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How can I spot a fake client?

Active Member
Manish C Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
1 of 9

I am fairly new to Upwork. I've had some luck and a few clients, but I am still quite new, so forgive me if my questions sounds dumb.

 

I went through the forums and saw a few posts where people were talking about fake clients. One even mentioned that a freelancers account was suspended becuase he worked for a Fake client.

 

What is a Fake client? How can we, as freelancers. spot a fake client? If I unknowingly work for a fake client - will I get suspended? 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
Community Leader
HB B Member Since: Aug 9, 2015
3 of 9

Thanks for posting that link, Petra. A lot of good information.

 

I've noticed the following a few times for translation jobs, where the client asks me to complete a multi-page translation as a "sample" to prove my skills!

 

Too many people being interviewed This can be a sign that the buyer is dividing the job up and giving the various parts as a 'test' to applicants...with the intention of getting the job for free. 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 9

@HB B wrote:

Thanks for posting that link, Petra. A lot of good information.

 

I've noticed the following a few times for translation jobs, where the client asks me to complete a multi-page translation as a "sample" to prove my skills!


 YES! I don't do test translations, unless I am paid for them, in which case I cheerfully do.

Active Member
Ivo V Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
5 of 9

If someone offers you "test job" than just simply tell him : "Okay, I will do test job, please change the weekly limit to 5 hours. So if you like my work then increase the limit to full time or whatever." I think that in this situation you will avoid unnessesary situation and you will see if the client is serious or not. If he disagree it is not worth trying to work for him.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
6 of 9

Manish, you should not worry too much about doing work for a fake client and getting your own freelancer account suspended for it. That is a very rare outcome, and would usually be only because the freelancer was intentionally violating one or more Upwork policy (such as agreeing to get paid off platform).

 

The more common concerns with "fake" clients is that they waste your time and steal (or attempt to steal) your one of the following from you:

- your time

- your money

- your identity information

 

Often we refer to them as "scammers." Simply being a little bit "fake" with regards to their identity isn't usually a problem. If a client says his name is "Bill" but his name is really "William" or "George", that's typically NOT a problem.

 

The problem is with clients who are "fake" because they aren't really intending to pay you, or they're not intending to pay you as promised. You can spot these people if you simply use common sense.


If a "client" wants you to pay them, rather than the other way around, they're a scammer.

If you need to pay some kind of free or buy something in order to work for them, they're a scammer.

If they want you to work before having an official Upwork contract in place, they're a scammer.

If they want you to do a "test job" or submit "sample work" without getting paid for it, they're a scammer.

 

If you have a question abou a client, then post your question here in the Community Forum. We'll be able to provide you with quick guidance.

Active Member
Manish C Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
7 of 9

Thanks Preston. I was a little worried after reading posts about people getting suspended. I've been lucky to come across very nice clients so far but I'll look out for the danger signs you mentioned. I am usually very careful in submitting proposals. In the first few days I trying copy pasting my proposals but that didn't work but when I started analyzing my propective clients' requirements and carefully crafting my proposals I started getting a good response. It's been a great experience so far (apart from the frequent site outages). Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Active Member
Jodi V Member Since: Sep 24, 2015
8 of 9

Is this one for real?

 

Client: **edited for Community Guidelines**

 

This person gave me an email with Michael in the email address and signed off as "Matthew" 

 

Shady?  

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 9

Hi Jodi,

 

There is a chance that the company that is interviewing you has an owner and a hiring manager and you have spoken with both of them. I would, however, suggest you check this thread before doing any job for the client. Do not do any work for the client before there is an active contract and their payment method is verified.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
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