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4de36e0d
Community Member

How to identify fake clients or cheap clients.

1. What are things to identify fake clients by looking at the proposals?

2. How to identify fake or cheap clients and deal with them during the work in progress?

20 REPLIES 20
d26d5d29
Community Member

Never connect with a client that immediately wants to communicate out side of Upwork, never send personal information, check how many jobs they have posted and completed on Upwork, look at what money they have spent here. Usually a waste of time to send proposals to any post that doesn't at least have payment verified status.

 

Try finding jobs that have very few proposals, I never apply to anything with over 10 submitted proposals.

"I never apply to anything with over 10 submitted proposals"

Initially that's what I did that as well; unfortunately few projects are left. It appears there's an application-bot that generates some 20-50 proposals within 1 hour of a project being published. My strategy is, ignore that number of proposals submitted, look at the fee the potential client is willing to pay. And increase the # connects you're using. If I'm interested I easily triple the minimum # connects (I have submitted proposals for 40 connects; I can do that because I don't take jobs shorter than a week or below 5k)

9d5ba08a
Community Member

To followup on the same topic: if the client accepted the proposal and I received emails to complete an online interview, passed, then receive additional information confirming the payments will be done via upwork but the job listing is now removed from upwork and all email is being communicated via my personal email account and not here at UW.... is this a red flag to watch for? 

That's going to be a scam. You must have given them your email, Upwork does not share your private email address with clients.

With the job removed, you would be very unlikely to get payed.

Good to know. The message came from upwork originally stating replay back to another email account to get started with the interview. I definitely fell for it and send via my personal email account. Now when I click on the upwork messages, I do not see any there. - Definitely a spam. Thank you so much for saving me before I went forward with them 

d26d5d29
Community Member

I have never been sent an email like that, I always get an email and notification for an interview here, then I'm messaging with the client through Upwork. Glad to see you asked here, before proceeding.

Thank you so much for saving me

You're welcome, no problem at all.

I've only been on here for a couple of months, but I'm having much better results only sending proposals to more specialized jobs, with 0-5 or 5-10 proposals after the job has been posted for a few hours. I've applied to new job posts minutes after they were posted, just to see it hit 20-50 proposals in an hour.

so true, those 50 proposals

spectralua
Community Member

Cheap\greedy client in many cases will be real client. ๐Ÿ‘

ajbj2012
Community Member

We must first determine whether the payment method is legitimate before moving on to the next stage. Ignore the client if he asks for personal details. Don't accept the client's request to do an assignment that is not through Upwork. Clients frequently request to share information via Google Forms, but subsequently disregard the form and attempt to use solely the Upwork site. Check the job's cost as well; if it is fixed, you can disregard it.

 

rabbiaabbasi
Community Member

Really helpful article.. thanks for sharing

d9fc6d8d
Community Member

Common sense is the best weapon anyone has in their arsenal.

8467c28e
Community Member

Hi Raheel,

 

Upwork is an excellent platform for connecting clients and freelancers, and they continually work on improving their security and user experience. However, it is still important to remain cautious when identifying potential clients. Here are some tips to help you identify fake or cheap clients and deal with them effectively:

 

1. Identifying fake clients by looking at proposals:


a. Incomplete or vague job descriptions: Fake clients may provide inadequate or unclear job details, so keep an eye out for this.

b. New accounts with no hiring history: While not always a red flag, be cautious with clients who have a new account and no previous hires or feedback.

c. Low budget or unrealistic deadlines: Extremely low budgets or tight deadlines could indicate a fake or cheap client.

d. Asking for free work: If a client requests a sample or test work without payment, this may be a red flag.

e. Poor communication: Fake clients might have poor language skills, be unresponsive, or unprofessional in their interactions.

 

2. Dealing with fake or cheap clients during work in progress:


a. Communication: Maintain open and clear communication with the client to better understand their expectations and identify any issues.

b. Upwork's tools: Use Upwork's features like milestones and escrow to ensure that your work is protected and payments are released as agreed upon.
c. Trust your instincts: If something feels off about a client, don't hesitate to reach out to Upwork's support team for assistance.
d. Set boundaries: Be assertive about your rates and scope of work, and avoid being pressured into accepting lower compensation or added tasks.
e. Maintain professionalism: Keep interactions professional and respectful, even if you suspect a client may be fake or cheap.

 

Upwork is an excellent platform with a range of tools and resources to help protect freelancers and clients alike. By staying vigilant and utilizing the platform's features, you can better identify and deal with any potential fake or cheap clients.

 

If you ever have any concerns or need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to Upwork's support team. They are always there to help ensure your experience on the platform is a positive one.

the-right-writer
Community Member

Read through this post from community member Wes.

You need to look at the warning signs. If the job is too good to be true, it is. If someone wants you outside of Upwork before a contract is in place, it is a scam.

 

There are many scams on Upwork, and no one, including Upwork, will protect you. You must protect yourself, and the best way is through knowledge. Just read through the forum for posts from freelancers who have lost a great deal of money.

 

When vetting clients, you need to look at the complete picture. Eliminating clients because of no job history or no verified payment will cut out a lot of good clients. As long as they fund the job before work begins, there is no issue. Vague job descriptions are the norm on Upwork, and it doesn't mean the job is not legitimate, nor does not having verified payment. Cheap clients with low budgets are a part of Upwork and don't mean the job is a fake. Tight deadlines are fairly common. I recently had a job that needed to be done within 36 hours, was not verified at the beginning and was a great client. They paid promptly, and the client was very nice.

 

If you are working with a cheap client, you had to know that going into the contract. It's different if the client is requesting more work. Finish the job and learn from your mistake. Provide honest but polite feedback. If the client is demanding more work for the same contract, tell them no, you need another contract.

 

The usual way freelancers learn it's a scammer is when they want you outside of Upwork before a contract is in place.

 

 

fe9b8d82
Community Member

My personal criteria for spotting cheap or not serious clients:

1. Unverified status.  Too lazy to get verified, you're probably too lazy to hire someone too.
2. History of cheap payments to previous freelancers - clients with stupidly low payment rates aren't suddenly going to open their wallet and pay my fees for legal services.
3. Low hire rate.  Hiring rates of 20-30% doesn't look like they're that serious about finding someone on Upwork.  (I'm aware that they probably post on other platforms too, but low hire rates are a warning to me.)
4. Language in the job description that states things like "This should be an easy job" or "This should only take 1 hour."  If it's so easy and short, then you do it.
5. Anyone who says "Type this secret word in your application to make sure you read it all."  (You're looking for an attorney, not a trained monkey.)
6. Extremely poor writing skills.  If your job post reads like graffiti on a bathroom wall, and you couldn't be bothered to use a spell checker, I doubt you're serious about hiring a professional.
7. Anyone who asks for a sample up front. (Please send a sample of a similar contract with your application.)
8. People who try to bargain my rates down.  I quote a rate, either you pay it or you don't.  If I bid an hourly job and you suddenly then come back with a demand for a flat rate bid, we're done here.

9. Anyone who insists on my contact info before a contract is in place.  (Yes, let me risk my lucrative freelancer sideline so you can "verify" that I'm a licensed attorney.)

10. Clients who can't clearly explain what they need done.  If you're talking to a prospective client in chat and they can't answer your basic questions about what they want done, and explain the scope of work, as well as the deliverable, then you're just opening yourself up to scope creep and someone who will expect the solar system, but only be willing to pay for a small asteroid.

These are the majority of my criteria.  They've worked for me, and I've found some absolutely amazing clients, have gotten 100% JSS and am top rated plus.  Your mileage may vary, and you may not agree with some (or any of these) criteria.  

4de36e0d
Community Member

I just have a cheap client that's why I asked these questions. I have submitted the work and now he is not replying and not releasing the payment and the job is only $5.

Fake clients we see on daily bases even verified clients with the payment history used to post a job and then never came back to see how many proposals were posted or who have boosted for double the connects the job actually needs. And the job remains open till the end of the world.

Didn't realize the topic is that much hot ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜ฅ.

You have contract, right? Submit milestone then you will receive your $5 after 14 days.

rayhan_gazi
Community Member

Do not apply to this client posts who do not verify the  payment method

Do not rely on verified payment to determine if the client is legitimate. Verified payment means nothing. The verification process means Upwork runs three tiny, reversible charges to test the validity of the card. However, if the card number is stolen, it may not be reported, so it appears to be legitimate. Then, the owner discovers the theft, and the bank cancels the card, reversing any charges. So, you can see that verified payment means absolutely nothing.

 

The key to dealing with legitimate clients is to get good at vetting the potential clients. You have to look at the big picture and consider everything you see and what you don't. Make sure the client funds the escrow for fixed or hourly before any work is done.

 

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