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Canned Responses and Sketchy Clients

alexsaez
Active Member
Alex S Member Since: Jan 19, 2017
1 of 11

Sorry for the long post.

 

I've been with Upwork sort of on and off as a casual thing for about a year now. Most of my clients aren't from here, though. This is more of a side gig and a welcome change from writing contracts, chasing invoices, etc.

 

I seem to have a good cover letter, because almost every project I apply for gets a response. Most of them I reject, because the pay is low (despite the client accepting my fair bid).

 

One thing I noticed was that I'd get accepted for different job postings, and each would have the same canned response, usually starting with phrases like "many thanks for apply" or some other grammatical atrocity. The only difference is the contact person you're speaking with.

 

 

They usually want to talk on Skype, which is fine. But then they want to do the work outside of Upwork, which is against the Terms of Service and basically puts you at risk for losing money and time. These "people" (I use the term loosely because I don't feel they deserve to be considered any more than pure garbage) talk themselves up about how you'll be writing for "high profile publications." I actually tried calling someone out on that once by asking for examples of these "publications." They said that they had none to offer. I said I had no services to offer, then Smiley LOL

 

The point of my story here is that I'm always tempted to report them as scammers, but I'm worried that these bad vibes aren't necessarily conclusive. So what do I need to show to prove that someone is a scammer beyond a "reasonable doubt" as they say? Call me vindictive, but I just to take some of these people down before they rip off new freelancers Smiley Mad 

 

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
2 of 11

Report them ALL. Plus learn to identify them before you hit "submit proposal" so that you can report them before they try to hire people.

 

Upwork keeps telling us that they're working on screening clients, but the scammers are still there. Not saying that we freelancers should take on the crusade of trying to report every single suspicious post, but you know what they look like by now and you can report them when you see them. Every little bit helps.

juvy_ann-palma
Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
3 of 11

@Alex S wrote:

Sorry for the long post.

 

I've been with Upwork sort of on and off as a casual thing for about a year now. Most of my clients aren't from here, though. This is more of a side gig and a welcome change from writing contracts, chasing invoices, etc.

 

As a freelancer, I establish myself as a business individual so I do not need to be chased by invoices.  I have full control as to who will receive my invoices.

 

I seem to have a good cover letter, because almost every project I apply for gets a response. Most of them I reject, because the pay is low (despite the client accepting my fair bid).

 

It's good to know that you are capable of writing good cover letters ---

 

One thing I noticed was that I'd get accepted for different job postings, and each would have the same canned response, usually starting with phrases like "many thanks for apply" or some other grammatical atrocity. The only difference is the contact person you're speaking with.

 

--- and that your proposals get to be accepted.

 

 

They usually want to talk on Skype, which is fine. But then they want to do the work outside of Upwork, which is against the Terms of Service and basically puts you at risk for losing money and time. These "people" (I use the term loosely because I don't feel they deserve to be considered any more than pure garbage) talk themselves up about how you'll be writing for "high profile publications." I actually tried calling someone out on that once by asking for examples of these "publications." They said that they had none to offer. I said I had no services to offer, then Smiley LOL

 

Most of my great clients are on Skype.   Those who invite me to work outside of the scope of the TOS are there, too, and I consider them as potential clients and not "pure garbage".

 

The point of my story here is that I'm always tempted to report them as scammers, but I'm worried that these bad vibes aren't necessarily conclusive. So what do I need to show to prove that someone is a scammer beyond a "reasonable doubt" as they say? Call me vindictive, but I just to take some of these people down before they rip off new freelancers Smiley Mad 

 

It is possible that your "bad vibes aren't necessarily conclusive".  I think that between choosing to waste my time to find proof that scammers exist and working extra hours for exciting projects that will ultimately satisfy my clients, I would rather choose the latter.


 

alexsaez
Active Member
Alex S Member Since: Jan 19, 2017
4 of 11

Forgive me Juvy Ann, but some of your response came across as condescending (specifically the cover letter and proposal parts). I'm not on a crusade to end scammers. The whole reason I asked was because I didn't want my gut instincts to turn into a witchhunt. Innocent until proven guilty and all that fun stuff. The backstory was just to create context and show that, despite receiving many jobs, the vast majority want to violate the Terms of Service and potentially rip off freelancers. I think that's a valid concern.

 

If you're willing to work with people outside the Terms of Service, that's fine. I was under the impression that this would get me the boot. That's where I don't want to take the risk. I'd rather invest in a sure thing than risk losing hours of time and potential earnings. Call me paranoid.

 

I call these scammers pure garbage because that's how I view anyone who tries to steal people's time and money. Maybe that wording seems harsh, and I understand that perspective.

 

Anyway, my question's been answered by the previous poster, so I'm good. I don't think I'll just report people willy-nilly. I simply wanted to see what people's opinions were on the matter.

juvy_ann-palma
Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
5 of 11

Hi Alex,

 

I am not sure if I will forgive you since I do not have any idea of you offending me personally.

 

By the way, did I come across as someone who will work with and for people outside the scope of the TOS just by referring to them as "potential clients"?

juvy_ann-palma
Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
6 of 11

And also, it looks like no matter what response you get, you tend to label them as either "canned" or "condescending".  Are you aware of that?

stencil_media
Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
7 of 11

If they want to work outside Upwork, you tell them it's against the rules to work outside Upwork, and they are then happy to work within Upwork... happy days! They might have been unaware of the rules. If these are the potential clients that Juvy Ann refers to then that's all good. 

 

If they want to work outside Upwork, you tell them it's against the rules to work outside Upwork, and they still want to work outside Upwork... then report them and move on. You're right, they are garbage. 

 

I think most people would rather spend their time doing great work than looking for evidence people are scammers, but if somebody wants to break the rules when it comes to payment and protection... you don't really have to do much digging when it comes to finding evidence. Concentrating on doing great work for clients is all well and good... but not if you don't get paid, or your account gets suspended, at the end of it!

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
parminderk
Active Member
Parminder S S Member Since: Feb 13, 2009
8 of 11

We all know there have been more than 30% jobs where clients are not the actual clients and scammers looking for cheating. I just got one such message from a client who has even created a scam site as **Edited for Community Guidelines** which I want to report to Upwork immediately before anyone gets ripped off from his payment and all the earning. I have created a support ticket for the same..but where is the Chat Support for such an emergency? Isn't this the main concern for the Upwork to enable the Chat Support for such emergencies? For such a wast company as Upwork (we all know how big oDesk and Elance had been) is it a good way to put the Chat Support to Off mode for freelancers? To be honest I personally think Upwork is going the wrong way since last few months (or couple of years) and need to work in the right direction instead of working on things which are not going to help anyone.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 11

@Parminder S wrote:

I just got one such message from a client who has even created a scam site as ******************** which I want to report to Upwork immediately


 Posting the link here is beyond idiotic!

 

You can report it by raising a Support Ticket. Chat Support is available, but not to everyone. You currently don't qualify.

 

PLEASE immediately edit your post and take that link out by clicking on the Edit Reply link under Post Options

 

edit reply.jpg

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
10 of 11

Hi Parminder,

 

Thanks for reporting, I see our team already took action against the client and updated your ticket. Due to high volume of requests chat support is not available to all users at all times and as you've seen, our team does respond to support requests fairly quickly.

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