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mauroeh
Community Member

Filmmakers beware!

This is the second time I've made this post because Upwork doesn't want scammers to be reported. Why would it be?

There is a company from Bangladesh that connects with filmmakers and videographers promising a budget of $12,000 in exchange for the creation of a commercial that you must deliver in less than 1 week. They have 5 simultaneous accounts with verified payment and background. They start working with one and when you bill the first hours Upwork puts the contract on hold, then they write to you saying that there was a problem and that it will take 7 days to be solved, but that they will open a contract for you with another account. Then they write to you from another account and do the same thing again. They are always hourly contracts worth $240 per hour.
Upwork told me it's my fault for "accepting too good offers." In short, be careful with good opportunities, only keep the mediocre ones and don't try to be better, it will be your fault!

28 REPLIES 28
feed_my_eyes
Community Member

I'm sorry that this happened to you, but come on... You thought someone was going to pay you $12,000 for a week's work? Your combined earnings for 42 jobs on Upwork are less than that. Why would a client pay you $240/hour, when you're willing to work for $20-25/hour? And when Upwork put the contract on hold, they told you to stop working with this client, and you ignored the warning and allowed the client to hire you from a different account. Then the same thing happened again, and you allowed the client to hire you from yet another account? You didn't think there was anything suspicious about a high-paying client from Bangladesh with 5 accounts? It sounds like you let the idea of a big payday impair your judgment. 

First of all, if you are going to investigate my profile, you must read it carefully. Because my $25 fee is for EDITING, and not for writing a script, producing and directing a 2-minute commercial. The audiovisual area is much broader than publishing and without a doubt giant next to graphic design. Up to 50 professionals can work on a production, in any case this is not a film class so I will continue with the main topic.
Secondly, Upwork suspended the contract and then RE-ENABLED it, saying that I could continue with my work (what do you have to say about that?).
Third, when they contacted me with another account I DID NOT WORK WITH THEM. I realized it was a scam, but I commented so that people like you understand that scammers have multiple accounts with verified payment and history.
Fourth, can you explain why it is strange that a high-paid client is from Bangladesh? Can only some countries have those types of clients?
Finally, if you are going to treat me as deluded, I recommend that you first read objectively and empathize with the people who are being scammed here.

PS: The commercial agent of this company was a British girl. Think about it.


Mauro H wrote:

Fourth, can you explain why it is strange that a high-paid client is from Bangladesh? Can only some countries have those types of clients?


Yes, the location matters because the average hourly wage there is $1.42 US/hour, so $240/hour sounds like even more of a fantasy. The majority of Upwork clients come here because they're looking for a bargain, not because they want throw money away for no good reason.

 


Mauro H wrote:

PS: The commercial agent of this company was a British girl. Think about it.


Meaning what, exactly? I don't know any British people who would insist on paying a freelancer almost 10 times their usual hourly rate. We're not that generous, trust me.

 

Look, I'm not saying any of this to insult you, but if you continue to believe that jobs like this are possible, then you're going to fall for more scams.

 The majority of Upwork clients come here because they're looking for a bargain, not because they want throw money away for no good reason.

In every answer you give, do you end up disparaging someone's nationality, salary or job?
I am going to follow your advice and make a list of COUNTRIES SUITABLE TO OFFER GOOD CONTRACTS and another list of POOR COUNTRIES THAT IF THEY HAVE MONEY IT IS SUSPICIOUS.

 

Meaning what, exactly? I don't know any British people who would insist on paying a freelancer almost 10 times their usual hourly rate. We're not that generous, trust me.

 

I wasn't saying they were generous. And for the last time I will tell you, my salary STARTS AT 25, because I have many skills to offer. It bores me to always do the same thing, being a person without ambition for growth is not for me.

 

Finally, there is a question that I think we are all interested in you answering. Since you defend Upwork and blame me. I leave it again to see what my mistake is here. (please think before you say "$25 an hour")

Secondly, Upwork suspended the contract and then RE-ENABLED it, saying that I could continue with my work (what do you have to say about that?).


Mauro H wrote:

Secondly, Upwork suspended the contract and then RE-ENABLED it, saying that I could continue with my work (what do you have to say about that?).


I have no idea what happened there, but the end result was that the client's payment method failed and you didn't qualify for payment protection, again, due to the much higher hourly rate.

 


Mauro H wrote:

 The majority of Upwork clients come here because they're looking for a bargain, not because they want throw money away for no good reason.

In every answer you give, do you end up disparaging someone's nationality, salary or job?


How is that disparaging a particular nationality, salary or job? There are people here from all countries who charge various rates, and good and bad clients from all countries as well. But in general, clients (all clients, not just those from particular countries) use Upwork because they want to save money. If you have any facts that dispute this statement, please share. There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of cases described in this forum in which a client offered an unusually high hourly rate and it (surprise) ended up being a scam - it's a red flag.


I have no idea what happened there, but the end result was that the client's payment method failed and you didn't qualify for payment protection, again, due to the much higher hourly rate.

Sorry but you already make me laugh hahahah. Where did you get that information from? When did I say that the protection system didn't work on me? You really have an obsession with this. And you didn't answer my question, because Upwork told me to resume my work?

Finally, I think you have already left how you classify countries between poor-suspicious and rich-friendly.

As for "accepting offer from a different account" - of course, that's a violation of ToS and when it happens it's easy to see that they are a scam.

But otherwise, i strongly disagree with "accepting offer too good to be true" thing. If i did this, i'd end up nowhere. A lot of progress i made on Upwork and overall in life was in accepting offers too good to be true. Only once it resulted in a close call (my first ever case when i had to delete the feedback with Top Rated perk). Otherwise, they were genuine.


Alexander N wrote:

But otherwise, i strongly disagree with "accepting offer too good to be true" thing. If i did this, i'd end up nowhere. A lot of progress i made on Upwork and overall in life was in accepting offers too good to be true. Only once it resulted in a close call (my first ever case when i had to delete the feedback with Top Rated perk). Otherwise, they were genuine.


We're talking about a sudden jump to $240/hour for someone who's been on this website since 2017, working at $25/hour or less. Anyway, it doesn't matter what I think or what you think; the simple fact is that Upwork's hourly payment protection won't cover that kind of a pay difference; it looks like a scam, because it was a scam. If you want to take a chance on accepting a "too good to be true" contract, that's up to you, but you have to do it knowing that Upwork won't pay you out of their own pocket if the client runs off. 

Congratulations for that way of thinking. In my case it has been the same, thanks to believing that the opportunities are waiting for me, I have developed my career. In my case, I have focused more on local markets and just this year I am more focused on the digital market because I am traveling the world and remote work is the best complement. Have you always focused on remote work?

tlsanders
Community Member

I would think anyone would immediately recognize that an offer at nearly 10x their rate was a scam. 

Let me tell you that first they ask you for a budget and then they tell you what their budget is. And secondly, I don't know if you are a filmmaker and how much experience you have, but for a 2-minute TV commercial, 12 thousand is not crazy, in fact it is a normal budget.


Mauro H wrote:

Let me tell you that first they ask you for a budget and then they tell you what their budget is. And secondly, I don't know if you are a filmmaker and how much experience you have, but for a 2-minute TV commercial, 12 thousand is not crazy, in fact it is a normal budget.


If it's a normal budget, how come you've been on Upwork since 2017 and no other client has come anywhere close to offering you that much money? If you're an experienced filmmaker who can command a high hourly rate, why are you doing film editing for $25/hour? That makes no sense.

I feel like you care a lot about the value of my hour being $25. Is there something that bothers you with that?
For the last time I'm going to explain this to you because it's starting to get boring repeating the same thing, because of people like you the Power Rangers had to say their color. My profession (Filmmaker) is very very broad, and the value of 25 is for EDIT (not including animation or color correction), a process that is in the post-production stage. But just so you know, just for directing a commercial I have earned $15 thousand, not for upwork, but it is something that happens in the audiovisual world. Then, as I also told you above, the final budget is for the finished work, which is what many people who work on the film set are paid.


Mauro H wrote:

I feel like you care a lot about the value of my hour being $25. Is there something that bothers you with that?


It doesn't bother me at all, but you're still not getting the point. It sounds like you need to read the rules for Upwork's payment protection. They will only cover you at your usual hourly rate. If you've done 42 jobs at $25 or less, they will not cover payments at $240/hour. It doesn't matter what your rate is in the "real world" or how much filmmakers usually get paid. YOU personally have never made that much ON UPWORK, and that's the only relevant fact here.

I think the one who really doesn't understand is you. This thread is to warn about the mode of operation that this client uses. The time protection system never affected me (I'll write it again, because it hasn't helped to tell you things once: The time protection system never affected me!). 

I think you're trying to divert the conversation to how much I charge per hour. Which is undoubtedly an obsession for you at this point, because it's the only thing you talk about, that and about nationalities suspicious of having money. I think you are using this thread for therapy, which I am sorry to tell you is not the right space. Finally, I want to tell you that the intention of this thread is to warn other filmmakers about a specific scammer.
Your intention is clearly not to help, just to talk obsessively about my hourly rate, so I recommend that you look for a thread that addresses that topic.


Mauro H wrote:

I think the one who really doesn't understand is you. This thread is to warn about the mode of operation that this client uses.


You're not providing a good warning if you keep trying to pretend that there's nothing unusual about a client offering 9-10x your hourly rate. 99% of the time when that happens, it's because the client is a scammer. That's what I'm trying to warn people about. I don't care what you charge, but you're misleading people in this thread.

You do not understand the issue. Upwork will not protect anyone who suddenly, massively increases their fee. Management has a lot of issues, but they can recognize when something is intentionally manipulated.

 

Christine, and other freelancers, have been trying to help you understand a scam, and for your sake, as well as others, she's laying out the facts. No one cares what you charge. What's important, is that you talk about a job for far more than your fee. If you do this, you won't have any protection and will likely be scammed. No client is going to say, "Oh look, I've never heard of this guy, but hey, I will give him 9X his regular fee, 'cause he looks like a talented guy." You are doing a terrible disservice to other freelancers by trying to defend your actions.

 

This is a basic scam. It is an old scam. I have researched scams, and this was a thing when people were using typewriters, in the 40s. It was probably the same with our ancient ancestors. A variation will probably always exist.

 

Bottom line, freelancers are harmed by your incorrect information. Your post is harmful, not helpful. Scams are an enormous problem here, and it's crucial to have correct information.

I'm going to try to explain to you what's happening here. And I'm going to do it through a very ancient system called logic.
First of all, you saying "no one cares how much you earn" and then returning to the point that it is 9 times the value of my hour, is such a big and immediate contradiction that everything you write afterward must be read with this in mind. initial contradiction.
Then I'm going to write it in capital letters because maybe it doesn't read well and it's hard for you to understand IT'S A WARNING FOR FILMAKERS, I'M NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE HOURS PROTECTION SYSTEM! I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE HOURS PROTECTION SYSTEM AND NO ONE SCAMMED ME. I WAS NOT SCAMMED. MY COMPLAINT IS THAT WHEN I CONTACTED UPWORK, WHY DID THEY RESUME THE CONTRACT? THE RESPONSE WAS RIDICULOUS.
So, given the fact that I was not scammed (because yes, I realized it was a scam), your comment lacks total reality, let me tell you that your entire conclusion is based on a fantasy that you created in your head. Therefore Your comment is a total waste of time for this post and without a doubt seeks to remove the focus of this post, which is intended to explain the modus operandi of this company.
You are welcome.

You seem to be working pretty hard to miss the point. No legitimate client will make you an offer at more than 9x your profile rate and more than 9x what you're charging other clients. That alone makes it an obvious scam.

YES, IS A SCAM! It's the reason for this post! WARN THE FILMMAKERS about this scammer!

Did you even read the title of the post? Or are you trying to miss the point?

You charge $25/hour. Are you saying a two minute commercial is 480 hours of work? 12 full-time weeks? 

 

As far as them telling you their budget, that is not my experience. I tell clients my rates and they agree or don't. 

Maybe because you only work hourly? And your work doesn't have extra costs? Do you rent equipment? Do you hire human resources?
Well, in my job yes, and that type of work is not charged by the hour, but by milestones and budgets, which is how my dealings with them began, then they proposed the hourly contract.

In your original post, you only mention $12,000.

spectralua
Community Member

This job look like scam from begin. Many signs here. Many newbies for sure will be scammed.

You warning is good but fully useless: newbies won't read it, Upwork won't do anything for prevertion.

So just for chat with tea cup.

Sadly you may be right haha. My intention is that they do not fall, because they start by offering a contract of $50 per hour and then begin to ask for more services in exchange for more money. They have it well thought out.

6bfcdaf8
Community Member

My hourly rates are above average. I can imagine upwork refusing to compensate me on hourly protection if a client fails to pay. That being said i wish they offered me a chance to opt out of any kind of payment protection and gave me a better service fee rate.

It's a different situation for you. Your fees are set. If a client came along and offered you 9X your fee, for the same kind of work, I hope you would reject it, at least, until thoroughly investigated, and recognize it is a common scam.

mauroeh
Community Member

Hello Alper, I am going to answer you about your proposal that I find interesting and different. The truth is that it is a good idea since it does not change anything for the freelancer. According to the terms and conditions, if they offer you a value above your hourly value, you will not be protected in case of scam, therefore if you want to take the risk, you can do so and in exchange receive 100% of the payment, since Upwork is not running No risk, you are doing it alone.

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