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itzcollinpowell
Community Member

I think I have been scammed by Upwork and its not fair, My account should be reviewed

Now I saw a post from a client saying he needs a cryptocurrency expert the client is from the UK and he said he is into real estate and wants to explore the crypto world but they have some bans on crypto in their country. I actually Sent a proposal and it was accepted before we started this discussion.

 

Now he said he would pay me hourly for teaching him, and also I would help him buy some crypto because he cant in his country and he has tried a lot of things I did some research and found out that it was true.

 

So finally we had a zoom meeting he could not share his screen and so he sent screenshots of his binance not having a p2p section so I believed he could not really buy.

 

So he said I should send him crypto and he would pay me on upwork.

 

Firstly we spent an hour or more on our first contract and he paid me. He even sent the invoice and I researched and found out that it takes a 5 day security period for the payment to reflect in my earnings.

Wow, I was happy just made my first earning I went ahead to verify my account, it was also successful.

 

After that, the client gave me lots of bonuses and requested that I send him crypto and that he is eager to buy so he can show his friend that has been having the same challenges as him.

 

I sent Crypto and he gave me bonuses. To cut the long story short.

 

I checked my transactions and am seeing some return transactions of all the funds I was paid by the client, upwork suspended our contract (the new one we had for hourly training), and I already did all the client said to do and trusted upwork to deliver my funds cause I taught they were reputable but it seems not so.

 

On top of that, they gave me a certificate of earning 0$ and I cant still make my profile visible.

 

I think I have been treated badly by upwork and it's not fair something should be done.

 

My account was also blocked from withdrawal.

 

Now it seems like I lost my crypto and upwork ran away with my money, I never knew upwork was a scam also. Am disappointed.

 

To resolve this issue I need my crypto back, I can leave my hours of work and teaching to waste I followed the rules but still got scammed.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
yofazza
Community Member

So I just stumbled upon this job post about buying crypto where the client is recently registered, payment verified, and having 2 scams in progress already: The crypto is job #3.

 

The jobs:

 

  1. I need a basic website for my business. it needs to be clean and basic! all my products are sunglasses for men and women. you can make the website with whatever you want but not WIX. with that said i will also need you to add products, their descritpion , the prices. make and about of page, faqs page, privacy, return policy, terms and condition. i need this done in 2 days if possible. $500

  2. Hi, i need someone that can connect a theme to a shopify account and edit some small things. $100

  3. Hello, i need someone to guide me through how to buy crypto coins $75

 

How to tell freelancers in job #1 & #2 about this? ๐Ÿ˜‘ 

 

And how to not fall into this? If the scammer is like the one described in this thread, experienced freelancers can be tricked as well (into "working" on Job #1 & #2).

 

Upwork must be really confused right now.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

View solution in original post

79 REPLIES 79

It not but someone should not come here saying I am greedy and taking advantage of people that's wrong


Collins K wrote:

Hey ma'am hold it there I didn't even tell him a quote I tried to help him buy it was to no avail we did a test and he confirmed I was genuine, then all of a sudden he said he has made a payment I asked that I refunded it but said not to worry I should send him crypto and keep the money. I did not ask for a quote or tell him a price, he knew the price he even said someone else asked for 1000$ for $4000 that it was to high, i was trying to help a dude that was seemedly low on crypto knowledge.

 

So don't bring all this stories of greed here cause you don't know me and don't assume **Edited for Community Guidelines**


Just for future reference:

If you are in a situation where you want/need to refund a client, be aware that you refund from your ACCOUNT. For example, you can't refund this specific bonus at all, it goes against your account balance. 

So if you had refunded it, you would have refunded your own money, because the bonus wasn't real. Refunding does not mean the bonus is reversed, it means you pay from your account balance, which obviously can become negative. 

There were some people who reported the scam, with the twist that the client asked them to refund because they overpaid, and they did that too. These people also didn't get the fictional bonus, bought crypto with their own money, and then "refunded" their own money. 

I see

I was not taking advantage of anyone instead I was taken advantage of so cut it.

egaruth
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

A few posts have been removed or edited from this thread for Community Guidelines. We encourage our Community members to be professional and respectful to one another when posting here. Please, be mindful of the Community Guidelines and avoid making personal attacks.

 

Collins,

 

I shared your report with the team handling your case and they will follow up with you on your support ticket as soon as possible. If you have any further questions feel free to follow up on your ticket and our team will be happy to assist you. You can access your ticket on this page.

 

Please know that a real client will never ask you to give them money to start working, cash a check for them, work for free, or provide your personal information. You should never get paid or pay someone outside of Upwork. You may open yourself up to scams or fraud, and lose Upwork Payment Protection. For more information about Upwork's Terms of Service please check this page.

 

You may want to check this thread and this help article to help you stay safe on Upwork. 

 

Thank you,

~ Nikola
Upwork
yofazza
Community Member

So I just stumbled upon this job post about buying crypto where the client is recently registered, payment verified, and having 2 scams in progress already: The crypto is job #3.

 

The jobs:

 

  1. I need a basic website for my business. it needs to be clean and basic! all my products are sunglasses for men and women. you can make the website with whatever you want but not WIX. with that said i will also need you to add products, their descritpion , the prices. make and about of page, faqs page, privacy, return policy, terms and condition. i need this done in 2 days if possible. $500

  2. Hi, i need someone that can connect a theme to a shopify account and edit some small things. $100

  3. Hello, i need someone to guide me through how to buy crypto coins $75

 

How to tell freelancers in job #1 & #2 about this? ๐Ÿ˜‘ 

 

And how to not fall into this? If the scammer is like the one described in this thread, experienced freelancers can be tricked as well (into "working" on Job #1 & #2).

 

Upwork must be really confused right now.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

petra_r
Community Member


Radia L wrote:

And how to not fall into this?


VERY simple! By NOT violating Upwork's Terms of Service. And having a modicum of common sense.

 


experienced freelancers can be tricked as well

Not really. You have to be willing to violate the Terms of Service and not think very clearly because obviously, no real client would ever dream of really paying vastly more than three crypto costs by paying via Upwork. It doesn't make sense at any level.


When something doesn't make sense, anyone with any sense takes a step back and starts to think...

yofazza
Community Member

 


Petra R wrote:

VERY simple!

I'm talking about job #1 and #2 which is already in progress and even I can fall into it if nothing suspicious in the job description and the milestone is properly funded.

 

I might be able to smell something during interview. But not really sure if the scammer is so nice as described in this thread.

It did not make sense really but you only see what you see.

 

I did not offer to sell crypto at escalated prices on upwork, as I said I tried to help him buy for hours through our call but it was to no avail and then he sent funds which I did not request for, been a newbie on upwork I taught it was real and legit.

Upwork sent me a notification, pending payment and an invoice confirmed and it was a bonus something done out of free will not compulsion or mistake from the client so he couldn't, therefore, reverse it. So I believed it as true.

I requested a refund but he said I should hold it and send crypto.

And the deal was good, I was even offering to create projects for him in our discussion. 

 

Dont say it like am a fool not knowing what am doing.

 

I trusted the invoice and payment thinking it was done and verified, like every normal card payment would be on any platform.

 

And I assumed I was blessed and has met an angel cause I had been in a bad situation the past few days and been despiriatly seeking for help and funds.

 

 

 


Collins K wrote:

Dont say it like am a fool not knowing what am doing.

 


Nobody used the word fool, but yes, you don't know what you are doing, you said it yourself. 

You did not know that bonuses are not protected. You did not know that Upwork only protects you if you follow the rules. You did not know the rules. So, you did not know what you were doing.

Now, you do. Next time, do not pay anything for a job. Do not accept bonuses as a method of payment (bonuses are that, bonuses). In general, read the ToS. If you know and follow the rules and use some common sense, these things will be less likely to happen.

Yes i did not know that the payment was not authentic

This is even worse.

You knew the payment was not authentic, but you went ahead because you thought Upwork would pay you anyway. And you thought that because you did not know how Upwork works, at all.

You jumped in, head first, knowing the doubtless authenticity of the job. And now you blame Upwork. Upwork has many things to be blamed for, this is clearly not one of them.

 

So, you knew 1 thing and assumed everything else. What is worse, before posting your blames and accusations, you did not check the facts and rules.

 

Now, I doubt there is anything you can do, other than looking forward. If you want to do that, and your account doesn't get banned, my advise is to read the ToS, learn what are you paying Upwork for and what not and follow best practices so that this does not happen again.

The client pays Upwork, Upwork delivers the funds right.

 

I never knew the payment was not authentic

I never knew I was dealing with a scam

 

I was there patiently waiting my 5 days period

To receive my first payment on Upwork for the contract and also I was excited.

 

But now I Know


Collins K wrote:

 

Dont say it like am a fool not knowing what am doing.

 

 


You fell for an obvious scam, mate, so...

They may look like legitimate jobs, you can send a proposal, if the client contacts you you keep the communication on Upwork (if the client asks you to communicate outside of Upwork, you tell him that it is not possible), if he asks you to buy something for him or pay something to get the job, say no, bookmark the conversation and the job, and keep looking.
If the job is closed for breaking the TOS, the connections are returned to you.
Let's see, is it that difficult?

Job #1 & #2 is only something the scammer created so they can have some "client history", fooling two people in the process.

 

You can be one of them, when you see a normal job, interviewed, got the job, milestone funded properly, you worked, but in a few days the client got banned. How's that makes you feel?

 


 

 

tlbp
Community Member


Radia L wrote:

Job #1 & #2 is only something the scammer created so they can have some "client history", fooling two people in the process.

 

You can be one of them, when you see a normal job, interviewed, got the job, milestone funded properly, you worked, but in a few days the client got banned. How's that makes you feel?

 


 

 


It's not fun to fall for a scam and some of them are very clever set ups. Established freelancers have a better chance of avoiding them because they receive more offers from legitimate clients. These same risks exist in the offline world, the internet just provides scammers with a larger audience to approach.  


Radia L wrote:

Job #1 & #2 is only something the scammer created so they can have some "client history", fooling two people in the process.

 

You can be one of them, when you see a normal job, interviewed, got the job, milestone funded properly, you worked, but in a few days the client got banned. How's that makes you feel?

 



 

Without looking at job postings 1 and 2 exactly, I can't tell if it's a job I would apply for or not.
That, sadly, can happen. But how do you think Upwork can know they are scams?
What you are commenting, if I understand it correctly, it has nothing to do with the crypto scam that we are talking about except for job 3. And in this one, if you follow the TOS, it is difficult to get scammed.


Maria T wrote:

if I understand it correctly, it has nothing to do with the crypto scam that we are talking about.

Yes.

 

The detail is posted in this post:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/I-think-I-have-been-scammed-by-Upwork-and-its-not-fair-M...

 

There's a screenshot as well (currently not deleted yet).

 

It's not about us buying crypto, but about us being tricked into creating more integrity to the crypto scammer.


Radia L wrote:

Maria T wrote:

if I understand it correctly, it has nothing to do with the crypto scam that we are talking about.

Yes.

 

The detail is posted in this post:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/I-think-I-have-been-scammed-by-Upwork-and-its-not-fair-M...

 

There's a screenshot as well (currently not deleted yet).

 

It's not about us buying crypto, but about us being tricked into creating more integrity to the crypto scammer.


Yes, there are scammers posting legit-looking jobs, then when people apply for them, they find out that it's about buying crypto. OR, the client really does hire them just to provide a good review (I recently saw a job post in which the client even said that they would pay freelancers to provide good feedback, in order to gain legitimacy). 

There was no communication outside upwork, and I received payment, some bonus thinking it's cool and I had been paid, I, therefore, felt indebted to the client because he overpaid my job. So I felt at his service you get it, get it.

 

I didn't initiate any transactions or try to take advantage of any one whatsoever, I taught he was a newbie to crypto genuine, that had a lot of money and was willing to learn and have some at all cost.

 

Cause the idea was vague and strange to him.

 

I never knew the payments were fake and could ever be fake, I trusted upworks notifications and did not readily find any article during my research pointing to stuffs like this

It couldn't be easier to spot. This is a great example of how scammers try to hide the scam under legitimate sounding jobs. It is perfectly clear that this is an attempt to disguise what the real goals are, a distraction. 

What I would tell newbies: Just stay away from anything crypto, be that content writing, or whatever else. Also stay away from payment unverified, and stay away from any unsolicited invitations. 

For their own good, newbies SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ACCEPT JOBS for at least three months after signing up. They just can't be trusted to be able to stay safe on their own. 

My advice is Upwork should not send fake invoices and notifications because I would never have made any move if I had not believed that the client had paid. I delayed for hours trying to figure out stuff. But stuff was still what it was, But I move on and continues living my life.

 

Newbies need to learn and get better whichever way it is.

 

I understand everything properly now!

 

Crypto is not bad I have been dealing with crypto for years now. 

It's the future whether you like it or not.

 

Am just a random guy that came into Upwork to make some cash.

I have been on Upwork for a year now, I sent lots of proposals but non answered recently I started getting chats, and on seeing a payment notification for the first contract I was so happy finally I got something. But it turns out like this no problem, am all right am cool. I move on into my great life ahead leaving all this behind.

 

Am not a fool not an idiot am a blessed growing man.

I'm probably not delivering what I exactly want to say in that post as I'm not a native speaker. At least two people were mislead.

 

So this scammer, throws a few normal jobs to raise his account integrity before posting the real (crypto) scam.

 

The normal jobs has normal pay, and most likely are funded as well (client is payment verified). Two people are currently working normal work, unaware that their client will be deleted in a few days, and the milestone payment refunded. 

 

Some scammers can be recognized during interview, but there're the ones with social engineering skills. The scammer in this thread is probably an example.

 

If the scammer in this thread can trick and play feelings with new freelancer into paying some crypto, he/she can probably also trick me into doing meaningless & unpaid work to help raising his integrity before he/she scam the new freelancer.

 

 

 

Ah I get it! I thought this was all in one job post. 

Yep, that's devious. I guess the scammers realized that people are filtering out payment unverified jobs now, so they got wiser. They must legitimately pay for these jobs, otherwise they would get banned and disappear. And obviously the client can change his credit card any time he wants to. (I assume)

Yes that's harder to spot. In this case the freelancer needs to know when to call BS and stop talking to the person. And if he gets a bonus payment "inadvertedly", do nothing and wait for it to disappear, and never ever think of refunding it. 

Not to give anybody ideas, but that would be a new scam: chatting up the freelancer, non-crypto related, pretend to inadvertedly have paid a bonus, and ask for an immediate refund. That would require some serious time investment and building up of trust, which the guy who scammed OP apparently was pretty good at. 

itzcollinpowell
Community Member

Common with all the good stuff I have been hearing about upwork, I taught it was a nice place with reasonable people but obviously has lots of crazy people, I have been sending proposals on upwork for more than a year now, I finally got one and its a scam

a_kuntsi
Community Member

Well, we all have different styles to answer here. A lot of these people on this topic are the oldies and goldies.

It may take some time to get used to it. But they actually are trying to help. Also, the truth is to be told here.

I have a little hard time understanding all parts of what exactly happened. But that is on me.

Just want to know, what on earth are the bonuses you are talking about? How did the client pay them? Or did he? I am confused.

As a side note, I would like to write an article about "do not do this" for new freelancers and they should have a test of knowledge before starting. When I started, I knew nothing about anything. I have never fallen to scams tough.  But I am a person who hardly believes anybody.๐Ÿ™Š

No need. This one covers it all. It's even pinned to the carousel. Why don't people read it? You tell me. 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/List-of-red-flags-for-scams/m-p/1017044#M158742

The fake bonus: the client pays with a stolen credit card. The amount appears on the freelancer's profile. Upwork can't charge the credit card, or the real owner files a claim, and the bonus amount disappears from the freelancers profile. 

 

This has already been written.  Scroll through the articles posted right here on the right.  Or read this:

https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/List-of-red-flags-for-scams/m-p/1017044/highlight/true...


Anneli K wrote:

As a side note, I would like to write an article about "do not do this" for new freelancers and they should have a test of knowledge before starting. 


There's plenty of information available, but it's not possible to force anyone to read it.

 


Anneli K wrote:

When I started, I knew nothing about anything. I have never fallen to scams tough.  But I am a person who hardly believes anybody.๐Ÿ™Š


Good - that should be the default when you're dealing with people on the Internet. Even children know that you're not supposed to accept candy from strangers. 

 

a_kuntsi
Community Member

Ok, there is about scams. Good. But a general "Don't never ever do these things" There may be that too, don't know. After these years I don't feel the need to read ToS again. Unless a change is made. But there should be a way to "force" people to read it. Take a test or something. It would save everybody's time and money.

As obviously a lot of new freelancers don't read anything. Before they are in trouble and then they are here. Not complaining they are. But so much these "got scammed" and "is this a scam" posts. As I have been away for months, I can see a big rise in these. (As with those scam job posts too, of course) Not that they haven't always been here with some volume.

Edit. yes, the ToS tells what not to do. But a short list. Or have a test people have actually read ToS. 

They have some questions in the readiness test which many people take because they get free connects. It seems the information doesn't sink in, though. 


Martina P wrote:

 It seems the information doesn't sink in


I passed the test by Googling, the time is plenty. No it doesn't sink in.

 

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that this test (which is a solution that is quite viable from my perspective) should be given in a simple way.

 

Not as a "test" actually, but maybe something like showing a big popup that says "beware of scammers" and link it to the Top Red Flags post.

 

The point is to quickly educate, or at least tell people, about what is currently happening. Let them see the Red Flags, before they got scammed and go here to read the Red Flags.

 

I also mentioned that doing filters or similar things will not make the spammer give up easily when a single mark could give them $1000. Upwork blocks "boss son", the scammer change their job title into ๐›๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง. So the marks are the one that needs to be removed.

 

And... today I found out that I can be a mark as well. I have no say about this, I think I'll just be more careful.

People don't read pop-ups, they just click them away. A test would be good, but it should be exponentially more difficult than the current readiness, which is a joke. 


Martina P wrote:

They have some questions in the readiness test which many people take because they get free connects. It seems the information doesn't sink in, though. 


That doesn't do much good either. You can find the answers on the internet.


Maria T wrote:

Martina P wrote:

They have some questions in the readiness test which many people take because they get free connects. It seems the information doesn't sink in, though. 


That doesn't do much good either. You can find the answers on the internet.


I know! People are so clever to find the cheat-sheet, but then they are not clever enough to not fall for scams. Not you OP. Well, what can I say. 

It really is mind-boggling. That's why I have suggested a short test confined entirely to how to avoid scams. They might at least be willing to actually learn and absorb the answers rather than go looking for cheat-sheets. But never underestimate human foolishness. 

Nah, they use the cheat-sheets. You can find them all over the internet. Nobody studies for this test or reads the ToS. These are people believing that upwork is either an easy way to make money, or a good way to cheat clients. Some of those will fall for scams due to a combination of lack of knowledge and willingness to do or participate in shady things. 

Oh dear. Then the answer to that problem is an immediate and permanent ban from Upwork for anyone who contacts a client offsite pre-contract or makes any payment or purchase outside of the platform. 

 

It seems some people are determined to be scammed, in spite of all efforts to protect them. Their right to be conned is inviolable - maybe it's enshrined in some international charter that we don't know about. What's more, most of these people never generate one cent of revenue for Upwork. 

alexandernovikov
Community Member

It's simple, you have been duped by someone, they paid Upwork with a stolen CC number. It's just one of the ways criminals cash out stolen CC numbers: they get people like you to send them crypto, then vanish.

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