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bf318b1f
Community Member

Domain Purchasing scam.

Yesterday, something strange happened to me. I saw a job posting about app development, specifically for creating a WordPress website. It offered good pay, $30 per hour, so I applied.
I soon received a response from the client, and they quickly set up a contract, which I accepted. They showed me a reference website and asked me to create something similar.
After some time, the client asked me to purchase a premium domain for the project, promising to reimburse me as a bonus.He sent me bonous of $450 in advance. This domain was quite expensive. Before making the purchase,I thought it seems ambigious, I decided to check the offer on the community forum.
It appeared to be a common scam.
I then suggested that the client should purchase the domain themselves, and I’d consider the bonus as an advance for my work.
The client reacted poorly, calling me naïve and accusing me of behaving unprofessionally, and then caution me to end our contract.
Despite this, I started working on the development website they had referenced and logged my time using Upwork’s desktop application. I spent six to seven hours developing a similar application and logged this time on the application.

Now, I’m unsure about the situation. I understand the bonus won’t be paid due to the scam, but I’ve logged several hours on the Upwork application and completed the WordPress blog as per the initial agreement. I’m hoping to get paid for the hours I worked and the completion of the blog.

I’m a bit confused about a few things. First, will I receive the payment for the work I’ve done, which I’ve logged through the Upwork desktop application? Secondly, if the client ends the contract, they will give private feedback, which will likely be negative since I didn’t fully meet their expectations. How will this negative feedback affect my job success rate?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
LuiggiR
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Jahangir,

 

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I've forwarded your report to the team and the job has been removed from the platform for violating the Terms of Service. The team has also shared more information about this via this support ticket. Don't hesitate to follow up with the team if you have additional questions. 

~ Luiggi
Upwork

View solution in original post

24 REPLIES 24
2297e2bc
Community Member

Quick answer - DONT

I even baught a website for a friend many years ago - he thought I was trying to steal the name. I was actually trying to protect the name since he had no Web Clue........We instantly are no longer friends.

So what do you think a strainger would do?

spectralua
Community Member

You did all right.

Sorry, you wont be paid. But you dint broke rules and wasted only your time but not real money.

To avoid missunderstanding with Upwork security team you should stop works and close contract with full refund. Of course you can try payment protection but you may be marked as fraud and banned.

But hours logged by upwork desktop application gives protection to payments. And What about JSS like when he will end contract or it will be suspended or if he give me negative private feedback. Any impact it is going to have on my profile ?

 

You can wait a while scammer will be banned. An week-two. He cannot leave feedback then. It is safest way.

Contract ending wont affect JSS, feedback will.

Be careful with protection: you already know that involved to fraud. So you want to cheat with protection.

no i am not involved, i have worked what he has instructed me to do. not purchased domain as upwork advise us to not purchase any thing on behalf of client. I am doing all his legal things which are not violating upwork ToS. 
Client created contract i accepted. Legal
Client gave me referenced web. I started worked with using upwork desktop application (Recommended by upwork).  Legal
Client sent me bonous of $450 to purchase domain. It seems ambigious and not purchased. Il-legal.
What is any cheat with protection. His blog is ready. 

 

I dont deciding that. But i saw that many freelancers was banned after asked for protection. Feel free to try if you want. It is possible that you will receive your money covered by protection.

yofazza
Community Member

For protection they have this rubber term, "must not be involved in fraud", which they even sometimes use in cases where legitimate clients file chargebacks. They say chargebacks are fraud.

 

So basically, protection doesn't exist; everything can be considered fraud at their sole discretion.

 

In your case, it's even easier for them to say that you're not eligible for protection. Sorry but that's just how it is in here as far as I can see.

 

 

bimalarora
Community Member

Good, that you got $450 in advance. How much was the total value of the
project?
Bimal


 wrote:
Good, that you got $450 in advance. How much was the total value of the
project?

He won't get $450 - this is obviously a scam and the payment will be reversed. The client probably used a stolen credit card.

LuiggiR
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Jahangir,

 

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I've forwarded your report to the team and the job has been removed from the platform for violating the Terms of Service. The team has also shared more information about this via this support ticket. Don't hesitate to follow up with the team if you have additional questions. 

~ Luiggi
Upwork

I have encountered same problem, what should I do now?

I have not run the tracker neither did purchase anything for client, but what should I do next?

sealvlservices
Community Member

So you discovered the client was trying to scam you, then you had what appears to be an ugly altracation with the client, and then you proceeded to work on their project?  🤔

I did not know that he is scam at the point he asked me to purchase domain, I started work. and after discussing with my colleagues. I felt it ambigious. And stop working. 

justgowebdigital
Community Member

Same client awarded the project to me today. added $450 bonus and asked to buy a premuim domain. I refused and asked him to cancel the project. 

himanshu_devops
Community Member

I think I have saved my self: -
Here is my story:-
I have accepted the offer from the client, which was originally for $10 USD per hour. However, the client informed me that they would pay me $45 USD per hour instead. I agreed to this revised offer. Subsequently, the client sent me a bonus of $300 USD, intended for purchasing a domain.

Initially, the client suggested that I purchase the domain using my own credit card and email, while they would assist me via screenshare. However, upon further consideration, I became apprehensive about the situation and began to suspect it might be a scam. My reasons for this concern are as follows:

1. The significant increase in payment from $10 USD to $45 USD per hour for the same work seems unusual.
2. The client's insistence on sending me a bonus to purchase a domain, despite being capable of doing so themselves, raised suspicions.
3. The client's posting frequency of three times within a 24-hour period and hiring multiple freelancers may indicate questionable behavior.
4. The client's expenditure of $960 USD appears suspicious in the context of our arrangement.
5. A search on Google and consultation with the Upwork community revealed previous reports of similar scams.

Given these red flags, I have decided not to take any action at this time. I am refraining from purchasing the domain, ending the contract, or returning the bonus. I am seeking assistance to safeguard my account from potential fraudulent activities perpetrated by these individuals.

for Upwork Team;
Offer Link: https://www.upwork.com/nx/wm/offer/101468310
Job Posting: **Edited for Community Guidelines**
My Proposal: https://www.upwork.com/ab/proposals/1770060175685201921
Going to sleep, I hope upwork Team will take care of this.

Hi Himanshu,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Please be sure to check out this help article to learn how you can flag suspicious activity to our team.

 

~Andrea
Upwork
himanshu_devops
Community Member

for Upwork Team;

Offer Link: www.upwork.com/nx/wm/offer/101468310
Job Posting: **Edited for Community Guidelines**
My Proposal: www.upwork.com/ab/proposals/1770060175685201921

 

Hello @Andrea G

 

I'm still connected to that client and the client asking me for the update. I'm sure that it is a SCAM.

I want to cancel the contract but I'm afraid that the client might give me a negative review, which could lower my profile rating. So please suggest to me how I can safely exit this without a negative review.

 

 

himanshu_devops
Community Member

Hello @Andrea G, @Luiggi R, 

 

Client has cancelled the contract. Please let me know, is it leads to any negative impact on my profile??

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Hi Himanshu,

 

I took the liberty of forwarding your report to the relevant team so they can review this client and take action according to our processes. I want to assure you that if one of your clients has been previously flagged (or has been suspended for Terms of Service violations), their feedback will not count against your JSS. 

 

 I also want to remind you that a real client will never ask you to give them money to start working, cash a check for them, work for free, buy something for them, or provide your personal information. Whenever you encounter these situations, please report them using the available flagging options so the team can investigate further. Please take some time to read through this article for more information on how you can stay safe on Upwork.

~ Luiggi
Upwork
satvik07
Community Member

Hello Upwork Team,

I recently encountered a situation similar to yours. A client initially requested urgent website work, but then diverted the focus to domain purchase. They even sent a bonus of 500 USD to expedite the process. I grew wary of the sudden shift and hesitated to respond. The client then resorted to threats.

I have reported the messages of clients accordingly. However, I'm uncertain about the process if I don't end the contract. Would it be advisable to terminate the contract preemptively? Also, if the client ends the contract, and provides negative private feedback, how will it impact my job success rate?

I seek guidance on how to navigate this situation safely. I attached some screenshots of client's details

Thank you.

Hi Satvik,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your reports. I shared it with our team and they will review it and take appropriate actions. 

We understand that some projects have bad outcomes because the client is difficult to work with. We track freelancer feedback of clients and flag those clients with a history of poor collaboration. If one of your clients has been previously flagged (or has been suspended for Terms of Service violations), their feedback will not count against your JSS. You can find more information here

~ Nikola
Upwork
satvik07
Community Member

Thanks NikolaS - For more information and quick response. Will see and confirm on further activity.

Hello LuiggiR,

Thanks for you infomation, If you can notice that my JSS was down because of clinet give me private negative feedback.
I am not able to understand if a fake/scam clinet update the feedback about the freelancer and upwork team can also check the messages between Freelancer and Clinet then why upwork team is not protecting freelancer.

Please kindly help me to understand why my JSS reduced because of the feedback of a fake/scam clinet.

bubai-mondal
Community Member

Hey this scam is totally true. I have been a victim of this scam a week ago and lost around $650. So the client setup a contract on my rate and asked me to build a wordpress website. He sent me a reference website and asked me to purchase a domain. The domain was a premium domain on godaddy. He sent me the money as bonus including the upwork charges and then i purchased the domain. After few hours i saw that the client  was blocked from upwork and the bonus money was also gone from my upwork account. I contacted the Godaddy and upwork for help but they said they can't do anything as it was an auctioned domain. So It was a learning of $650. Nothing to do much. I asked for the client details from upwork and godaddy but no one really gave anything as they said it is against our policy. So I am nowhere to go but to accept that the money has gone now. 

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