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Addressing Upwork's Inadequate Response to Scam Job Listings and Lack of Customer Support

I want to express my extreme dissatisfaction with the Upwork platform, which I had initially joined with the intention of finding rewarding freelance opportunities. However, my experience thus far has been the complete opposite, and I feel compelled to bring these issues to your attention. My concerns are twofold:

  1. The presence of scam job listings on the platform, which cost me valuable "connects" and time.
  2. The inadequate customer support infrastructure, leaving me with no channel to report or rectify these issues.

Scam Job Listings

Firstly, I have spent both time and connects—a resource that equates to money—in applying for jobs that have turned out to be scams. I find it incredibly frustrating and disheartening that a platform which aims to connect professionals for legitimate business opportunities could host fraudulent listings. It calls into question the level of scrutiny and verification processes you have in place for employers on Upwork.

Each job application costs me a certain number of connects, which are not unlimited. In situations where I've spent connects on scam jobs, I am effectively losing money. This is unacceptable, especially given that Upwork also takes a percentage of earnings from successful job contracts. In a nutshell, I am paying to be scammed.

Inadequate Customer Support

My second point of concern is the lack of effective customer support on the Upwork platform. Upon discovering that I had applied for fraudulent listings, my immediate instinct was to report these issues to ensure that other freelancers would not fall into the same trap. However, to my dismay, I found that there's no straightforward way to create a support ticket for such grievances.

The chatbot that exists as a "support option" is entirely unhelpful for complex and serious issues like this one. Its inability to provide solutions or connect me with a human representative is a severe shortfall in your customer support model, leaving me feeling stranded and unheard.


Experiences like mine damage the reputation of Upwork, and I will feel obliged to share my experience in public forums to make other freelancers aware of these issues.

Community Member

They should refund the connects that one spends on sending proposals to fraudulent clients. The blame lies with Upwork for not having proper security in place for the proposals they allow without any filtering.


One could say that Upwork is not a reliable or secure platform these days, especially considering it charges for seeking opportunities

Upwork refunds connects on scammers job posts. You have to notify them the job is a scam, or they may contact you. Either way, your connects are not wasted, they are returned in full.


Proposals are the responsibility of the freelancer, not Upwork.


Freelancing means you take chances on jobs with no guarantee.

I don't agree. If you're on such a large platform like this, there should be security filters in place so that scams simply don't happen. That's why you buy connects, that's why you send proposals. Outside of here, I charge a 50% upfront fee; it's called working responsibly. I don't see why I should take risks. Thinking in that way is what's risky.

Freelancing has no guarantees of a job. You don't charge your client 50% before you even know if you can do the job. The vast majority of the scams happen because freelancers don't follow the Terms of Service. Most often, they start a job outside of Upwork with no contract. Then they get scammed.


I do not demand an upfront payment, here or elsewhere, and I have never been scammed.


However, I have sent my portfolio to potential clients and not been hired. I can't charge the potential client before they are a client. It is the same with connects. No one guarantees a job, and that's what you are asking for here. Outside of Upwork, who guarantees you a job? No one. Same here. You buy connects for access to the jobs. There has never been any "guarantee" that applying meant you would get hired. Why would it?


It's no more risky than sending proposals elsewhere, if you follow the rules. There have been people who were scammed when they did nothing wrong, but most know exactly what they are doing and do it any way.


The connects buy you access; they have nothing to do with scams. Upwork is not charging for implied safety. There is no safety anywhere; every freelancer must be responsible no matter where they find jobs. And it always costs. If you go meet a prospective client, who pays for all the costs? The freelancer. It is no different here.

If non-existent security is the reason you buy connects and send proposals, you aren't making very good business decisions. The actual benefits Upwork offers are a lot of potential clients gathered in one place and some half-assed, iffy payment protection. It's up to you to decide whether those benefits are sufficient to warrant spending your money.

Community Member

I don't know what type of freelancer you are or what services you offer. I'm talking about designers like me. We all charge 50% to start our work, and we've found a mediator in Upwork so we don't have to beg for the remaining payment. I'm sure the type of scams they try to pull on us doesn't exist in what you do.

That is why ESCROW option for fixed price jobs and hourly protection for hourly jobs (while using tracker) is there in Upwork. 

Escrow is useless unless the amount involved is at least several hundred dollars. 

Community Member

Upwork is a tech company and like most other tech companies they don't care about their users. In fact they can't even figure out how to turn a profit so their goal is to milk the freelancers for as much as they can while reducing costs until the platform implodes on itself. Upwork is a shell of what it was even just a few years ago. 

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