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paywell
Community Member

Flagging Job Posts… with privileges.

Hey there, Upwork!

 

Whenever I see a “PDF to MS Word typing” job for 30-40$ an hour and the client being registered today or yesterday – I flag it, for being incomplete / vague.

 

Whenever I see a job posting with contact info – I flag it for that reason. I also search the contact info (or the way the messenger name was spelled, i.e. "tlgrmm" and flag those job posts as well.

 

And, whenever I see a job post with a suspicious link, I test is in a virtual browser (like Browserling https://www.browserling.com/ ) and, if it is not job related – I flag the posting for having a suspicious link.

I then start a search with that link, and mark all these jobs as flagged.

 

While doing this, I have encountered some difficulties:

  1. Not all the important flagging reasons are available from the search results menu. You have to go inside to do this.I recommend moving those flagging reasons into the search results menu. An alternative would be creating a white flag for non-matching job posts (wrong skills, low budget, etc.) and a black flag for marking TOS-violating posts.
  2. Flagged job posts remain posted and gather 50+ proposals before being removed (and God knows how many links are opened during that time).

 

I recommend creating a pool of “trusted flaggers” who have the privilege to suspend the job posting (remove it from the search results, until it is moderated). Here’s how you fill the pool:

  • Each flagging is checked by an Upwork moderator.
  • If the moderator deletes the flagged post – the person, who flagged it right, gets a +1.
  • Each person, who gathers 100 correctly flagged posts, gets into the pool.
  • Each incorrectly flagged job post gets that person out of the pool, and he/she needs another 100 of those “brownie” points to get back in.
  • 3 strikes and you're out of the pool.

 

That's quite an idea, if I do say so myself.

Do you agree? Write your standardized reply below, I will be happy to know, that the UW team is going to hear about it!

 

And to all you Freelancers reading: 

Do you flag sketchy job postings? Or is it not in your profile description? 

Brag about your good deeds here, or leave your ideas for improvement. I will be happy to read them.

 

10 REPLIES 10
ashrafkhan81
Community Member

That's never going to happen! A few months ago, when there were a lot of spam or scam jobs, few others suggested this, but nothing happened! And I do not think it will ever happen!

Thank you for your input! 

I didn't know, that this idea was voiced already. 

 

I wonder, what would the moderators suggest?

There are sometimes up to 100 jobs posted, with the same phrasing or the same fraudulent link.

 

Would it be better to post a topic on the forum? 

Maybe we should have a whole topic dedicated to posting scam posts, in order for them to be removed ASAP. 

Hi Pavlo,

 

Thank you for your message. I'm not aware of any plans to allow a group of users remove or hide jobs by flagging them. If there are any changes or updates, we'll share them with the Community. Meanwhile, rest assured that our Trust & Safety team doesn't only address user flags but also has multiple efforts to identify scam and spam proactively.

 

Upwork
paywell
Community Member

Pradeep, that is fantastic. Thank you very much!

martina_plaschka
Community Member

My experience: I used to flag job postings diligently, but I've stopped doing that during the dark times of the great scam avalance - I think it was beginning of this year. There were just too many. It got really aggravating when I received a handful of scam invites a day. 

Upwork has become much better at tackling the scam problem, and I don't receive spam invites any longer - which is pretty much the only thing I care about. I'm not going to do upwork's work for free, I can spot a scam in a millisecond, I don't care about the scammers any longer. I care more about the fraudulent freelancers that defraud clients, ask for advance payments, never do any work, copy other's profiles, post fake jobs, ask for introduction videos from other freelancer to pretend it's them, post jobs to gain free connects. 

These people are the real problem, they alienate clients, which hurts all of us. 

Thank you for your feedback. I am glad to hear from a former diligent flagger, just like I am right now.

 

 

Although I get a “this is not part of my job description” vibe, I can totally get on board with that:

When you’re new and fresh on the platform, with the spirit of Freelance running strong in you, it’s like second nature to get into a flagging-spree, after seeing a scammy post.

 

And, with not all daily hours filled with work or private life, it’s easy to spend half an hour searching and flagging posts.

 

It’s like partaking in a charity event – good for you, good for the environment you’re in.

 

 

But, as you get more experienced and your every hour start to count, you get the feeling you’re being used for stuffing holes, left behind by people who get paid to keep a tight security in place.

And, what’s worse, whenever you see the same fraudulent link and/or description being used over and over again, gathering hundreds of proposals daily, although you have flagged that post yesterday (all 100+ of them, with no exaggeration!) the spirit of Freelance and charity, which kept you going, starts to slowly fade.

 

 

Very valuable experience you have shared, Martina!

 

I would really love to hear from UW moderators – maybe you can send a questionnaire to your scam-posting cleanup team to ask, what the most effective way of helping those guys would be?

 

What can we input into the comment box, while flagging, to get your attention / how do we signal a mass scam-post posting campaign?

 

Maybe a “pinned” forum topic “The Avengers of Freelancing” is in order?

 

 

Thank you guys for your continued effort!

Yeah I get the flagging crusade, but it gets tiring. Contrary to what other people believe, upwork has, IMO, done a lot against the scam posts, evidenced by my 1 person only experience. I'm sure the scammers have not gotten fewer in number. There are pop-ups, there is the Academy, there is a lot that they are doing to educate people. 

Why are there still daily reports of people getting scammed, or almost getting scammed? If they had done their homework, it would not happen. 

So these days my sympathy lies more with clients getting scammed by fraudulent freelancers. Check the client section for their stories. They are not fun to read. 

For every new lock on the market, there are thousands of shady lock pickers working on a method to pick it.

 

For every meticulously thought out and carefully implemented measure, there's a horde of immoral characters, attempting to "cheese the algorithm" with a countermeasure.

 

And no wonder - it's easy money for scammers, because the victims mostly cannot afford protection and most likely are haphazardly grasping at straws to get a job, with no time to learn. Which makes it sweeter for them - it's like stealing candy from a baby.

 

 

I agree, that a low level of education is at fault.


If somebody made a game, which would copy Upwork's interface, where you would have to run through a scenario of applying for a job and getting all the wrong replies a scammer can give you... And, to win the game, you would have to decline / flag those. That would be great.

 

As an analogy from nature: many creatures learn from games.

 


I don't know if you've noticed, but reading and transforming words into pictures / models of situations / practical knowledge is a far less common skill nowadays.


Therefore, for most, it is hard to make a connection between "Communicating outside of Upwork is a violation of TOS" and clicking a link, chatting on WApp and getting scammed.

 


A clearer connection has to be made in the Freelancers mind, to get the point across.

 

In my opinion, educating through play would be a great, modern way to introduce change in the matter we are discussing here.

 


By the way, I am visiting the Client's forum from time to time. It's quite gruesome, the stories I read.

I even replied to one recently:

Fake ** Freelancers 

spectralua
Community Member

I agree with idea for some "pool of “trusted flaggers”", etc.

Last two days i see scam jobpost "Simple typing and Retyping of Documents", it is posted ~each 15 min. Its a crazy. I think with freelancers help it can be stopped fast.

Also this freelancers can be rewarded with some label or free connects. I think many beginners will be involved in spam\scam hunting for connects.

luce-neidert
Community Member

I've been into total flagging day for 2 days now. I'm a translator, and the translating section is being inundated with various

 

. translation to different language (native translators)

. quick translation jobs (from English)

. PDF to MS word typing

and variations.

 

They all have in common that they are supposed to come from various parts of the world, but they are using the same time (one hour ahead of Paris time). It breaks my heart to see that some "clients" are interviewing 30 freelancers at a time. It means that many freelancers have lost connects to answer their phony job post.

 

When I flag the job, I use the option "JOB POST LOOKS LIKE A SCAM or contains a suspicious link". And yes, freelancers should be rewarded for flagging because it takes time and energy.

 

The good news is that one freelancer answered one PDF to MS word a few weeks ago and made an excellent video about what happened on YouTube. It's a tax scam. The "client" says he'll pay you once you have paid the tax (!!!) to him, some really dumb idea.

 

Anyway, I don't understand why Upwork doesn't block these people, I've flagged some 15 jobs today.

 

 

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