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I recently hired a freelancer. I hired him on UPwork. We made a contracting saying he will complete the project in two weeks. I paid him a fixed payment first, because he requested so. He told me he would send updates to my email and update me regulary. After awhile of not sending any updates nor talking to me, I messaged him asking for some updates. He went online right when I sent the message, but did not respond. I sent a few more, no respond. After while I began spamming a little to get his attention. Just in case he was online and not seeing the messages. Then he cursed at me and then ended the contract. I never got the final result of the project he was supposed to finish. Didn't he just scammed me, I already paid and did not get my project done. How do I get my money back. Also, I do not know if this makes a difference but I paid throught this website.


First of all,  you shouldn't have paid him until you seen the work that he was supposed to do, and approved the results. That is what escrow is for on this site. It show's the freelancer that you have the money, and do intend ot pay. Sort of like good faith.


Although there are tons of "client" scammers, who post jobs, send the freelancer bad checks, and get the freelancer to pay for equipment, there are also "freelancer" scammers. These freelancer's convience clients to pay them before they start work. Then when they get a client's money, they disappear.


MOST importantly, you should deposited funds into escrow, NOT pay anyone offsite. ALL financial transaction MUST take play on this site. To pay anyone, or accept payment off site can get your account suspended as it is a violation of Upwork's TOS policy to do that.


As for getting your money back, that's not going to happen. There's nothing in escrow to give back to you. And Upwork can't force anyone on this site to return funds. Upwork can only suspend accounts. Nor can Upwork force this freelancer to work on your project, or finish working on it.


Your best bet would be to start from the beginning, using this site correctly, protecting yourself and getting the results you want.



re: "How do I get my money back?"


There is no good way to get your money back. Not through Upwork, anyway. Definitely not from the "freelancer," because he's just a scammer. There is no point in trying to communicate with that scammer.


But there may be some "bad ways" to get your money back... ways that are going to sap your time and patience, and which may or may not be ultimately successful.


In theory you could try contacting Upwork customer support, although as you can imagine, they don't appreciate clients paying money to freelancers and then asking for the money back. Upwork expects you to review the work the freelancer delivers, verify it's what you asked for, and THEN release payment. Upwork might just tell you no, there's nothing they can do.


Also... (again "in theory") you could contact your credit card company and ask for a chargeback on the basis of having paid for something that you didn't get. And again, Upwork really doesn't want you to do that, and you might even be in violation of Upwork ToS if you do that.


The best thing to do if you want avoid any hassle would be to embrace this loss as a learning experience. You can't move forward if you continue to think about the money as something you might get back.


How much money was it anyway?

re: "After while I began spamming a little to get his attention."


Yeah... don't do that. Ever. For any reason. You're better than that.

re: "I paid him a fixed payment first, because he requested so."


Now you know not to do that.


There's no reason to do that on Upwork because Upwork has an escrow payment program by which you fund a fixed-price milestone, but you don't release the money until the project has been finished and submitted.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi John, 


I would like to share that the team has taken actions against the freelancer's account as we have confirmed that he has committed a ToS violation. We can't share any details about the action our team has taken as this is a public community. 

In the future, please do not pay unless you have received work that meets your requirements. You may check this help article to understand how fixed-price contracts work and how you should be able to use this to your advantage. 

~ Avery