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I can't tell if this is suspicious

e_helps
Active

New to this UpWork freelnacing thing and had my first interview and got hired for a job that I think to be suspicious.

 

The following are reasons as to why I think they are suspcious:

 

-asked me to have a interview/breifing on Google Hangout. So create username or use one that I already have.

-during the interview chat on Hangout they asked a few questions that I thought were actually good interview questions and then right away hired me

-said they will send a cheque to me to purchase office supplies and also a signing bonus 

-they also said that they will send me a W4 form and that I have to fill it out and send it back 

-client has only been on UpWork about a week and payment method not verfied

 

Does anyone have any insight on this??

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
versailles
Community Guru

@Erika H wrote:

 

Does anyone have any insight on this??


 All those newbies that were scammed this way.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

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10 REPLIES 10
versailles
Community Guru

@Erika H wrote:

 

Does anyone have any insight on this??


 All those newbies that were scammed this way.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Anonymous User
Not applicable
This widget could not be displayed.

@Erika H wrote:

New to this UpWork freelnacing thing and had my first interview and got hired for a job that I think to be suspicious.

 

The following are reasons as to why I think they are suspcious:

 

-asked me to have a interview/breifing on Google Hangout. So create username or use one that I already have.

-during the interview chat on Hangout they asked a few questions that I thought were actually good interview questions and then right away hired me

-said they will send a cheque to me to purchase office supplies and also a signing bonus 

-they also said that they will send me a W4 form and that I have to fill it out and send it back 

-client has only been on UpWork about a week and payment method not verfied

 

Does anyone have any insight on this??

________________

Scam - scam - scam. Report the client to customer service and stop any communication with him.

 

Thank You! I just had a gut feeling. What is the best way to report them?

@Erika H wrote:
Thank You! I just had a gut feeling. What is the best way to report them?

  https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
colettelewis
Community Guru

It's the oldest scam going and these people target newcomers. Report the job to CS, and read all the help pages and the ToS before you bid. There is also a very long thread about scams in this forum, so read that too.

 

Good luck with your next job.

susanmccall
Ace Contributor

@Erika H wrote:

New to this UpWork freelnacing thing and had my first interview and got hired for a job that I think to be suspicious.

 

The following are reasons as to why I think they are suspcious:

 

-asked me to have a interview/breifing on Google Hangout. So create username or use one that I already have.

-during the interview chat on Hangout they asked a few questions that I thought were actually good interview questions and then right away hired me

-said they will send a cheque to me to purchase office supplies and also a signing bonus 

-they also said that they will send me a W4 form and that I have to fill it out and send it back 

-client has only been on UpWork about a week and payment method not verfied

 

Does anyone have any insight on this??

 

----

 

Hi Erika!

I realize there are some long-standing clients (perhaps from Odesk days or Elance), who do not have a verified payment method, but have a good reputation. However, my policy is to never accept jobs that do not have a verified payment method because, while Upwork says "... You don’t have to avoid these clients, but you should know that you cannot get paid until the client successfully completes billing method verification."

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211063098   I wouldn't want to waste my time working, only to find out I am either 1) not going to get paid, or 2) it will take longer than normal to get paid.

 

I also know (have experienced!) there are scams that do have verified payment methods, so for newbies it can be a little frustrating to sort through the legit from the non-legit. It's not easy at first, but once you can identify a scam, it's quick to flag/report and move on.

 

Another sign it is a spam/scam is when you receive an invitation to interview, and they say they've reviewed your proposal, and want you to get in touch with their hiring manager via... yep, you guessed it... Google Hangouts (or Yahoo Messenger, or MSN Messenger)... Uh... when did I submit a proposal for this job, anyway?  [scratches head in confusion] These are ususally cut and paste scam proposals - the only thing that changes is the name of the 'hiring manager' or 'hr recruiter' etc... but the rest of the 'job description' is the same. Also, the date that the client became a member is always a day or two before you receive the invitation.

 

Part of my experience has been this: client sends me an invite (or I send a proposal), after it's accepted, the client then asks for a quick call meeting, how can they get in touch with me, etc. etc. (it's a personal, personable communication from the client that helps to distinguish the good from the not-so-good). I have noticed that Scammers/Spammers will not put much detail/effort/consideration into their communication. Oh, and gut feeling - this is a biggie... If something doesn't feel right, it probably (usually) isn't.

 

Another thing that I do is try to research the client (and or company if it is listed) on the internet, before accepting or submitting anything. I know it might be extra virtual 'footwork', but better safe than sorry. 

 

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences and thoughts, I can help even just one person to learn to identify the scams. 

 

Happy working, and don't hesitate to ask questions 🙂

Susan - I have to disagree with your statement However, my policy is to never accept jobs that do not have a verified payment method.....  

 

Of course, you have the right to your opinions, but I have accepted jobs from many unverified clients. The only thing is that I let them know that I'll begin work when escrow is fully funded AND their accounts are verified by Upwork. And I don't start work until that requirement is met. I make that statement both in my proposal and in my initial interview.

 

And for ANY newbie reading this, I guess we can say newbies Will be contacted by a scammer. Maybe it's a right of passage to work on here. Google Handouts and sending a check and asking for personal information is a DEAD giveaway to these scammers.

 

There is a MASSIVE influx of scammers here ONLY because they are catching a massive amount of newbies.  

 

re: "I can't tell if this is suspicious"

 

Actually, Erika, you did an excellent job identifying the fact that the job was suspicious, and picking out specific reasons why.

 

I wish all newbies had as much sense as you do.

Yep, me too. No need to start any work with any client until milestones are funded. If they want to hire you, that's all you have to wait for - it doesn't matter if they haven't verified payment yet.

 

You can miss out on good opportunities otherwise - I've recently worked with two new (great) clients who did not have payment verification.

Just one thing to watch out for though if you go for a fixed-rate job and payment is not verified, it can still be "funded" in escrow, which shows a message along the lines of "escrow funded pending verification" (I can't remember the actual words). So one has to be very careful to make sure the money actually is in escrow, and that the sum is the amount agreed to, before starting work.

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