d1trance
Member

IS THIS A SCAM?? GOOGLE HANGOUT INTERVIEWs

Wondering if these people are part of a scam?? I am new here on Upwork and have been contacted by two companies that proposed that they were interested in interviewing me. At first I was all happy that I was hired and would be working and earning money to pay for classes at my school but then I had a second interview and this interview was almost the same as the other (same questions, almost the same programs needed for job) and this is when I started getting suspicious. I do not know who to contact at Upwork in order to ask questions about these two companies.

 

Here is the proposal for interview message sent to me:

These proposals are for work as a bookkeeper, data-entry, administrative assistant. I received 2 proposaals yesterday 4/11/2016 and was asked for an interview. This is the message that I was sent. 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

 

So...yesterday I had the first interview and then on the second interview I saw that both were almost the same. After about an hour interview with **Edited for Community Guidelines** (the first interview) who works for a company (**) and gave me the website address. I found the website legitimate and continued with the interview. After the interview I was told I was hired and that I needed some supplies for my home office. I was informed about benefits, pay rate and hours and duties required for the job. I was told I need these:

IBM Notepad laptop,

BS 1 Accounting software ,

MYOB business essentials software ,

Peach Tree Software ( US Patent Single Users Pack ),

simply accounting .

Microsoft Office Accounting,

Sirius GT Accounting For Windows X window time tracker ,

for my home office and that I would be provided a check in the next day for me to cash for the purchase of the supplies. This is where I started getting suspicious. I do not know who to report this to or ask questions pertaining to these companies who offered me a job.

 

IS THIS A SCAM????

 I really need this job and now I think I am stuck still looking. Woman Sad

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
suznee
Member

Any job that asks you to purchase things and that they will send you a check is a scam. Many are doing interviews on Yahoo. Stay Away. Run as fast as you can...

View solution in original post

175 REPLIES 175
ikeaih1
Member

I called **Edited for Community Guidelines** and they said the people change the company all the time.

denisaherman
Member

Hello Upwork Community,

 

I am pretty new here. I have received this message from someone:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Does this look suspicious to you?

 

Thank you,

 

Denisa

Yes Herman,  that looks suspicious to me...  Contacting you through upwork and mentioning Guru. then wanting to immediately talk to you by another channel.

Thank you, Karl! I thought so too (plus it is yahoo messenger which is sooo old fashioned). But I wanted to make sure I am not paranoid.


@Herman D wrote:

Thank you, Karl! I thought so too (plus it is yahoo messenger which is sooo old fashioned). But I wanted to make sure I am not paranoid.


 Herman, is that really your name? It's a male name, yet your profile picture is female......

Hi Petra,

 

My name is Denisa Herman. Herman is the surname. 

Maybe Herman is of Spanish descent and derives her name from hermana, Spanish for sister.

It was a mistake when I registered. I will correct it. My name comes from german Herrmann.


@Herman D wrote:

It was a mistake when I registered. I will correct it. My name comes from german Herrmann.


 🙂 thought so. Best fix it!

Anonymous User
Not applicable


@Denisa H. wrote:

It was a mistake when I registered. I will correct it. My name comes from german Herrmann.

_________________

 

And your time zone is 1 hour ahead of Germany at the moment...

Hi Denisa,

 

We'll review and take actions against the job you are referring to as it appears to be a scam.

Please, see this post for more tips on how to recognize warnings signs. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

This same thing happened to me except when they wanted to send me a check for me to deposit in my bank I automatically knew it was a scam.  I just do not understand why there are people out there that do things like this.  I know the rules and I will not ever communicate with anyone on Google Hangouts.

freelance0416
Member

I am so glad to see your post. I had an interview yesterday that sounds exactly like your interview. I was told the same thing and became suspicious as well. I tried to reach out to upwork for advice and guidance. I am new so I was not sure about the best way to get an immediate answer. The company asked for my personal information at the end to complete their initial process. I asked for a contact number and was told the hangout or email was my options. I went back to the website after being given only five minutes to review and noticed they were based out of the country with no reference to a US based location. I told the interviewer that I needed to perform a little due diligence before given the requested information to protect myself. I did not hear back from them after that last comment. I also noticed they withdrew my invitation on upwork (withdrawn by the client) yet we had the interview. I also asked if the funds would be verified through upwork prior to my training. I was told yes. I reached out to upwork for quidance. I am waiting to hear from them. I am new to freelance work and upwork. I want to know if these companies go through a process to determine their credibility. The companies should be required to give certain information in their job descriptions such as name, complete location, etc. for that we can research the companies prior to submitting our proposals or responding to invitations.

 

Thank you so much for your post. 

Hi Teresha,

 

I see you were invited to submit a proposal on a few scam jobs, posted by different clients. Some of them have already been removed last week from the platform by our team and I'll make sure the jobs from the recent invitations you declined are addressed as well.

 

Please review the safety tips we shared in order to understand how to avoid scam clients and successfully use Upwork. Feel free to post any other questions in the Community so our team and other users could respond and offer advice.

 

Untitled

I have been contacted by interviewers that go through Google Hangout.  They contact you and say that an interviewer is standing by now to speak with you.  I conversed with **edited for Community Guidelines** and was asked about who I banked with.  I never told them.  I received a check from them for over $3,000 for equipment and software.  I took it to my bank manager.  The bank will deal with it from their end.

Danielle, the check is bogus.  You broke a basic rule of Upwork by agreeing to payment off the platform.  And now a stranger/ scammer on the internet has your personal information.

 

Please read everything you can get your hands on about how Upwork works before you get into very serious trouble.

As a new-to-Upwork freelancer (fresh bait), I've been waiting for my first scam offer and just got one. It was an offer for an immediate interview on Google Hangout (for I job that I did not apply for), with the hiring manager who was "standing by, waiting for me." LOL.

 

The giveaway was really the horribly worded email, rife with grammatical and punctuation errors. They actually used the URL and email address of a legitimate small company, but the client had no history, an unverified payment method and wished to me to contact them at a GMail address rather than the email address with their company domain name.

 

How to I report such offers to Upwork? I would expect to see a "Report a Concern" button somewhere on the screen, but I don't.

 

I found the button to Flag the Posting and reported it. It wasn't on my offer page, but on the original posting.

Hi David,

 

I've checked and it seems the client you're referring to is the one who recently sent you an offer on Upwork. I'd like to ask you to provide screenshots of your communication in a support ticket so we can confirm if this job is legit or not. Note that some legitimate clients do prefer to communicate through email and Google Hangouts.

Untitled

David, despite what Vladimir said, this job is NOT legitimate. It is just a waste of your time. You may indeed send additional information to Upwork Customer Support if you want to do so, but you are certainly not obligated to spend any more time working (without being paid) on Upwork's behalf.

 

You have already flagged the job and reported it here. Upwork knows which job it is and they know this is a scammer.

Hi Preston,

 

I usually agree with your advice but have to disagree with the information you shared here. I've checked communication David had with potential clients and since I didn't find enough evidence to confirm the client David is referring to, nor found clear evidence that the clients I checked are fraudulent, I asked David to provide more information. It's possible he's referring to a client he communicated with outside Messages or even that the client he communicated with is legit, but I can't make that call just yet and risk sharing erroneous advice with the freelancer.

 

Since David is aware of the safety tips I shared on this thread and in our previous communication, I believe the advice I shared here is solid.

Untitled
rebecca_spees
Member

I have only been contacted by UNVERIFIED paying employers and all of them want me to set up a Google account and chat with them on hangouts. Can someone at Upwork PLEASE CONFIRM if we should accept an interview conducted outside of Upwork and through Google Hangouts? I am getting quite frustrated that I am the target for all these scammers and Upwork is clearly not explaining to employers that they cannot ask freelancers to interview on Google Hangouts...Or are they supposed to?? I'm getting no clear answers here.

Hi Rebecca,

 

I can confirm the client you communicated with has been removed from the platform for violating Upwork ToS. You can communicate with clients outside Messages, which is the advised medium at least for the interview stage, but need to keep in mind these safety tips in order to avoid questionable jobs.

 

Making sure you only accept to get paid through Upwork, start working only after a contract has been created on Upwork and using Payment Protection will help avoid these scams.

Untitled
rebecca_spees
Member

I had a scam happen to me also. They mailed me a 3500 check from a "legitimate" publicly traded entity. I deposited it, but went to talk to my banker. Even though my account showed the check "cleared" only days after depositing it, my banker said it hasn't actually cleared and there's a good possibility it will still bounce. Banks will show your funds available and in your account before the bank who wrote the check physically pays the bank where the check was deposited cash. I didn't spend any of the money despite their aggressive and rude attempts to get me to and sure enough, the check bounced the next week and the whole job was fraudulent. A waste of 5 days of my time where I was in constant communication with them and a waste of money driving around and speaking to them trying to tell them I won't spend money that isn't actually there. BE CAREFUL. until I get confirmation from someone at Upwork regarding Google Hangouts interviews, I have to decline them. I have my entire conversations with the old "employer", screen shots of everything, copies of the checks, Seriously a FULL BINDER OF COMMUNICATION. I tried to file a police report, but couldn't because "no crime actually occurred" meaning, I didn't spend cash I knew wasn't there...It's really irritating. Especially because I can't seem to speak with anyone that actually works at Upwork to help me...

Rebecca, following up on your second comment, please use the Get Help link on the Help Center page (question mark > Help and Support) in order to submit a support request and share all the evidence you have. Our team will review and take action against the client if they were,'t addressed already.

 

Please note that by accepting direct payments you violated Upwork ToS and placed yourself in an unenviable position, in addition to receiving fake checks. Please review the tips I shared in my previous post and follow up on this thread if you have any questions.

Untitled

Rebecca, I really do appreciate your detailed report about what happened to you. This can only be helpful to other people, to help warn them about this extremely common, long-lived scam.

The correct wording is not "I had a scam happen to me."

 

Technically the correct wording is: "I participated in a scam."

Hello everyone,

 

I'm new here. I recieved this email:

 

**edited for Community Guidelines**


The position they offered on the Upwork job post is a Clerical Assistant position.  The job detail claimed: Performs basic clerical tasks, such as systematically arranging letters, memorandum, invoices and other indexed documents according to an established. I chatted with the person from that **edited for Community Guidelines** Google Hangouts for an interview.

 

As I chatted with the person, they offered me a check of $940 and told me to cash it in my bank mobile app. I got very suspicious at this point and so I searched some threads here on Upwork Community about this issue. I picked up on words like "chatting/chatted on Google Hangouts" "chatting on Yahoo Messenger", "promised to pay good", "send/sent me a check", and the like. I stopped chatting with the person and blocked them. I flagged their job post aftwerwards. Thank goodness that I got suspicious and took some time to read some threads about it here and I see that it is a common thing.

Hi Peter, 


It's a good thing that you went here to verify the client's actions. I will also report this client to the team for their action. 

In the meantime, I would like to invite you to read up on the Safety First! section of Vladimir's thread - 

Getting Started on Upwork. There is a collection of blog posts and threads there that will help you identify common scams used by fraudulent clients. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Well now I'm really angry. My gut instinct told me something was wrong when this 'person' wanted to interview me via Google Hangouts and I'd never used it before. The interview was 90 minutes long and sounded completely legitimate. They then told me I was hired (at a MUCH higher amount than I bid). They had used a Dr.'s name and picture and provided me the website where this Dr. works. It all looked legitimate - proper English etc. This is CLEARLY identification theft. I have not received the 'check to buy software' with yet, (nor did I give them anything they could use to steal from me), but now I know not to deposit it. I am usually vary leery of con artists but this guy was good - asked a million questions about my functions at previous jobs, etc. NOT HAPPY. I am also new to Upwork - I think Upwork should make every 'employer' that posts verify their information either by ID or a credit card. It is WRONG that so many people are wasting their time on these scams.

re: "The interview was 90 minutes long and sounded completely legitimate."

 

A 90-minute long interview is not legitimate.

 

Generally speaking, anything longer than about 15 minutes means that the client is wasting your time.

 

Clients who wish to speak to you for a length of longer than that need to hire you and pay you your hourly rate, because that is a consultation, not an interview.

 

If a client wants to you work on their complicated project... they need to hire you and pay you for the time spent discussing the project with you or training you how to do it.

 

Legitimate clients understand that they need to pay freelancers for their time. Scammers will waste your time to wear you down and lull your senses into a state of unthinking receptivity, so they can trick you into agreeing to doing dumb things like cashing fake checks for them and sending them money from your bank account.

re: "this 'person' wanted to interview me via Google Hangouts"

 

That means it's scam.

re: "It is WRONG that so many people are wasting their time on these scams."

 

I agree. But Upwork requires no scam awareness training prior to letting freelancers begin bidding on jobs. So this is likely to continue and be a common aspect of the new freelancer experience for the forseeable future.

Qoute >>

 

re: "It is WRONG that so many people are wasting their time on these scams."

 

I agree. But Upwork requires no scam awareness training prior to letting freelancers begin bidding on jobs. So this is likely to continue and be a common aspect of the new freelancer experience for the forseeable future.

 

<< End quote

 

It doesn't have to be part of the Upwork experience.

 

Mods and Gurus who just tell people to be more aware of the Upwork Terms of Service and to flag the postings are really missing the big picture.

 

These invitations make Upwork a much less valuable platform. I received 3 of the Google Hangout interview solicitations today for things I didn't apply for. They were all worded identically, as have been the previous ones I have received.

 

Instead of relying on users to be aware (we know that social engineering is very effective at catching people with their guard down) and telling users to flag the posts so they can be investigated and dealt with one by one (very ineffectively), Upwork should AUTOMATICALLY filter these out before they can be sent to people. Other platforms, such as Yahoo Mail, use such systemwide filtering methods (e.g., to prevent everyone from reiving obvious spam). Any unsolicitated invitations containing "Google Hangouts" should either be SYSTEMATICALLY rejected or at least sent to a human moderator for approval before it can be sent to unsuspecting people who may then waste their valuable time on something that at best leads to nothing and at worst leads to fraud..

 

If Upwork wants to be a valualbe platform they will take such measures to EFFECTIVELY prevent their users from being beseiged by fraudsters.


@Jeff G wrote:

Qoute >>

 

re: "It is WRONG that so many people are wasting their time on these scams."

 

I agree. But Upwork requires no scam awareness training prior to letting freelancers begin bidding on jobs. So this is likely to continue and be a common aspect of the new freelancer experience for the forseeable future.

 

<< End quote

 

I doesn't have to be part of the Upwork experience.

 

Mods and Gurus who just tell people to be more aware of the Upwork Terms of Service and to flag the postings are really missing the big picture.

 

These invitations make Upwork a much less valuable platform. I received 3 of the Google Hangout interview solicitations today for things I didn't apply for. They were all worded identically, as have been the previous ones I have received.

 

Instead of relying on users to be aware (we know that social engineering is very effective at catching people with their guard down) and telling users to flag the posts so they can be investigated and dealt with one by one (very ineffectively), Upwork should AUTOMATICALLY filter these out before they can be sent to people. It's not that hard. Any unsolicitated invitations containing "Google Hangouts" should either be SYSTEMATICALLY rejected or at least sent to a human moderator for approval before it can be sent to unsuspecting people who may then waste their valuable time on something that at best leads to nothing and at worst leads to fraud..

 

If Upwork wants to be a valualbe platform they will take such easy, minimal steps to EFFECTIVELY prevent their users from being beseiged by fraudsters.


 You are living in LaLa land.

 

Upwork cannot, any more than the entire internet, stop scamsters. Upwork does warn. Upwork is not a nanny state. We freelancers are responsible too. Upwork gives pointers to the obvious scams and that is all it can do. It also tries to remove these "job offers" as fast as they  appear (particularly on weekends). What you don't realize  that this is not just the odd scamster;  there are thousands of these people using the same MO.

 

Freelancers, indeed anyone using the internet, need to educate themselves and to be constantly alert.

The fact that thousands of scammers are using the same MO is exactly the reason a systematic solution would be helpful. Look up Bayesian filtering to learn about one such approach that is already working on many other platofmrs to identify (and prevent distribution of) content that is harmful and/or illigitimate There are people who work on solving problems such as this, and other people who just throw up their hands and say nothing can be done. Something can be done (it is being done on other platforms), and Upwork should be doing it if they want to maintain the value of their platform.


@Jeff G wrote:

The fact that thousands of scammers are using the same MO is exactly the reason a systematic solution would be helpful. Look up Bayesian filtering to learn about one such approach that is already working on many other platofmrs to identify (and prevent distribution of) content that is harmful and/or illigitimate There are people who work on solving problems such as this, and other people who just throw up their hands and say nothing can be done. Something can be done (it is being done on other platforms), and Upwork should be doing it if they want to maintain the value of their platform.


 Apologies Jeff,

 

You are right. I just wish Upwork would take you on board.

Hi Susan,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience. I checked and the team has already taken actions against the client's account you are referring to. 

 

Please, check this post for tips on how to avoid questionable jobs and interviews.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi, 

I am new to Upwork, joining after finding myself involved in a scam.  I was interviewed by an individual claiming to work as an HR manager at a real company (although she didn't use the company's email address) and am currently expecting a check to be delivered to my home address, today, in fact.  I became suspicious when she indicated that I was to deposit the check immediately & send her a copy of the deposit receipt.

 

As I read through the posts, it appears that most are a couple of years old.  How is it that this is still going on?  

What can be done to shut these individuals down?


Terri G wrote:

 

I am new to Upwork, joining after finding myself involved in a scam. 


You created your profile today and it is not yet approved, so there is no away you could have got involved with some scam already.

 


Terri G wrote:

How is it that this is still going on?  


It is one of the oldest and dumbest scams on the Internet. It's been around for well over 10 years. It is still going on because incredibly, there are STILL people who are naive enough to think that there is a snowball in hell's chance that any genuine client would ever send a real check to some stranger on the Internet.

 

I am so sorry you have waste your time and have been let down. I crashed
years ago. I went through the entire routine. That is how convincing
these creeps are. I've been on the internet since 1989 too!!!!