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How to SCAM clients on oDesk...

Active Member
Jason B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
1 of 6

...and still get paid thanks to the oDesk Guarantee.


Thanks to oDesk, ive wasted nearly $500 on a freelancer who fraudulently used a tool like "Auto Clicker" to falsify activity on his hourly contract, which showed screen shots identical to every other one on the same two pages/files for over 6 hours, files which he wasnt supposed to be working on.


When questioned, the freelancer told me that it was from his 'working' screen, implying he uses two screens, and that he worked locally, one for the fraudulent software and screen shot logger and the other screen presumably for the actual work he was supposed to do. His memo description was labelled as category


So a job which took him an hour on one machine, he logged 5 hours for on the fake machine.


I filed a dispute, showing countless identical screenshots with 100% click activity for over 6 hours, he'd even gone 2 hours over the limit (obviosuly forgot to turn the software off!) and  proof of conversation of him admitting this second screen and also explained why i was disputing the 20 hours.


Does anyone really work 100% flat out solidly for over 6 hours, without a break thus showing the little green boxes as fully active?? I dont think so


Yet, oDesks response was that the contractor has logged time, was online whilst time logged and that it was my responsibilty to monitor his activity (which i did hence why i disputed the time) and ultimately ruled in his favour. 


The contractor has since blocked me from skype, used one of my websites on his portfolio (which he never actually worked on) and is now probably scamming someone else, so well done oDesk!


Ive been an active member of oDesk for over 4 years, spent over $10,000 and this is the thanks you get for being loyal.


Ive attached a screen shot as an example. You decide.

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
2 of 6

The photo you shared is very small but even with that, I can see no pattern to the individual screenshots. Upon enlarging your photo and looking closely, the screenshots don't look identical. With my limited experience in coding, sometimes you have to look at things again and again or make little tweaks which will not be easy to see or ascertain from screenshots alone. As for working solidly for 6 hours with full bars, that has happened to me; so it is indeed possible and yes, some people can work like that for real


I'm curious to know how you came to writing he logged 6 hours on the autoclicker but the real work took him only an hour? If he admitted that, send a screenshot of it to support. Oftentimes they don't look at screenshots if you attach too many.


Anyway, if you can prove that the freelancer was not tasked to work at all on those pages but still did it, you can file another dispute. Oh and as for the time over the weekly limit, you will not be charged for that unless you approve it. I'm also a client and am familiar with the interface.


Hope you get your money back and of course, make sure you leave a fair and detailed feedback for the freelancer.

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
3 of 6

Hi Jason,

Sorry to hear about your experience. I've asked someone to again review your case and check in. Please also note I removed the attachment you added to your original discussion post here as we don't allow specific job information on the Community. 

Active Member
Prajwal P Member Since: Nov 26, 2014
4 of 6

Instead of ranting about how "not every freelance does that" which obviously is irrelevant because you feel you have been duped by one, i would like to point out some beneficial points that a client can use to be safe.
1) Ask them to update: I voluntarily tell my clients that they will be updated every 24 hours with work done. Apart from the extra credential it gives me, i also get rid of the headache that a client might later dispute about the work done. Now you say you lost 500$ which i believe was done over the course of a week. Had you asked the freelancer to update, you could have seen that work done doesn't match with the hours used. Even if you do not read the daily email , it will make a freelancer more responsible since we have to report something at the end of the day.

2) Use fixed price job if suspicious : Hourly job give protection to us and fixed job to you. If you feel suspicious then you could easily use fixed price option to be more secure.


Hope this gets resolved

Active Member
Jason B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
5 of 6

I should've known there was something amiss, as the first job he got, which oringally was for a fixed price for $45, he asked me to change it to an hourly rate of $45 and limit the time to 1 hour, begrudgingly i did this, wondering why he would rather the time rather than a fixed price.

He was also 'New to Odesk' and had worked only a few hours, but because of his qualifications and his knowledge on the subject, i gave him a chance.

But as he did what he said he would in the first job, i trusted him to give him more work based on hourly rate, we agreed on 15 hours a week, which he maxxed out and asked for a another 5 hours extra, which again i agreed to.

That weeks work was complete as far as i was concerned, and no more work had been discussed to be done, it was only later i discovered he had clocked more time when i hadnt asked him to do anymore work. 

When i realised and went back over the last weeks screenshots i saw the pattern emerging of screenshots of unrelated work and excessive hours logged.

I checked on the FTP where the site was and files which according to the screenshots he was apparantly working on hadnt been modified for 3 days as per the date stamp.

I asked him what files he had been working on and he directed me to another folder where the files indeed had been uploaded at 12:00pm, but looking at that days screenshots, none of the screenshots showed any work done on these files nor showed any screenshots of him uploading or creating these files, plus the time was logged way past 5pm, yet the files were 'finished' at 12:00pm. 

This isnt the first time this has happened to me, it has happened TWICE before, the first time the offender admitted it and apologised and i actually carried on working with him, the second time the offender denied it yet oDesk saw the fraudulent activity and refunded a portion of the funds back.

I currently employ 4 different freelancers and use another 4 on a regualr basis, I have been working with them for months, once i find a genuine contractor i work with them on long term basis.

Ace Contributor
Igor L Member Since: Dec 23, 2014
6 of 6

Hey Jason,


I sympathyse your problem but unfortunately can't help you with that but instead I have some idea that I believe may help you with future contractors.


I never work without Git - that's version control system that have one peculiar feature - you can see which files freelancer worked with, when he made a change and what changes exactly were made. It helps me infinitely for several other reasons but this particular feature I believe would be great solution for you as for client as you can compare commit times/content with oDesk tracker reports to have more complete picture of what your contractor do with his/her time and your money.