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Client Scam: Fraudulent Cashier's Checks

A client using Upwork.com recently committed fraud by sending me three fraudulent cashier's checks, said to be used for the purchase of a laptop and software for a freelance assignment. 

 

Although the proposed business transaction seemed unorthodox and I questioned it, scammers persuaded me to deposit the fraudulent checks in my checking account and then withdraw cash from the first check and deposit it in the account of the supposed IT vendor, who was to provide me the laptop and special software. Because funds from the first deposited check were available, I believed that the check had cleared. It had not. Scammers knew banking rules whereby banks make funds available after a two-day hold. It may, and apparently does, take banks more than two days to discover that a check is fraudulent. Upon discovery, the issuing bank notifies the bank of deposit and puts a collection hold on the check. The person who cashed the check then owes the bank the full amount of the withdrawal. 

 

I do not know the name of the client responsible for this fraud, as Upwork will not provide it, though they have offered to work with my legal representative to pursue legal action. I am working with the bar association in my state to find suitable legal representation. I believe that the amount stolen from me makes this crime a felony.

 

Scammers used the following names in this fraud: **Edited for Community Guidelines** used Upwork letterhead to invite me to interview for a job. If you receive communications from these persons through Upwork, please report to Upwork.

 

Scams involving fraudulent cashier's checks are apparently very common. Because Upwork does not vet its clients, you may safely assume that any client whose payment method is unverified is a potential criminal whose sole intent is to take advantage of you, and not to give you a job.

 

Also, you are on your own when you are a victim of crime committed on Upwork.com. Upwork allows you to file a complaint and provides links to information about how to protect yourself. But they apparently will not work on your behalf to recover your money or prosecute the criminals who stole from you.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
dossy
Member

> "Also, you are on your own when you are a victim of crime committed on Upwork.com."

 

This is why I think Upwork should make the "Upwork Readiness Test" a mandatory test for all freelancers before they're allowed to submit proposals at all, and make the test MUCH more thorough -- especially have a section around common scams and things asked of freelancers that are eithr complicit in fraudulent activity, as well as things that may not be obvious as violations of Upwork's Terms of Service.

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43 REPLIES 43

Very sorry to hear it. Upwork has some videos on how to conduct business on Upwork that you may find helpful. I'm guessing they'd be in the Resource Corner or Community Discussions.

 

Two or three years ago, when I shared my experience to alert others, my announcement was met with scorn and ridicule. I hope that didn't or doesn't happen to you.

 

I made an anaology to an automobile accident in which a friend died. The community responded that she was probably texting and not paying attention. The accident happened decades before the Internet, smartphones, and texting existed. I did not bother to  reply to these authorities who insisted that the accident was her fault. They clearly would would brook no argument.


Pamela D L wrote:

I made an anaology to an automobile accident in which a friend died. The community responded that she was probably texting and not paying attention. 


Interesting how no such posts appear in your posting history?

 

Edited because I found the references. Apologies.

She could be referring to posts that were subsequently removed by Forum Moderators.


Petra R wrote:

Pamela D L wrote:

I made an anaology to an automobile accident in which a friend died. The community responded that she was probably texting and not paying attention. 


Interesting how no such posts appear in your posting history?

 


Actually, Tiffany mentions this in her post above, so it does look like some posts were removed.

 

Anyway, Sean doesn't need to watch videos to learn how to avoid this situation in the future. A better analogy is that he decided to take a car out on the highway without taking any driving lessons first, and in that case, yes, you have to bear some responsibility if you crash. He broke two simple rules himself:

 

1. Don't communicate with clients outside of Upwork until a contract is in place.

2. Don't accept payments off of the Upwork system. 

 

If you don't do these things, then you won't fall prey to the cheque scam.