I am really new to Upwork. I have applied to 7 seven jobs so far, and I have 3 active candidacies. Only 1 out of 3 that actually seems real. The other 2 asked me to email them (and I did), and after that 1 of them somehow changed the job entirely, so I stopped talking to him.
The other one, who is a new member to Upwork, sent me a message, saying that I am hired without actually hiring me on Upwork. He asked me to reply to his email along with my preferred payment method. He also wants me to visit a website that will monitor my working hour, instead of using Upwork Team. Now I am wondering, what does the employer see on my profile? Can't he see my payment method? Also, aren't these employers given basic guidance by Upwork (like making use of Upwork Team)? Do they have a button to click which will turn my candidacy status to "hired"?
If anyone can help, I will really appreciate it
If a client offers to transact payment outside of upwork, the possibility of it being a scam is fairly high. If it is somehow a legit client (who actually pays) but offers a different monitoring and payment method outside of upwork then you and client are violating upwork guidelines.
I'm glad you decided to seek advice from our Community before making a mistake and disintermediating. You are exactly right, these jobs do appear to be very questionable, at best. You should only receive payments through the Upwork platform. Paying and receiving payment outside Upwork is against our policy and carries a penalty for all parties involved. This policy is there to keep our marketplace secure and to protect both Freelancers and Clients. Please do click the "Flag as inappropriate" link on the job post and on the client's profile page to put it in front of us for review.
Please note that you should definitely not do any work until you've been awarded a job and funding is in place.
If you communicate with your clients via email or by any other means outside Upwork, our advice is to copy all the files and communication into the Message Center after every conversation/chat, and ask your clients for acknowledgement, in order to keep a record in case a problem arises.
Please have a look at the valuable info in the Getting Started as a Freelancer section of the Hep Center, to get a better understanding of our procedures. I also advise reading the best practice advice shared by other users in following threads:
Sorry, but I disagree. The fact that their payment method isn't verified doesn't have to mean anything.
Imagine they came to the site for the first time (or had posted one or two jobs in the past for which they didn't find anyone). Personally, I wouldn't give any of my financial details until I have actually found someone to work on the project I posted, and would only set up the financial aspects once I am about to hire that person.
I have worked for clients who had unverified payment methods on several occasions. Usually what I do once we get to the point right before they set up the contract (after discussing certain aspects of the project), I write a paragraph saying that I am sorry to mention it, but that their payment method isn't verified, and if they please do that before the start of the contract. If they originally stated that it is a fixed-price contract, I make a suggestion for milestones or suggest alternatively to do an hourly contract with a limit of hours so that the total sum equals the fixed price we agreed on.
Sure, scam clients exist. But there are also many who come here for the first time (or haven't used the site in ages), and a "direct but polite" way of explaining how things are supposed to work by the freelancers helps both parties, and, in my opinion, also adds to the client's impression that the freelancer they are about to hire knows what he/she is doing, which is ultimately business.
I'll be very short - FORGET IT and continue to look for real jobs here!
P.S. Since you're new this might help in the future - https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Job-warning-signs/td-p/21467