I think I’m being scammed. I’m worried!

I recently taken a position as a “Virtual Assistant” for a company. The interview was on Google Hangouts and he offered to pay me $300 a week to do basic assistant tasks.

I’m a week in and while I did some assistant tasks that he didn’t seem to care about, he kept sending me to the store to buy gift cards, at first it was $25 or $50. But last night he sent me a picture of a check to deposit using mobil banking app, and told me to use the money to buy $500 worth of gift cards. I did it not thinking anything of it (like an idiot) then he sent me even more money and said to do it one last time tomorrow. I deposited both checks but now fear the money is stolen and I can get arrested as a result. I’m really worried, someone please tell me what i should do. I’ve deposited approximately $1,680.

PLEASE HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO. I’M WORRIED.

P.S. Other red flags occurred during this past week as well.
8 REPLIES 8
tgstudio
Member

First off, you took payment off the platform which is against Upwork’s ToS.

Second, yes you are being scammed. The checks are worthless. This scam has been around for years.
luce-neidert
Member

It's time to be worried, apparently it is a famous scam.

 

Just enter "google hangout" as a subject in the forum and you'll get an idea of what it's all about.

bstojadinovic
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Charles,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I will share your case with our team for future investigation. 

 

As per checking, the job has already been taken down because it was in violation of Upwork ToS and action has been taken on the client account. 

 

Please, check this help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Also, check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

~ Bojan
Upwork

So many things could be avoided if only Upwork would force new profiles to read and sign off on all those threads about getting started and avoiding questionable jobs before their profiles are accepted and have gone live - ripe for the picking for scammers. How is any of this benefitting this site?

re: "I deposited both checks but now fear the money is stolen and I can get arrested as a result."

 

Yes, theoretically you could get arrested for depositing bad checks. But that is highly unlikely.

 

Contact your bank. Tell them what happened and make sure they know how sorry you are, and how embarrassed you are. You should be able to handle things with them directly, rather than letting this escalate to a matter involving authorities.

petra_r
Member


Charles Q wrote:
I’ve deposited approximately $1,680.

At best that money is gone...

kat303
Member

PLEASE HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO. I’M WORRIED

 

No need to be worried, You're just out $1,680, But now you know the scams that are on this site. You've learned not by reading about them but by jumping right in there and experiencing it for yourself. At least now, you'll know. This happens to a lot of newbies. It's almost a rite of passage to become a freelancer on this site. Sort of like, you need to be scammed in order to be an Upwork freelancer.  


Kathy T wrote:

PLEASE HELP WHAT SHOULD I DO. I’M WORRIED

 

No need to be worried, You're just out $1,680, But now you know the scams that are on this site. You've learned not by reading about them but by jumping right in there and experiencing it for yourself. At least now, you'll know. This happens to a lot of newbies. It's almost a rite of passage to become a freelancer on this site. Sort of like, you need to be scammed in order to be an Upwork freelancer.  


I don't think it's quite that bad! It should not be hard to stay safe, even if somebody does not take the time to read up on the various materials, it just requires common sense. 

Now this guy didn't even receive the check, just a picture of the check? I mean, really...