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80ecb651
Community Member

Client wanting me to ship lottery tickets

Hello!

I want to ask this before I move forward with this client I am working with. She originally asked me to buy lottery tickets and send her pictures for  statistics project. I did that, bought the tickets and sent pictures as proof. After that, she requested that I ship the physical tickets interntionally, however I was notified when I made the DHL label that shipping lottery tickets is illegal in my state. I mentioned this ask told her that I would not be requesting the shipping fee as it has not cleared my account yet, but wanted to know if we could close the contract with just the fee and repayment for the purchasing of the tickets since she has pictures of the physical tickets. She came back with a statement from a lawyer saying they have had similar issues with getting tickets from other states, and the tickets are no longer illegal to ship, and told me to use a different sender address than my own to ship them. I looked up the company name she gave to ship from, and I cannot find much about it. Something about this seems off, and I just want some advice before I do anything else with her. 

 

Thanks,

 

Christina

17 REPLIES 17
bilsim
Community Member

Send a support ticket to Upwork, with screenshots. If it doesn't feel right, don't proceed.

I disagree.

I recommend not trying to contact Upwork Support.

 

If you have questions, ask those questions here in the Community Forum.

How to report scam then? Is it possible to flag it during an ongoing contract? I thought support should be contacted with screenshots for this?

Yes, if the project is still visible, it can be flagged; you can also flag inappropriate messages in your inbox. If the project is no longer visible, then it's already been taken down, so no need to report.

ashrafkhan81
Community Member

As a rule of thumb, you should stay away from any contracts or clients that require you to buy or sell anything for the client. things like buying equipment, art, Crypto, or sending money to someone on the client's behalf against the Escrow deposit. 

 

I do not understand what is going on here, the lottery tickets can't be very expensive, but when n doubt better to stay away...

Thats not necessarily good advice.  

Freelancers should stay away from buying certain items - crypto, sending money, lotto tickets, gift cards, etc.

I purchase equipment for some of my contracts and never have any issues with it.  Ocassionally I need to test items, or purchase hardware to build items.  I have the client pay a deposit, I make the purchase and provide the receipt, the client reimburses for the difference.

However, I would never recommend that anyone go out and purchase items blindly without deposit or other way to mitigate financial loss (if it were to happen).  I also recommend not purchasing anything more than you are willing to lose if the transaction or contract goes south.

There's no rule of thumb about it. Setting up a contract where the primary task is buying something for a client is described in the Upwork Terms of Use as a prohibited use of the site.  Also, owing to the number of chargebacks people post about on this board after making purchases for clients, it would be an incredibly foolish thing to do.

https://www.upwork.com/legal#terms-of-use

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 9.57.07 PM.png

martina_plaschka
Community Member

Contracts that only or mainly entail making purchases for a client are strictly forbidden, you violated the ToS doing that. 

Very likely it's a scam, and you will not get any money. Probably the client will ask for a refund outside of upwork. 

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Christina L.,

 

This is almost certainly a scam that will allow your "client" to have you buy lottery tickets for them, which you will not be reimbursed for doing.

 

Don't buy goods and services for "clients" who find you on Upwork. In almost all cases, if they have the money to buy them, they can do so for themselves. I suggest you assume this is true for 100% of all potential clients.

0ea796be
Community Member

It's a ToS violation and scam. I highly doubt the statement was really from a lawyer. 

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

Of course something is off. Your profile says that you do manuscript reading and editing, so why are you even thinking about getting involved in some sort of shady nonsense that has nothing to do with your services? Stick with actual jobs that require actual skills.

 

If this "client" suggests that you repay them off of Upwork (which is probably the next thing that will happen), you should, of course, refuse. Report the job to Upwork using the flag as inappropriate link (or if it's been taken down already - which it likely has - then click on the three dots to the right of one of her incriminating messages and report that instead). 

the-right-writer
Community Member

Upwork is about jobs. The client wants work; the freelancer wants to do the work. Nothing in the Upwork messaging even implies it is OK to buy things for a client; in fact, it is expressly forbidden.

 

Didn't any of this set off alarm bells? Even when you knew it was illegal? "Seems off?" I'm not trying to be unkind, but how many blazing red flags do you need? Nothing about this supposed job is even remotely legal or within the Terms of Services. And as Christine mentioned, no doubt there will be a chargeback.

 

Instead of looking up a company, follow the rules, and you are very unlikely to be scammed or lose your ability to use the platform because you are suspended.

Lots of great comments here in this thread.

 

This is a violation of Upwork ToS.

This is almost certainly a scam.

Could well be illegal in some places.

But also:
There's no money in it.
Even if Upwork didn't care, and even if every government on Earth told you that they didn't care, and this is totally legal...

 

I don't think any freelancer is going to make any real money off this. Because either they are being scammed and any "money" they received would get clawed back, OR even if that doesn't happen, this is just going to be a "scheme" (not a real job) in which the client is not going to pay you any amount of money worth the risks of being involved with this.

ericaandrews
Community Member

One of the BEST ways to avoid scams is to stop looking for jobs promising 'easy' cash that are completely unrelated to the services you are offering/advertising on UW as a freelancer.  Last I checked, manuscript writing has absolutely nothing to do with shipping lottery tickets.   It also doesn't help your  profile/reputation for future potential clients if they look at your profile for Manuscript writing and find lots of unrelated, sketchy jobs listed in your UW work history. Also, when you profile starts showing a pattern of you working 'random' unrelated jobs, it does attract more scammers because it creates the perception that you are willing to accept any job

 

Lots of freelancers get themselves in trouble and get themselves scammed by allowing themselves to be 'lured' away toward 'wishful thinking' jobs promising 'fast' money for little/no work that have nothing to do with the skill/service they signed up to offer on UW.   Never enter into a contract to conduct business with anyone when you don't fully understand the BUSINESS itself that you are about to 'conduct'.   If you don't have experience/expertise shipping lottery tickets, I'd recommend leaving the 'lottery ticket' shipping business to other folks.

 

My advice: If you got on UW to offer Manuscript services, stick to manuscripts and leave the lottery tickets, bitcoin, crypto currency, and everything else unrelated alone.  Stick to what you know and you'll avoid many scams

re: "One of the BEST ways to avoid scams is to stop looking for jobs promising 'easy' cash that are completely unrelated to the services you are offering/advertising on UW as a freelancer"

 

Scammers have a word for somebody like that:

 

a "mark"

Exactly.  'Quick' money often eventually costs more than it's worth, and 'easy' money often brings lots of hard consequences.

CJ A I was just about to post s8milar thing.  I didn't know people can become so gullible for 'easy' money.  There in an Indian proverb that says as long as there are greedy people, scammers will never go hungry!

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