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High fees should filter out scams! Yes? No?

Ace Contributor
Kate W Member Since: Apr 15, 2016
1 of 41

I just got an invitation to interview sent to my email as an Upwork Notification that declared itsself to be a job "outside of Upwork." I won't bother with particulars because they always get edited out, effectively rendering any well-intentioned warning to other freelancers completely useless. 

 

This client had no history on Upwork, wanted me to contact them through Google Hangouts with a verification ID number. They described a simple Data Entry Clerk/Customer Service, Accounting Clerk,Administrative Assistant, Payroll and Medical billing work from home... Whatchamahuh??? The short version of the job description was something about developing and maintaining a database system, so, data entry, I guess. But it's not so much the hokey job description that bothers me. It's the fact that the sender specifically and prominently noted that this job was outside Upwork

 

I have seen a bazillion posts the the community about such things. Some are much more slick and convincing, and freelancers have been screwed out of time and money. But this one said it right in the message! At first I thought maybe I was being set up, because if I'd accepted it, I'd owe Upwork a hefty fine.

 

So, hey Upwork! How come you don't do anything to keep clearly labeled scams out of the notification system? Don't you think you could get some message FILTERS set up? Or would that mean you'd have to raise fees to 30%? 

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 41

Yup - were you offered medical insurance and all the other benefits that don't exist in any country in the whole world?

 

I reported one about 12 hours ago and it is still up and the 'client' is still online on Upwork.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 41

I don't think that higher fees (leading, potentially, to higher billing) will directly filter out scam artists. Where I think it will help is that if the higher fees are in fact part of an effort to move Upwork upmarket and that effort is successful, then there will be fewer desperate freelancers on the site. Scam artists tend to target those who are in great need of money in the short term, as it makes them more likely to overlook red flags and take chances. So, if Upwork becomes seen as a place where you aren't likely to find that prime market for scammers, the scammers will likely focus their efforts elsewhere.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 41

Tiffany, I find that insulting. I received an invitation this morning from one of these scammers. I have no control over the invitations I receive. So to assume that they target needy, begging freelancers is out of line.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 41

@Nichola L wrote:

Tiffany, I find that insulting. I received an invitation this morning from one of these scammers. I have no control over the invitations I receive. So to assume that they target needy, begging freelancers is out of line.


I think you misunderstood my point, Nichola. They frequent platforms and websites where they expect to find such victims.

 

Obviously, they aren't spending the time to review individual profiles and ensure that they only message those who are inexperienced, seeking low rates, etc. It's a numbers game.

 

If the general perception is that there are hundreds of thousands of desperate people here, scammers will come.

 

If the general perception is that the vast majority of freelancers here are seasoned professionals who are unlikely to fall prey to their schemes, they're likely to focus their efforts elsewhere. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 41

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

Tiffany, I find that insulting. I received an invitation this morning from one of these scammers. I have no control over the invitations I receive. So to assume that they target needy, begging freelancers is out of line.


I think you misunderstood my point, Nichola. They frequent platforms and websites where they expect to find such victims.

 

Obviously, they aren't spending the time to review individual profiles and ensure that they only message those who are inexperienced, seeking low rates, etc. It's a numbers game.

 

If the general perception is that there are hundreds of thousands of desperate people here, scammers will come.

 

If the general perception is that the vast majority of freelancers here are seasoned professionals who are unlikely to fall prey to their schemes, they're likely to focus their efforts elsewhere. 


No, I do not misunderstand.

 

The scammers will still come, because Upwork's algorithm will allow them to. viz. my 'invitation' this morning. The 'vast majority' of freelancers these days are not seasoned freelancers, and Upwork can never give this perception, because it accepts thousands of freelancers daily, who give the lie to it.



Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 41

@Nichola L wrote:

No, I do not misunderstand.

 

The scammers will still come, because Upwork's algorithm will allow them to. viz. my 'invitation' this morning. The 'vast majority' of freelancers these days are not seasoned freelancers, and Upwork can never give this perception, because it accepts thousands of freelancers daily, who give the lie to it.


Yes, but (as I said), my comment was based on the possible outcome if the fee increase had been part of an effort to move upmarket and that move was successful.

 

If in fact those things happened, then it would not be accepting thousands of freelancers daily who gave lie to the impression that it was a place for professionals, because it would be. 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 41

@Nichola L wrote:

....The 'vast majority' of freelancers these days are not seasoned freelancers, and Upwork can never give this perception, because it accepts thousands of freelancers daily, who give the lie to it.


I'm not so sure about "never," NIchola.

 

Upwork may indeed be accepting thousands of freelancers daily. Official policy statements confirmed by plenty of anecdotal evidence in the fora indicate they are rejecting quite a few applicants (in addition to the existing accounts purged in recent years).

 

Best,

MIchael

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
9 of 41

@Nichola L wrote:

Tiffany, I find that insulting. I received an invitation this morning from one of these scammers. I have no control over the invitations I receive. So to assume that they target needy, begging freelancers is out of line.


Nichola, I too tend to agree with Tiffany on this and I don't think you should feel insulted at all. Some scammers may just use a wide net approach, not paying any attention to who they're inviting but rather counting on the volumes. But in the overall it is true they mostly hount newbies and desperate people.

 

But in the overall it is true that they mostly hunt newbies and desperate people.

 

If Upwork somehow manages to get rid of those, it may have a collateral effect on the scammers' success.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Ace Contributor
Kate W Member Since: Apr 15, 2016
10 of 41

@Rene K wrote:

 

But in the overall it is true that they mostly hunt newbies and desperate people.

If Upwork somehow manages to get rid of those, it may have a collateral effect on the scammers' success.


 If by "desperate people" you mean those freelancers who underbid jobs by 90%, yes, they need to go. But Upwork is not doing anything about them either.

 

 Now, about wanting to get rid of "newbies"---can you explain how that would be a good thing? Is that what Upwork is trying to do by raising its rates on small jobs?

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