I encountered an unusual situation with a client on Upwork. As a new user on the platform, the client suggested communicating via WhatsApp for faster texting and proposed transferring payment to me directly through PayPal once I completed the tasks. This raised some concerns for me since it deviated from Upwork's payment system.
To ensure clarity and documentation, I have screenshots of our conversation on WhatsApp where the client suggested using PayPal to avoid commission fees. This struck me as suspicious, as it goes against Upwork's policies and raises questions about the legitimacy of the client's intentions. I have then blocked and reported the client's number.
I have not yet started working on the project, but the client provided a Google spreadsheet with the assigned tasks.
Realizing that sharing my phone number was a mistake, I am now seeking guidance on how to proceed. I want to prioritize my security and adhere to Upwork's guidelines.
There is no "in case its a scam."
You can't do circumvention.
You can't pay or receive pay outside of the Upwork platform.
These rules apply for real jobs. These rules apply for scams.
Communication must be done through the Upwork platform until you have been officially hired using an Upwork contract. This is the rule with real jobs. This is the rule with scammers.
Thank you to the both of you for your fast replies and for assuring me to the fact that this project is indeed a scam. I was sort of freaking out, It's ironic that my first proposal was accepted, only to turn out to be a scam. I have already flagged the project as inapproriate.
I must admit that I didn't delve deeply into the topic of Upwork scams and how to prevent them before this incident occurred. If I known it earlier, I wouldn't have shared my contact information in a hurry. Moving forward, I want to educate myself further about Upwork and the various types of scams that can occur even in this freelance industry. This experience serves as a valuable lesson, and I won't let it discourage me from pursuing my freelancing journey. I look forward to learning and growing alongside this community.