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I sense I've been totally scammed on Upwork

Active Member
Paul G Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
31 of 46

@Preston H wrote:

Nobody here is blaming clients. (I saw a similar complaint by the same person on another thread recently.)

 

Upwork Community Forum participants and Upwork Forum moderators have provided helpful information about how Upwork works.

 

Those of us familiar with how the platform works know that although there are some protections in place for freelancers, the platform is almost entirely built around clients and client needs. Upwork makes no attempt to be "balanced" for both clients and freelancers. It is very client-centered. As it should be.

 

Yes, dishonest and/or incompetent freelancers can cause understandable frustrations for clients. But most problems can be avoided if one has a greater awareness of how the platform works.


 And yes, this freelancer still has the bogus profile and test results to lure new victims. Upwork is actively working to prevent fraud. :-)

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
32 of 46

@Paul G wrote:


 And yes, this freelancer still has the bogus profile and test results to lure new victims. Upwork is actively working to prevent fraud. :-)


 That does not mean she's not been suspended... (which could explain her non-communication)

 

If her account was put on hold pending ID verification, and she knows that she can't verify the details on her account, she may just have abandoned ship.

Active Member
Paul G Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
33 of 46

@Petra R wrote:

@Paul G wrote:


 And yes, this freelancer still has the bogus profile and test results to lure new victims. Upwork is actively working to prevent fraud. :-)


 That does not mean she's not been suspended... (which could explain her non-communication)

 

If her account was put on hold pending ID verification, and she knows that she can't verify the details on her account, she may just have abandoned ship.


 Maybe. I can still see the profile, but maybe nobody else can.

 

The real shame of this, is it was so easily avoided. I used the tools that Upwork put in place to find the best qualified freelancer. One of these tools was the test scores. Like a stooge, I just assumed these were accurate. I've only learned in the last few days that these test scores are almost worthless because they are ridiculous easy to cheat. Entire websites devoted to it. Seems like Upwork needs to immediately ask for account verification of all test scores that are beyond a reasonable percentile score. (Perfect score in 6 minutes is of course not realistic). Or, they should simple remove that test data from the system entirely. Its doing nothing but giving clients misleading information. Worse than useless. Had this freelancer taken a legitimate test, her score would have been quite low. I never even would have given a second look. Upworks grossly flawed system directly lead to me losing money to a liar and a fraud.

Active Member
Paul G Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
34 of 46

There are some really simple things they could do. If the freelancer claims to have a college degree, make them upload that degree. Of course they can cheat, but it would weed out the easy ones. And then it's easy to verify if it ever comes into question. They could put an algorithm in place to identify fraudulent reviews. They could have a testing system that is much more difficult to cheat on.

 

All of this is hurting the legitimate freelancers. No doubt I passed up some good ones because of these problems. Time for Upwork to get their act together and clean up their system. So far all talk and promises.

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
35 of 46

Hi Paul,

 

I can confirm that a dispute option will be available after 12 noon UTC time today. I also don't see any support requests submitted on your end.

 

I understand your dissatisfaction with the work your freelancer submitted. Please note that you can dispute hours your freelancer logged but not the quality of the work they submitted. I'd strongly advise you to try communicating with your freelancer professionally again and resolving the issue amicably.

 

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll gladly share more information.

Active Member
Paul G Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
36 of 46

@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Paul,

 

I also don't see any support requests submitted on your end.

 

 


 I most certainly have. Three times, plus complaining here. For what it's worth, I'm not getting any automated email reply like you'd normally see on a support site. Like "We received your comlaint...." . So could be somethign is wrong with this system.

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
37 of 46

Hi Paul,

 

Just to confirm, are you referring to the three support ticket you submitted a while back, regarding a different subject, or did you submit three requests recently? Also, did you submit a request from the Help Center or by other means?

 

I'm sorry for the additional questions but I'm trying to get the necessary information since we don't have an issue that would affect the submitting support requests flow. 

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
38 of 46

@Paul G wrote:

@Eric B wrote:

Hey I got scammed also. It seems the best thing to do is to accept the loss. But something should be done when we are the clients paying the money. Freelancers who manipulate and lie about what they can do or claim or do illegal activity in order to get paid should not be allowed to do business on here. I'm going to do some research to see which competitors allow this and which ones do not.


 I doubt you will find one that is stacked against the clients worse than Upwork,...

 

Upwork has plenty of protections in place for clients who take the time to understand how the system works and use the tools Upwork provides to them. It is far more geared towards client satisfaction than freelancer satisfaction.

 

...but probably all have similar issues. Since going into business I've learned that the majority of people you interact with are misrepresenting themselves or outright liars. I've met a few good ones, but they are the minority.

 

I disagree. I've been a client here for over 4 years. I've spent over $100k. I've hired nearly 50 freelancers. Not one of my hires has been fraudulent or misrepresented their skills in any way.

 

Maybe I have an advantage other clients don't, because I used to work in fraud prevention (not for Upwork) so I have a good "nose" for a scammer. But it's rare for me to even get scammer applicants. I've reviewed hundreds of applicants for my job post and flagged maybe less than 5. And most of those flags were not for fakes but for other reasons (such as agencies not following correct agency procedure).

 

Since Upwork doesn't seem to care about this problem, maybe someone else should help them. I saw websites for **Edited for Community Guidelines** is still available. Pay one of their legitimate freelancers a little money to create the website that redflags all the cheaters on Upwork. Then clients will have a resource to minimize their risk. It could be as simple as inputting a few basic respones to questions to at least statistically filter out the likely cheaters. Test scores would be the easiest. Could have list of all the known scammers where people could report. I highly suspect that a lot more people are getting either scammed or delivered very substandard work than is reported here. Many people are afraid of leaving a bad review, because they will get a bad review in return. Hence the cycle of overrated reviews continues. Just like on EBay, everyone is "an awesome customer".

 

Upwork *does* care about this problem. They're doing a lot of work to combat it. Of course there's more they can do. But armchair fraud suggestions infuriate me because they're completely pointless. Scammers change their names all the time. They create new profiles all the time. A "list of known scammers" is completely and utterly pointless for multiple reasons: 1) scammers can access the list too and just use a different name. 2) apart from the name, it's also giving scammers clues to avoid being detected. 3) it relies on clients actually knowing about it and using it. 4) anyone can post anything and just because one person had a bad experience with a freelancer that doesn't necessarily mean that freelancer is a scammer.

 

As for the reviews - that's also completely inaccurate. The review system is "double blind". The other party doesn't know what your review says until you have both reviewed each other. You can't get a "revenge review" on Upwork.


 

Active Member
Paul G Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
39 of 46

@Jennifer D wrote:

@Paul G wrote:

@Eric B wrote:

Hey I got scammed also. It seems the best thing to do is to accept the loss. But something should be done when we are the clients paying the money. Freelancers who manipulate and lie about what they can do or claim or do illegal activity in order to get paid should not be allowed to do business on here. I'm going to do some research to see which competitors allow this and which ones do not.


 I doubt you will find one that is stacked against the clients worse than Upwork,...

 

Upwork has plenty of protections in place for clients who take the time to understand how the system works and use the tools Upwork provides to them. It is far more geared towards client satisfaction than freelancer satisfaction.

 

...but probably all have similar issues. Since going into business I've learned that the majority of people you interact with are misrepresenting themselves or outright liars. I've met a few good ones, but they are the minority.

 

I disagree. I've been a client here for over 4 years. I've spent over $100k. I've hired nearly 50 freelancers. Not one of my hires has been fraudulent or misrepresented their skills in any way.

 

Maybe I have an advantage other clients don't, because I used to work in fraud prevention (not for Upwork) so I have a good "nose" for a scammer. But it's rare for me to even get scammer applicants. I've reviewed hundreds of applicants for my job post and flagged maybe less than 5. And most of those flags were not for fakes but for other reasons (such as agencies not following correct agency procedure).

 

Since Upwork doesn't seem to care about this problem, maybe someone else should help them. I saw websites for **Edited for Community Guidelines** is still available. Pay one of their legitimate freelancers a little money to create the website that redflags all the cheaters on Upwork. Then clients will have a resource to minimize their risk. It could be as simple as inputting a few basic respones to questions to at least statistically filter out the likely cheaters. Test scores would be the easiest. Could have list of all the known scammers where people could report. I highly suspect that a lot more people are getting either scammed or delivered very substandard work than is reported here. Many people are afraid of leaving a bad review, because they will get a bad review in return. Hence the cycle of overrated reviews continues. Just like on EBay, everyone is "an awesome customer".

 

Upwork *does* care about this problem. They're doing a lot of work to combat it. Of course there's more they can do. But armchair fraud suggestions infuriate me because they're completely pointless. Scammers change their names all the time. They create new profiles all the time. A "list of known scammers" is completely and utterly pointless for multiple reasons: 1) scammers can access the list too and just use a different name. 2) apart from the name, it's also giving scammers clues to avoid being detected. 3) it relies on clients actually knowing about it and using it. 4) anyone can post anything and just because one person had a bad experience with a freelancer that doesn't necessarily mean that freelancer is a scammer.

 

As for the reviews - that's also completely inaccurate. The review system is "double blind". The other party doesn't know what your review says until you have both reviewed each other. You can't get a "revenge review" on Upwork.


 


 I very much disagree with what you are saying.

 

First of all, we need to define "scammed". There are those that are pure scams where they don't deliver any service at all. And there are those that are actually doing the work, but greatly overstating their expertiese, and credentials. Mine falls into the latter. Although work was performed, I still got scammed. This person wouldn't have gotten past the first job interview in a real job situation. (Hence the reason probably working on Upwork).

 

Upwork is stacked against the Client with the hourly system. It's very common for a situtation like mine, where work can't be verified until long after the money is paid. Or freelancers can just quit mid project and then all the work they've done is lost. I've had this happen several times now. Maybe my work is more technical and more subject to these people than yours.

 

Test scores: The test scores are obviously cheated, and could easily be caught by Upwork with a few lines of code. It's not complicated. It would take only a few hours of work to statistically analyze the test scores. You would very easily find the normal percentile rankings for legitimate tests. Simply red flag those outside of the norm for human review. I mean, if you took a final exam in college, breezed through it in 3 minutes and got a 100% score, I'm guessing the professor would sit you down for a talk. Right?

 

Fake reviews: You don't understand.  It's absolutely happening. Some colleagues in India told me about this, and a few minutes of internet searching showed me clear evidence of this. Freelancers create bogus accounts or work with other frauds in teams. They create small money projects, pay themselves, and just absorb the small fee in order to boost their review score. Again, this could be easily caught with a simple algorithm. I mean, getting six 5 star glowing reviews on  $25 - $50 jobs in the first month? Wouldn't you agree that's a bit suspicious?

 

Fake credentials: Simply require them to upload a copy of their credentials before working. Simple.

 

Name; Just require copy of some government ID.

 

This isn't armchair suggestions. It's standard procdure that most companies would follow.

 

You say none of your freelancers have misrepresented their credentials? How do you know? You don't because you never asked for verification.

 

If I remember correctly, the only verification Upwork did when I joined was to verify my payment method.

 

You say you used to work in fraud prevention?  Then you should know how simple these things are to catch. My credit card gets flagged very often for suspicious activity because I travel a lot. It's usually wrong, but they are spotting the suspicious activity automatically and preventing the majority of theft.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
40 of 46

As Forum Moderator Vladimir points out, a client can dispute hours worked by freelancers, but can't dispute the quality of the work.

 

If the freelancer actually worked on the project, the freelancer needs to be paid for her time.

 

Nevertheless, the client has almost all the power on Upwork.

 

Because something a client CAN do about the quality of the work done by a freelancer:


The client can close the contract ten seconds after realizing that the freelancer's work isn't good enough. And there's nothing the freelancer can do about it.

 

Monitor the work of new freelancers closely during their initial work on the project.

 

Hire many freelancers. Continue working only with the best. It's not complicated.

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