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Re: Scammers on Upwork

bab808be
Active Member

I think I have been scammed. 

 

It was my first time using UpWork to Hire someone to design a logo. We spoke online, i interviewed as was very happy with the work they showed in their portfolio. I paid a percentage to start the work, something that did not seem out of custom and now the persons location has changed, the portfolio link does not work and they are not replying to my emails. 

 

I have been aproached by someone with the exact same profile but a different photo on another job. 

 

Call it my own nievity, but I had not even comprihended that there would be people like that on here. 

 

I am guessing there will be no way of reclaiming my money?

19 REPLIES 19
melaniekhenson
Community Guru

Oops, sorry, totally misunderstood this post...never mind, nothing to see here... 😛

Upwork refuses to utilize bots to scan for these crooks and even pop ups to warn you. But when you call them out on it, boy that gets flagged real fast! 😉

nkocendova
Community Guru

Hi Cameron,

We'd generally advise that you release funds after you have been able to review the work that the freelancer did, and have determined that work has been done to the expectation and according to the terms agreed upon by yourself and the freelancer. Releasing funds on a milestone is essentially the same as approving the work. Doing this before the work on an assigned milestone has been submitted for review and before you have had a chance to look over the work will preclude you from benefitting from Upwork's Payment Protection.

~Nina

Nina, 

 

Thank you for getting back to me. Does that mean there is nothing I can do? The contract is still open is there anyway of closing it without having to pay the rest? Can Upwork do anything to look into this. I have all the information on the profiles, screen shots and details, I am happy to upload. 

 

Cam 

Cam, you said you released some of the money. Does that mean you still have some in escrow? If so, I think you should be able to get the remaining balance. I will let a moderator clarify. 

 

I am primarily a freelancer, I browse the client forum because I sometimes need to hire someone for my own projects. As a freelancer:  Whenever there is anything remaining in escrow for a closed contract Upwork notifies me that they will refund that to the client unless I dispute. I don't see how this freelancer would win the dispute since he/she didn't submit any work. 

 

For other clients... Most freelancers here are honest, but sadly there are some scammers. There are some who plagiarize other freelancer's profiles, use stock photos for their profile, or who try to appear like they are in a different country. Some also steal portfolio items. If it is a higher end project, it may be worth doing a quick video or phone chat with the freelancer. 

 

Also, you can do a reverse image search via Google Chrome to see where else the profile photo appeared. And you can Google a key paragraph from the profile. After reading or hearing a few client horror stories, I would personally do that before hiring.

 

Freelancers have to deal with a lot of scam clients too. I wish Upwork would weed out the most obvious since they are often easy for a trained eye to spot and they make this platform a little worse for everyone (both clients and freelancers).  I think the ID verification will help, but it will take Upwork a while before they catch up on verifying everyone.

 

ETA: I know some of this is too late for you, some of it is more for the benefit to any other new clients who may be lurking.

Samantha, 

 

I have reliesed 50%, with the other half still remaining. It is not a substantial amount of money but it is my own savings I am using to try and get my business off the ground before I leave the Army. There are no milestone parameters set to the other portion of funds, can this be used to protect myself such as setting a timeline for work completed?

 

I find it difficult to know what to do as UpWork do not seem to offer any form of customer support emails or live chat. 

 

cam 

If there is still money in escrow, and no work has been submitted for that money, close the contract. The freelancer will have 7 days to approve the refund of the escrow funds back to you. If they do nothing, or approve it, you'll get your money back. If they dispute it (very unlikely), you can go through mediation (and, possibly, arbitration).

 

In future, *in general* there is no need, on Upwork, to pay any amount up-front (yes, there are some cases, but for simplicity for you as a new client (I assume) you can ignore them for now). The escrow system protects both the client and the freelancer if they use it correctly. If a freelancer insists on an up-front payment, even after you've explained that you're funding escrow for the protection of both of you, find another freelancer. You'll certainly be able to find one who won't insist on up-front payment.

Actually, a scammer can easily get the money - all they have to do is put in hours worked and then cancel the job, siting any excuse (e.g. no response form client). Upwork will release funds wihout any verification so that they get their cut. I lost $500 this way.

bab808be
Active Member

Good evening, 

 

I am new to UpWork and I think I have been scammed. 

 

I am looking for someone to design a logo for my business and had a number of people approach me about the job i posted. I spent all weekend speaking with various people and one guy sent me, what I thought, was an excellent portfolio. We agreed a price and I paid part of the fee to him through UpWork for the first milestone. 

 

It was not until I posted a second job that the exact same profile appeared but with a different photo. Since then the previous "freelancer"'s location has changed and the portfolio link does not work. I'll put it down to my own naivety, but I did not think that things like this would happen on here.

 

If this is a scam, am I able to get my money back or will i just have to put it down to lessons learnt? I have reported both of the the profiles to UpWork

 

Cam

 

 

 

To follow on from this, I looked at ending the contract but I cannot do so without paying the full amount agreed. 

 

Please can someone from UpWork contact me to find out if I can end the contract and/or reclaim my money.  I can provide details on the accounts, I have, However, already flagged these up.

 

Cam 

Disclaimer: I'm just a freelancer.

Did the original profile complete that milestone? Did they do the work?

If they didn't and you paid them anyway you ask for a refund. If they refuse, then you can dispute it. If you can prove they've not done the work, it's likely you'll get your money back.

I hope that if it is the same person they get banned. It's against ToS to have two profiles and you did the right thing reporting them.

Hi Melissa, 

 

Thank you for your email. They have not done the work as yet, but they still have a day to do so. My fear is that if this is a scam, all they have to do is send me 3 stock logos "designs" and they are fufilling their promise. 

 

On further investigation I cannot find any online footprint for the two profile names and the original portfolio links that were sent do not exist or work. I have screen shots of the profiles and conversations, can these be uploaded anywhere for Upwork to review?

 

cam 

Hello Cameron,

 

I'm sorry to hear that. Could you please send me a PM of the profile link of the freelancer applying for your second job posting? Please send me the screenshots of your proofs also so I can assist you. Thanks!


Untitled

Ryan, 

 

Thank you for your message. I have sent you a private message. 

 

Cam 

Hello Cameron,

 

Thank you for sending me a PM and providing me additional details regarding your claim. I'll report this to our team so they can investigate the issue. Thank you.


Untitled

Refund from Upwork? I don't think so...

 

jessica_meade
Active Member

Good Afternoon,

 

I submitted a proprosal last night for a funding proposal position through the UpWork platform.  I was contacted this afternoon and asked to send my resume, which I did.  Immediately after sending my resume the contact here asked me to purchase a $500 gift card and then they would provide me with information on the project, company, etc. 

 

Obviously, I did not purchase the gift card and I have blocked the "client."  I sincerely hope that nobody falls for this scam.

 

Have a great day.

 

Hi Jessica,

I'm glad that you did not communicate further with the client, as this does sound like the job is not in alignment with our ToS. If you have not yet flagged the job for us to review by clicking on the "Flag as inappropriate" link located at the upper right of the job posting, then you can PM me the information and I will have the team do a review and take action on any violations of our ToS.

~Nina

@Jessica Lee M wrote:

Good Afternoon,

 

I submitted a proprosal last night for a funding proposal position through the UpWork platform.  I was contacted this afternoon and asked to send my resume, which I did.  Immediately after sending my resume the contact here asked me to purchase a $500 gift card and then they would provide me with information on the project, company, etc. 

 

Obviously, I did not purchase the gift card and I have blocked the "client."  I sincerely hope that nobody falls for this scam.

 

Have a great day.

 


This is right up there with the "clients" that send you a forged check to purchase computer equipment with. If you search "scam" here in the Community, you'll read lots of stories!

 

Please make sure to report the client to Customer Service as well as posting here. 

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