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cookie1831
Member

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS!

I was sent an Invitation to a job I applied for as an Administrative, Data Entry, Customer Service position about 2 weeks ago. About 2 days ago I receive an email from Upwork reading I have an Invitation to an Interview, I was to create a yahoo account and contact **edited for Community Guidelines** ASAP.  The email read the time of the Interview/Briefing will take place as of ASAP. So I went ahead create my account and contacted this person. After the Interview I was told to stay put while our yahoo messenger conversation would be forwarded to her superiors, What felt like an hour wait ended up being 2 hours exactly and she comes back congratulates me that I got the job. Instructed me to be online at 9am the next day that I will receive an employment offer letter I'll need to sign(The company she claimed to be from from **edited for Community Guidelines**).  I received the letter as told, signed and returned it via email, I asked if I can print and fax it back and she said no email it to her.  First Red Flag! She then told me the company will be sending me a check to purchase software as it is a work at home job and I will need to purchase equiptment and supplies, Second Red Flag! I was told to report online at 9am for further instructions, I did as told, I am now given a tracking number and told the check was sent via FedEx over night and I am to track the package. I do as told again, tracking shows it will arrive by 10:30am. I'm told as soon as the package arrives I should let her know and she will give me further instructions. By this point I felt as though I was working for some secret agent!!!! But I went with it.  I do receive a FedEx Envelope, Fedex never knocked on my door but I noticed when I looked at my door, they slid the envelope throw the side of the door. I openned the envelope and inside is a check for the amount of $2,956.00!! I'm wondering what equipment is it I need to purchase for this job if this is real! I'm directed to deposit the check and when I do to email a photo of the deposit slip to her. To make a long story short, I deposited, was told to withdraw $2800.00 in cash, then i was told to deposit it to Bank of America, my bank was Chase.  By then I was convinced it was a scam, lied to person and said I  deposited the cash, she told me email it to me, I said email what? she said the deposit receipt, I said, I lost it,  got no respond and then said you can stop playing the game now I know you're a scammer and I've reported you! Have a nice day.  I had a bad feeling so I had asked Chase Bank if it was possible they can check for me the check I had deposit, told them the story and they looked into it and sure enough the check was not legit!! Please be aware of this when accepting any jobs here!!

14 REPLIES 14
prestonhunter
Member

Yup. This scam is older than the Internet.

Um... You could actually be arrested for what you did. Usually that won't happen. Police just role their eyes and say "there's another one." This is usually just handled by the bank. But this isn't something to play around with.

Okay, I can't help myself. Have to leave one more comment. Because this whole scam, which is VERY common and not just on Upwork, is actually hilarious if you think about it.

 

If you are actually **edited for Community Guidelines**" [name of company scammer claimed to be from] or whatever, why do you need to send newly hired data entry workers $3000 to buy software? Does that make any sense at all?

 

Why not just send them the software? And who sends software in the mail like that these days anyway? Just send them a license code and a link to have them download the software from the vendor.

 

But more realistically, what on Earth kind of software does this company use for data entry that costs them $3000 a person to purchase? Seems a bit steep, doesn't it?

 

This company could simply pay $3000 to a contractor on Upwork and you could get a VERY nice web application created that all your data entry people all over the world could use, without having to pay $3000 per user to some third party software company.

 

Now, keep in mind that the company named by the scammer as the company they represent is an actual, real company. The scammer has no actual relationship to that company, of course. If that actual company's IT chief read this I'm sure he would be the first to point out that he is not a complete imbecil and he knows how to organize data entry systems that can be used for free via a web browser.

I'm sorry, but first thing that came to my mind was that "Beware of freelancers" might be a more appropriate title.

By the way, big kudos to Ana for sharing her story in such exquisite detail. I find these stories of scammer versus freelancer immensely entertaining.

 

And Ana's post is genuinely helpful to any contractors who might read it who are not yet familiar with this classic scam.

 

Old folks like myself shouldn't laugh too much at Ana's naivete. Human beings are not born with knowledge of the "fake check for equipment" scam encoded in our DNA, although that would be a helpful genetic adaptation.

Preston,

 

I understand the kudos bit and the helpfulness for other freelancers by this post. However (and Ana, please don't take this too personally), the post itself in my mind still displays naivite AFTER the scam. By the time Ana mentions her first "red flag", there should have already been about half a dozen (Yahoo, ASAP, long unpaid interview, employment offer letter, etc.). On top of everything (I won't go on about how I fail to understand who in their right mind (again, sorry Ana) walks checks/large amounts of cash from bank A zu bank B for someone they have never dealt with! If fake checks don't come to mind, what about money laundering?), the posting admits to doing work outside of Upwork which is another violation and I am not even sure that Ana is (was) aware of this either.

 

As helpful as postings like these might be for other freelancers, I can't help but stress that imo a considerable amount of responsibility in these cases lies with the freelancer his/herself.

I agee with Sandra and Preston. However, I think a major emotional factor comes into play on this sort of site - It certainly played a big part for me when I first discovered online job platforms, and I was scammed in a big way on my very first job!

 

One day you sit at your computer and ask yourself, "What can I do to make some money?" and then you discover oDesk. "Wow!" you think. "I can do this", and you sign up. You create a profile, and you pass a few tests and you are ready to go. What you don't do (at first) is to read the ToS before you tick the agreement box, and having done that you don't then have a quick look in the forums before taking on the world.

 

So yes, one has a personal responsibility, but when love (excitement) gets in the way - nothing is quite functional until the brain takes over and then the scam has almost or actually taken place.  

 

On the other hand, Upwork has the means and the technical resources to put paid (on the site)to the Yahoo scamster.  There is not a day that goes by . . .

 

 

Re: "On the other hand, Upwork has the means and the technical resources to put paid (on the site)to the Yahoo scamster."

Just to clarify, are you saying that Upwork has the resources to put out a paid contract to take out the scammer?

Because if that's what you're saying, I will definitely kudo that idea.

Preston, I would volunteer for that job! ๐Ÿ˜„

Hello. Im perfectly new here in upwork, Ive applied to 4 encoding and translating jobs, and immediately the encoding one responsed giving me a job right away. They sent me all the details I have to do. And said after I finished 35hours on work that would be recored and could be viewed by them, thats the only time they gonna pay me. Checked their profile and the account is new too(created this July, on the day they posted the job i got in). Their upwork hour is not yet verified too. But they said, they I just need to tell them via email what is my prefered payment method and it would be fine. Do you think this one is legit??

Charmaine,

 

It definitely is a scam. Just forget it, don't proceed any further, report the post, and move on to find another opportunity.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

No, this is not legit. It is a scam. They will take your work and you will not be paid.

 

Never work on this site unless you have an actual contract and the client's payment method is verified. Do not let them pay you through any method other than through Upwork. If it's an hourly job, use the time tracker. If it's a fixed-price job, make sure escrow is funded before you start work.

 

jnlanda
Member

I don't mean this to be rude, but I don't understand why people can't break up their stories into separate paragraphs? That was very difficult to read.

some people aren't in the writing profession. 

you could increase your font size to make it easier to read... Smiley Wink

jefframlee
Member

Reminds me of the story of the fella who was scammed over the phone and internet, but there was nothing the authorities could do to track down the culprits.

Watch it here

Basically, he takes the matter into his own hands, and follows the trails of the scammer all the way to Thailand.

 

 

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