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kiannak
Community Member

How can you tell a job posting is a scam?

I'm new here and received two interview requests for jobs I did not apply for, nor am I really qualified for. They were the Google Hangout interview jobs that I researched here and found to be a scam. Reported and declined.

 

However, when I went to the job postings for these to report them, there was no indication to me that it was a scam. They seemed like absolute legitimate job postings making no mention of Google Hangouts or Intel they claim to be with. How do I recognize these in the job feed and avoid applying for these scam jobs? How many scams really are on Upwork? I'm starting to be concerned that perhaps more job postings are scams than not.

11 REPLIES 11
bokiit
Community Member

Hi Kianna, 

i'm using Upwork for over a 2 years now and never saw a potentialy "scam" job. However, every offer from a client to work outside of Upwork can be classified as a scam (probably not a scam, just less safe and protected you will be). Having an interview at Google Hangousts is perfectly normal thing. 
Don't ever pay for a anything to the client, don't buy stuff for them, don't login to any given links buy the client with your personal information, don't provide your bank account etc.. Just stay within the Upwork patfrom and you'll be good. 

Best of luck!

petra_r
Community Member

Is it real?Is it real?

 


@Bojan A wrote:


1) However, every offer from a client to work outside of Upwork can be classified as a scam (probably not a scam, just less safe and protected you will be).

2) Having an interview at Google Hangousts is perfectly normal thing. 


 1) WORKING outside Upwork is fine as long as PAYMENT is done within Upwork. Accepting payment outside of Upwork is a ToS violation which will get you banned. It is a "scam" as it scams Upwork out of their fee.

 

2) New freelancer and Google Hangout Interview = Scam. Simple as that.

I have never had an interview on Hangouts. Who does that? (Other than scammers.)

 

 

bokiit
Community Member

1) Working outside of Upwork is ok, sure, I ment the payments out side of Upwork.  My apologies. 

2) Had 2 hangout interviews - 2 times got the job. Both last for 5-10 minutes.  One of them is still my 40+ hours job ( after 18 months ). 
I spoke over the phone ( personal phone ) with a potential client. Leggett offer but I was not happy with the given hours. I used the chat, email, ZOOM ( same as Hangouts). 
So I would still say that interview over ANY communication tool (app) is ok as long as you keep your personal info to your self and do the time logging and the payments through Upwork. 

Thanks. 

Great flowchart!

 

You forgot the one where the "client" wants you to create 100 accounts on Amazon, Ebay, etc., for them to use. They are asking you to lie to create the accounts. That is also a scam. I have seen at least 2 of those in the last month.

 

"Scam" is a judgment call. If it seems odd or questionable, skip it. If it is obviously a scam, flag it.


@John R wrote:

Great flowchart!

 

You forgot the one where the "client" wants you to create 100 accounts on Amazon, Ebay, etc., for them to use. They are asking you to lie to create the accounts. That is also a scam. I have seen at least 2 of those in the last month.

 


 Those are an actual violation of the terms of service. Flag and it'll get removed.

If I included ALL possible things you'd still be scrolling down by Christmas ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

hardeep_p
Community Member

Hi Kianna,

Welcome aboard! unfortunately, there is no legitimate way to find whether the job is real or scam, but you can  pay attention to few things while applying, like payment method, fake jobs usually don't have a verified payment method, and if the client is old you can check his feedback and if it is good you can proceed and if the client is new, just read the job post carefully before applying and if you find something unreasonable or suspicious, you can just raise the flag and Upwork will take care of the rest.

Hope this help and best of luck.

Thank you Hardeep, this is the exact answer I was looking for! I understand how to recognize scams after the fact, but was hoping to learn how to avoid them before even spending time applying for a job. Especially after noticing the two scams I had today had perfectly legitimate looking job postings which contained no red flags to me.

 

And it seems that there are soo many new and unverified payment job postings but I do know to be hesitant of those vs. someone with verified payments and reviews. Thanks again for the response!

irena-
Community Member

From my experience, fact that someone has not verified their payment method doesn't have to imply that it's an untrusted client/job offer. Personally, I (although seldomly) apply to such jobs if there's something about them that really interests me and fits my skill set. During the interview phase I gave the client links to how to set up a verified payment method and they did so, relatively quickly, and I got those jobs and had a good experience.

 

With unverified method of payment I look at the following - when did the client join (if recently then it can make sense), how many jobs they posted (better if this is the first one or in case more exist they are posted around the same time) and the job description (now this can be tricky - I prefer well-detailed job descriptions because that should indicate the person is really looking to get the job done and knows what needs to be done, but it could also be a fellow freelancer just fishing for good cover letters).

 

With verified payment, look BEYOND their star-rating, actually do the work and read the feedback they got. If they left a bad feedback to someone go to that freelancer's profile and see what the client said about them (if the freelancer's profile no longer exists that could mean your client was not wrong), look at their hiring rate (the higher the better). Also, not less important, look at how much they pay (average hr rate and amount spent on how many contracts) to get an idea of whether you have a match between what they want and offer and what you deem your work is worth.

 

Also, a hint for when you are contemplating what rate to offer and worry you might scare them off - check out some previous job posts they posted and how much the job post offered and what they ended up paying that freelancer - it could give you a relatively accurate estimate of how much they're willing to "budge" and pay for quality.

 

Hope this helps! I know having all of this listed in one place would've helped me when I started out ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Cheers!

kiannak
Community Member

Irena, thank you so much for all the wonderful advice! I will refer back to your response often when considering future jobs.

 

One question - is it a red flag if they have unverified payment AND just joined? I was looking at one job today who had just joined today. The posting had a short, not detailed job description. To me, I looked at it as a red flag that they just joined today, especially in combination with being unverified and a vague description.

irena-
Community Member

Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

 

As for your question - I wouldn't say it's a red flag, it's one of those things you can't be sure about. The new client + unverified payment don't have to be that scary, you can leave it for a day or two and see if they are interviewing people (which still doesn't prove it's a serious client) and if they maybe verified their payment in the meantime. Stuff that ticks it off for me here is a vague description - I avoid those job posts, unless you can clearly see that client has a good track record of successful projects completed.

 

What you really need to think about, especially when you are just starting out and feel the need to land new jobs (even badly ๐Ÿ™‚ ) is whether it is worth spending connects on. If you are able to find other jobs that you like, with verified payment and a more decent description - I would go with those.

 

I spent way too many connects when I started out because I really wanted to start working, so try to avoid that mistake and apply to stuff that a) are something you can do, b) seem legit, and c) are something you are likely to land (you might have a lot of experience up to now but some clients just look at your experience on the platform).

nkocendova
Community Member

Hi Kianna,

In addition to what others have suggested, you can also check out this thread for tips on avoiding suspicious jobs and scams.

Upwork has over 17 million registered users and thousands of projects are posted daily on our platform. As such, despite the many tools we have in place to detect these sorts of issues, they do still occur from time to time but we will continue to use our best efforts to keep our marketplace safe. Thanks!

~Nina
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