I have been communicating with a client on Upwork, and I didn't suspect anything untoward at first, but I feel that it is someone attempting to engage in data mining / fraud / identity theft. I don't think I have given anything away that I should not have done, but his most recent messgae seems extremely curious.
I have attached a screen grab of the message. It seems quite odd to be asking at this stage for a CV, when this information is already available on my website, plus it is even more weird to say that he could place me with the Home Office. He has been messaging me for over a week, and has asked a lot of questions that aren't in any way suspicious, but these could simply be a smokescreen.
I have saved the message thread, but I didn't want to post it on here if it is not necessary. But all I have given away is my website and an image of myself that is already on Upwork. However, I feel highly dubious about the authenticity and intention of this person now, and I wanted to seek the advice of others, and also for this to be flagged up. I can provide the job posting if required, but there is nothing suspicious in that.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Thank you for flagging this for us, I'll share this with our team for further investigation. Please, check this help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Also, check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.
There is no need to send a client a cv. Nor is there any need for the client to have a picture of you since there is already one here on Upwork. All they should be concerned about is getting their work done.
You've also stated that you've been communicating with them for a week, and that they have been asking you a lot of questions. This communication and questions should be concerning their job and nothing else. Whether or not they are looking to scam you, or have you participate in fraud, identity theft, or to steal YOUR identity, -- If you feel funny and have this gut feeling about the client and job, then IMO you should cut off communication and block this client and move on to more reliable straight up jobs. (and clients.)
Thanks for the reply, Kathy. I agree 100% with what you're saying. The thing is that most of what they have been asking me is legitimate. It's hard to strike the right balance sometimes, I'm sure you've found this. I'd love to be able to say - I've worked with hundreds of clients on Upwork, here's my profile, here's my website, here's my portfolio, hire me or don't bother! But some clients do want to ask you certain question, which is why I didn't suspect anything at first.
Even now, I'm not sure anything can be proved by investigation. This client could even be legitimate. They have a 5* rating, and they've paid out over $2,000. But the last message they sent me is highly dubious. I'm not going to respond any further because there have been too many questions anyway. Thanks again for responding.