to a supervisor, now please. Thank you."


I will be very surprised if that does not work.


N.B. In case it is not obvious, this is not intended to be a 'script' for people to use to bug Upwork supervisors over any old thing. This is not "any old thing".

Active Member
Vic V Member Since: Mar 26, 2017
8 of 23

Amazing, someone deleted my post. Please explain so I can better tailor my posts to this "safe space".

Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
9 of 23

You could start by not using the term "safe space"

@Vic V wrote:

Amazing, someone deleted my post. Please explain so I can better tailor my posts to this "safe space".


Community Guru
Lanie M Member Since: Jun 24, 2015
10 of 23

Hi Vic,


Sorry about the delay. Your post wasn't removed but was temporarily held by our automatic filter. It is now showing on the thread.



Lanie M