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Employer requested I worked out of Upwork

Active Member
Ioana N Member Since: Jun 2, 2017
1 of 4

Hello, fellow Upworkers. I am new here, so I don't yet know how this all works. 

Today I was contacted by a potential employer and the message read : add this skype id...". I was curious so I did just that. The person on the other line went on to engage in some small talk with me, complimented me on my resume and portfolio and command of the English language and then proposed the terms of the contract. It seemed surreal, so, naturally, something had to give. 

They went on to send me the first assignment, which I completed, fully aware that this may be a scam. I am an experienced writer and it only took me 20 minutes of my time to see what they were about. 

Before sending it in, I requested they hired me on Upwork, becuase I have no guarantee that this is not a scam. I sent in the article, they said they were more than satisfied (??) and that they had no objections other than having exceeded the word limit- which I have done on purpose, to see if they were going to read it- and then proceeded to send me the next assignment. 

I told them I will do it as soon as we finalise the legal forms. After a 30 minute back and forth negociating, they sent me a copy and paste text contract on skype. I told them I will not work with them on these terms, as it is violating the Upwork terms and conditions, and that they should reach me when they want to work on Upwork. Then, I got blocked. 


My questions are:

When an employer's profile displays ''Payment Method Not Verified'', does this mean it is automatically a scam?

Also, how in the world can I get an offer that doesn't change its terms or requests for something else than the job posting? 

I have no jobs scored yet, and working under absurd terms is kind of a no-no. I am full aware that there are some sacrifices to be made, but this seems out of this world and to be honest, a bit frustrating. 


tl;dr Someone tried to scam me again and I am begining to lose faith that I'll ever score a job here Smiley Happy

Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 4

Hi Ioana,


Please pm me the screenshot of the client's Skype message, the link of their job post, so we can take action against their account for violating Upwork ToS. Stop communicating with them and providing free work, check our safety tips, go through our freelancer resources, never start working without an active contract on Upwork and only accept to get paid through the platform.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
3 of 4

"Payment not verified" is not necessarily a scam.  Go after those jobs but let the client know that you cannot work until their payment is verified - and stick to it.


Be sure that your profile does NOT indicate that you are new to the platform.  Emphasize your skills and experience.


Don't bid on "Bottom feeder" jobs.  They aren't worth it.


Negotiating terms and payment is part of the process.  If you don't like the final terms, don't accept the contract.


When you are new, keep all of your communication on Upwork.


Report the job that wanted you to go off platform by flagging the original job post.  If none the reasons for flagging fit the process, flag it anyway so it gets reviewed.

Ace Contributor
Pavel K Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
4 of 4

Hi Ioana.


1) Stop thinking of your clients, as employers -- that is not a valid assessment. You and your clients are partners, don't put yourself in a hierarchy bs: freelancing is much better than this;


2) "Payment method is not yet verified" means only what is written. Tell your client to verify it, get an Upwork contract, fund the milestone fully and then (and only then!) start doing any work for him. If he doesn't cooperate with you in this aspect, then, yes, he/she is a scam -- he doesn't want to pay you;


Re: how in the world can I get an offer that doesn't change its terms or requests for something else than the job posting?

3) There are two different types of contracts: fixed-price and hourly.

-- For first ones it's better to define the scope as clear and straightforward, as possible. And if some changes occur during fixed-price contract, then your management skills arise: make the decision, whether to charge the client more money or not;

-- Hourly contracts are better in this aspect: sometimes clients don't know the exact details at project start -- that is ok, do the job and when you are asked to perform changes, run the Upwork's time tracker for it;


4) I see, that your profile is new. Unfortunately, new freelancers are the primary targets for scams -- give it some time, get some Job History and they will vanish by themselves, as your profile will show experience;


Best Regards.

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