I was contacted directly by a client and he is wanting to pay outside of Upwork. I am new to this, in fact this would be my first gig as a virtual assistant. Is this normal? How do I handle this? Thank you
In order to comply with Upwork's Terms of Service you should remove all of your contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) from any document potential clients have access to before hiring you (your resume, etc.).
And don't even THINK about getting paid outside Upwork. Any potential client who insists on such payments is not honest; you'll be asking for trouble from both Upwork and this "client."
The client should not pay outside of Upwork, this is a high risk, Upwork protects both sides the client and the freelancers that's why contacting and the payment terms should be in Upwork.
Your account will be suspended if you accept payment outside Upwork, at any point within two years from when you first came into contact with the client.
Also, newbies usually don't receive direct offers or legit invites.
So it's more likely than not to be a scam.
Thank you for reaching out and bringing this to our attention. Please note that getting paid outside Upwork is dangerous and against our Terms of Service. Giving away your contact and billing details makes you vulnerable to scammers and fraudsters. Help us keep Upwork safe by reviewing this help article and following the instructions given on how to report.
Could you please click on my name above this post and send me a private message with more information about the job you're referring to? The job title or the link to the job post would be extremely helpful. Looking forward to your message.
I did receive your message and we truly appreciate you sharing this information. However, I can't seem to find any communications you had with this client via Messages. I would also like to let you know that sharing contact information before a contract has started is against Upwork's Terms of Service and that all communications prior to the contract starting must take place on Upwork.
I have shared your report with the appropriate team for further review. They will surely take a closer look at the job and the client's account. The team will take action accordingly if necessary. You may want to check this help article and this thread for more information on how to stay safe on Upwork.