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RE: Freelancer Fraud - Very Upset

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Active Member
Roger Y Member Since: Aug 1, 2017
11 of 18

Andrei,

 

Not auditing my weekly billing statements is not illegal, it's just unwise.  Fraudulently billing someone outside of the terms of an agreement is highly illegal.

 

Doing a careful audit weekly would have been great to help catch it sooner, but that's not what happened - so it took longer to catch the fraudulent billing and I am addressing it.

 

So I'll ask, what is your point?  

 

Roger

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
12 of 18

Roger Y wrote:

Andrei,

 

Not auditing my weekly billing statements is not illegal, it's just unwise. 


Indeed, and negligent. You know that and never pretended otherwise.

 

That said, Andrei's victim blaming is a bit like saying that the old lady next door, whose house was burglarised because she forgot to lock the back door, deserved it because of not locking the door.

 

It actually happens ore often than one would think (here's another one)

 

It's a good reminder to clients that once the work was done they should either close the contract, or, if they have future work for the freelancer, at least pause it.

 

It needn't even be fraudulent or deliberate, although in this case it clearly was. It is so easy to accidentally log time under the wrong contract... 

 

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Community Guru
Andrei T Member Since: Aug 30, 2016
13 of 18

Petra R wrote:

Roger Y wrote:

Andrei,

 

Not auditing my weekly billing statements is not illegal, it's just unwise. 


Indeed, and negligent. You know that and never pretended otherwise.

 

That said, Andrei's victim blaming is a bit like saying that the old lady next door, whose house was burglarised because she forgot to lock the back door, deserved it because of not locking the door.

 

It actually happens ore often than one would think (here's another one)

 

It's a good reminder to clients that once the work was done they should either close the contract, or, if they have future work for the freelancer, at least pause it.

 

It needn't even be fraudulent or deliberate, although in this case it clearly was. It is so easy to accidentally log time under the wrong contract... 

 


I'm personally not convinced about that. Neither the client nor the freelancer can come up with a bulletproof story at this point, the truth will forever stay between the two of them.

 

Really, 20% of your budget cannot stay 'under the radar' for one whole year.

 

 

PS: If the old lady called the police one year after the fact, would she be taken seriously?

 

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
14 of 18

Hi Roger,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I'd like to check this for you. Could you please send me a PM with the contract ID so I can check? Please click on my name to send a PM. Thank you.


-Joanne
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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
15 of 18

Roger Y wrote:

Hi Everyone!  I need some advice...

 

I've been a very active client over the years ($80K+ on freelance services to date so I have a very active account). 

 

I hired a freelancer for some data entry week way back in 2018... We did a small amount of work, and then the project was put on hold, but the contract remained active.

 

I was doing an audit recently and went through my active contracts, and saw the contract for this person was still open.  There was no activity for almost a year, and then all of the suddent, with no communication they started maxing out the approved hours every week a few months ago - and it was for a small amount ($80) so it flew under the radar.

 

Well this added up, and now it's $2,000 in fraudulent billings, and I'm not sure what to do?  I requested a refund for each billing as a first step.  I looked at the work diary, and they were just essentially logging in and doing nothing to max out the time...

 

I'm in disbelief and can't believe someone would do this...your advice is very appreciated, thank you!

Kind regards,

Roger


Yes, it's a little shocking when you realize how many people are willing to scam a client or a freelancer to make a buck. Unfortunately, if you don't take advantage of Upwork's system and protections the way they are intended - reviewing the weekly work log, pausing the contract when there is no work - it opens you up to this kind of abuse. 

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Active Member
Roger Y Member Since: Aug 1, 2017
16 of 18

I understand what you, and the rest of the responders are saying about the protections in place.  But to have almost $5K stolen from me, and to hear many of you tell me that it's basically my fault for not catching it, just makes me feel worse.

 

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
17 of 18

Well, Roger, I understand it seems like not very supportive, but there's not much to do. This is the cautionary tale, right? We all sympathize that someone took you for a ride, and none of us know how to get your money back. You'll have to work with customer support for that. But at least by coming here and telling your story, other clients, if they do visit, can be aware to be very careful to always view the work diary and pause contracts that aren't active. 

 

We all do feel for you, we just can't do much as we are just users like you. I'll flag this to see if  a moderator can help address it. Is the contractor in the same country, at least as you? If Upwork can't do anything, perhaps you can take some kind of local small claims court suit with them? 

 

We aren't trying to make you feel bad; we just can't do much except repeat what you know already in hindsight. Smiley Sad If I could wave a wand and fix it, I would. 

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Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
18 of 18

Hi Roger,

 

I completely understand how critical the issue you're experiencing on this contract is. Someone from our team will reach out to you and assist you directly. In the meantime, you can consider pausing the active contract in order to prevent further time from being logged if the time is being logged without your consent. Feel free to reach out to me via a private message if you need help or clarification regarding taking any action on this contract.

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