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How to know if my client is legit

Active Member
Paul M Member Since: Dec 3, 2014
1 of 28

Can anyone tell me how to check my client? Or if your client gave you a contract, does it mean that i'll get paid for sure. 

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
2 of 28

I know fixed price contracts doesn't guarantee payment but I think hourly ones do (provided you're above a certain activity level)


There's a post somewhere here which helps root out those 'scammers'.


Do the basic checks (finance, feedback, hire rate, etc...) Also, if it's a new client offer a fixed-contract, and you feel your credibility is a lot higher, you can ask for frequent milestones and upfront payments. 


So if someone wanted to pay $200 for a 10,000 e-book. Ask to pay an upfront payment for 1,000 word milestones.


Soon enough, you start to recognise the illegitimate clients.


Hope this helped!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 28

The main way to know if a client is legit is if they pay you money.


I work for clients who have no established track record at all, no previous jobs, no paper trail, etc., but they pay me, so all is well. But I didn't do a large amount of work for such clients up front. I took their job, and broke it down into smaller pieces, did the first piece, and made sure I was paid in a timely and professional way.


Then I moved on to doing bigger projects with them, after establishing trust.


So just to be clear, yes, I am the contractor. And yes, I pretty much always set up test jobs for clients. I'm evaluating the quality of the client, and if they don't measure up, I will "fire" them by not working for them.

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
4 of 28

Hi Paul,


Lyam and Preston both gave great advice and I would just like to add some bits more. Clients can have no track record at all or have all 5 stars but the only real way to know if they are legit is to do a test job with them, just like Preston said. The reason for this is because sometimes, established clients turn rogue for some reason, perhaps feeling invincible but this is very rare.


For your peace of mind, make sure to do some background check by seeing what past projects they've had, what other freelancers have to say about them and very important - how they treat people. You can check the last one by evaluating how they communicate with you and reading what feedback they left for previous hires. 


For more info, here is a link to the freelancer resource centre and here's the downloadable oDesk freelancer manual. 


Please do read this forum post about getting your first job on oDesk. It is full of great insights. 


All the best!

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Active Member
Kris Ian Gabriel B Member Since: Aug 4, 2015
5 of 28

 May I asked? What if the employer hired me directly with out taking any test or evaluate me and doesent have contract given?


This is the Employer's message..


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 28

Kris, it's a scam.


Reporting the blogger blog but not sure it will get taken down, but I can always try!

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 28

Hi Kris,


I'm glad you decided to seek advice from our Community before making a mistake and disintermediating. 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. We do ask our members to report job posts and clients offering direct payments either by flagging them, or directly to Customer Support.

Community Guru
Oreofe J Member Since: May 8, 2015
8 of 28

Kris, if your instincts tell you something is wrong , then take my word for it the best thing to do is what you are doing now - begin to do some due dilegence and do it fast.



Some one or two pointers to know if you are being setup.


1. Your instincts tell you it is a setup

2.Client asks for 'freework' up front.

3. Has a record of high job post but very few conversions ( or none) to projects.

4. Tries to ask if he can pay you outside the platform ( That my friend , is a big red flag.)

5. Begins to give excuses that sound flimsy to both of you or does not communicate as often as he/she should.

6. Again you instincts tell you everything is going south.


Fortunately there are very decent clients/consultants on this platform so there is no need to get paranoid.


And like the exprienced contributors have said , you get a feel for timewasters as you mature on the platform and politely decline 'indencent proposals' and move on.


If on .the other hand you have been 'lead on' or scammed , there is no need to get into a rut over it. It happens to the best of us. Just make sure you move on.


Wishing you the best

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 28

Kris, it is perfectly fine for a client to hire you quickly, without an interview and without making you take "tests."


It is not okay for a client to hire you without an Upwork contract, or hire you and offer to pay you in some way that is outside the Upwork system.

Active Member
regine v Member Since: Aug 10, 2015
10 of 28

Hi I'm a newbie here in Upwork and today I just received 1 active candidacies, now the client told me that I will be paid but I need to email him , He gave me alot of intsructions about my job with him and he gave me 2 websites to log in he provided me a username and pasword, but then when I opened the links I there's a warning that I am going to browse outside outwork, is this a scam ? Need help here thanks a lot! Godbless!