@Dilip T wrote:
We have been working with Elance as an agency for over 9 years and on Upwork for the last 6 months. The transition has not been easy and the pain continues.
While this is quite embarrassing to put down, but I am still doing it to ensure that others dont fall for the same scam.
One of our Business Development Managers was awarded a project to develop an app from a client named **Edited for Community Guidelines**. The job was to reskin an app, setup the backend and test the app from provided code. Not being a very large job, we quoted a certain amount which the client approved. But she asked as to add on $5000 to the project as she said that it was her earning for project management and acquiring the project. Since the project was happening on Upwork Escrow, we agreed. She wanted her share paid via paypal or skrill. She funded 50% of the project and then we sent over her amount via skrill. We worked on the project and sent her updates, and she responded for a few days on skype. Then all communication stopped. Within 2 weeks we get a notification from Upwork that the project is put on hold as the client has raised a dispute. Soon after we are informed that the bank has reversed the charges to Upwork, so upwork put a freeze on our withdrawals and was going to recover that amount from our Upwork account. So we are now down about $3500 as a result of this scam.
We complained to upwork and they put up their hands. They say that they cannot do anything in case the bank reverses the charges. They asked us to follow up with the client. Not sure where this is going to go as the client ofcourse is not responding. Being in a different country, it is close to impossible to take this up legally without the support of Upwork.
Please remember that many banks will reverse charges
Again the reason for me to put this up is to bring this to the notice of other providers / vendors on Upwork, so that they don’t fall for the same scam.
Please share wherever you feel it might it might help.
Probably the client paid with a stolen credit card and I am sure her name is not the real name of this person. I have flagged some job offers where clients are looking for somebody to set up credit card accounts for them.
It looks like the funds for the contract in question were reversed due to an issue with the transaction. For more information please check article 6.4 of the User Agreement and the replies our team posted on your ticket.
I understand your frustration but I can't share any more information about your contract in the Community.
re: "So we are now down about $3500 as a result of this scam."
I commend you for sharing the details of your encounter and for taking responsibility for your actions. Clearly this was a case in which two parties were to blame for the financial loss... The scammer and the mark. But you're not running from that and you understand that It wasn't Upwork's fault, and you understand that you won't get the money back.
Although you made mistakes, I admire how you are accepting things.
And, yeah... The "no payments outside of the Upwork platform" isn't there just because Upwork is greedy. It provides genuine protection from a number of problems.
I hate to say it, but this is an ancient scam. There were plenty of warning signs, and you ignored all of them. Your money is gone. Perhaps you will take this as an (expensive) lesson.
Further, you conducted part of the transaction outside of Upwork, and as such, they do not owe you any protection or mediation.
Thanks for Sharing this.
As I went through your post , It occured to me that freelancers should learn the following golden rules -
1. Never , ever pad up your bills even when encouraged to do so by a client or representative.
This will leave little or no room for off platform settlements or maneuvers.
2. Once an agreement has been reached on the platform , never , ever wire funds to a client/contractor outside of the platform - what ever happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas (?)
3. If you have been scammed , it is good to share , you never know whose business or career you can help when you share your experience.
Sorry about your experience Dilip , but thanks for sharing same. I hope the issue gets resolved.
Dilip, I appreciate what you shared with us, but please note that your actions, even if you were not scammed, most likely would have constituted to commercial bribery (which is illegal in quite a few countries including the US and India, though in India I understand only recipient of commercial bribe is prosecuted) and/or assistance to tax avoidance.