Lately I have noticed with great concern that there are plenty of jobs posted on Upwork asking applicants to reach the clients outside the platform. Say telegram, whatsapp, phone or even email. If you look keenly you will find that these clients have their "Payment method not verified". I do not feel safe applying to such jobs. Secondly, I feel it's a waste of space and time for people who are genuinely looking for work. Kindly come up with a way to sieve out postings that are a waste of time to freelancers.
I don't much care whether a potential new client has had his/her payment method verified by Upwork when it comes to submitting a proposal or having a call (using Upwork Zoom, of course), Every client and freelancer on on Upwork had their first project at some point.
But I won't agree to a contract until their payment method is verified.
And if a client new to Upwork suggests having a call other than via Upwork Zoom I send them a message along the following lines -
"As you may know, during our pre-contract communication Upwork requires that we only use Upwork’s version of Zoom to talk through the specifics of what you need and to discuss any questions you and I have for one another:
On-platform Interviews – Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help (insert link)
After that call I can start work on this (immediately / as soon as Upwork confirms your payment method). We can then use any method of communication you prefer."
What are your views on this part of his post? "Lately I have noticed with great concern that there are plenty of jobs posted on Upwork asking applicants to reach the clients outside the platform. Say telegram, whatsapp, phone or even email." Posts should not include those requests, so why are so many appearing in our feeds recently?
Hmm, then consider yourself fortunate, or more likely, the types of jobs you see are not as targeted by scammers as some others are. Many other freelancers are seeing them increase in their feeds. Search for "proofreader" and get ready to see enough scam/spam posts to choke a Clydesdale.
Scammers have always trolled sites like this and they always will. That's certainly part of the equation.
The other part is that nobody reads TOS. They SHOULD, whether it's for business or not, but we all know they rarely do.
I'm one of the person who probably never read a ToS in extreme detail in my entire life.
Most of the time, I don't even read them at all. Based on the company/service, I believe ToS' are good and meant for the good of both parties, so I checked the "I've read the ToS" checkbox without thinking.
While some items in the ToS might prevent a freelancer from falling into a scam, a better approach - especially if preventing the scam is the real/actual intention - is pointing them the Freelancers to the current, up-to-date, problem or scam methods, with casual writings such as the scam red flags post. A "tutorial", or "guidance", is better suited than a lawyer-friendly writings ToS for this.
We've seen the **scam prevention** items in the ToS are not read. Most of the time they're used only to blame the freelancers after they got scammed.
Or from another perspective, it's also possible / feels like UW is leaving everything as it is to let "nature" do the "filtering" of freelancers. They have endless supplies of it anyway. It might have some advantages as well.
It seems like you're doing a fine job filtering those jobs yourself. The updated TOS is pretty clear that there is to be no off-site contact until there is a contract; so if someone is violating TOS, you have two options: Explain to them that the Upwork Terms require communication to remain on-site until there is a contract or else end communication.
Depending upon other factors, I've done one or the other. Most often, I find they simply hadn't read the new TOS very closely and are more than happy, once they find out that's the case, to continue conversation on Upwork.
Please do not work for people contacting outside of upwork, such as telegeram whatsapp etc. They will never give you your money and some will ask you for money for some trival issues like id update, registration etc. I have recently experienced such a thing with lionbridge company. There were others requesting money before you start your job. Please do not send them any money and do not work for them.
I am yet to get my first job, but i reckon such offers must be specific to some type of job like Writing, Crypto etc. It would be helpful if we could gather this data that will help unveil the patterns or such client.
But i second the suggestion that payment method must haves been verified before a freelance kicknoff the job.
That's essential and critical.