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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.



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

Community Guru

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

173 REPLIES 173

I'd like to know what they are after as well. Seems to be a pretty long drawn out way to get sensative information. 

Yikes! I should have checked here. I just had 2 "interviews" myself. One to a job I would be qualified for. Another for a techie job I couldn't get otherwise. Both hired me and told me to expect payment and that I had to buy a bunch of equipment and software. I already have and use industry-standard software, why would I need to get more? I can't believe I was this stupid. Now there are checks coming to my house. I will probably send them back, if the payor even exists.

Hi Jessica, 

I checked your account and it doesn't look like you had any interviews with any client onsite. If you have the details of these clients, their job posts, and screen grabs of your conversation with them, please send it to me via a private message so that I can report this to the team for their action. 

Please take note that paying off the platform is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service. Please check the freelancer resources we compiled and tips for avoiding questionable jobs, for more information about working safely through Upwork.

~ Avery
Oh my gosh! I just got an interview from Google hangout today and told me I am hired. And the company is saying that they would send me a check to get my mini-office supplies coz they cant send thru any supplies from their location here in the US. Good thing I check this out first before doing anything more with them. I am just a newbiew here in upwork and dont know which ones are a scam.

Hi Amphie Veronica, 


Please check the freelancer resources we compiled and tips for avoiding questionable jobs, for more information about working safely through Upwork.

I have reported the client and her job post to the team so that they can take actions agains the client's account.

~ Avery

i got this today too! and i was second guessing it and hopped on this forum and found other people getting this scam too! I knew it seemed too good to be true!

Thanks thats what I thought but was not 100% sure. I wish Upwork would not let these people do this on their site. 

Hi Elizabeth,


While it's not against the ToS to request contact outside of Upwork, it's against the ToS to offer payment outside of Upwork, request freelancers to work without an active contract or pay their money to start working. That's what often happens during these Google Hangout interviews. Many new freelancers find that they are more safe and successful when they focus on applying to jobs they are interested in and are able to complete instead of relying on invitations. As you get more experienced, you will receive better invites.


We'll have the jobs you are referring to reviewed and necessary actions taken. Please, check this post and especially Safety First sections for more information about working safely on Upwork.

~ Valeria

How do I flag it? its asking me to interview and to add someone to google hangouts. The only options available to me are "accept Interview" or "decline Interview"? How can I report this to you in the absence of a flagging option?? I have a screen shot of the job and can send you the url, but I assume you don't want that done via an open online forum, correct? Please advise and I will proceed accordingly. 

Thank you,


Rebecca Spees

Hi Rebecca,

I located the proposal you are referring to and it's already been archived because the job was cancelled as inappropriate. You can check your archived proposals under Find Work> Proposals> Archived.


In the future, if you want to report a client, you can click "View Job Posting" link in the proposal and you'll see the link to "Flag as Inappropriate" link on the right.

~ Valeria

I agree I keep getting them too? How can I tell if its a legit offer or not. Every proposal I have gotten has directed me to google hangout or skype. I ask them to verfiy there company by giving me an office to call and they never can. Its so annoying.


Also be aware that receiving payment outside of Upwork is against the TOS. It will get your Upwork account suspended permanently.


On top of that, the cheque will be fake, so you will be out of pocket, and possibly committing an offence.


If you want to use Upwork long term, you need to protect yourself, and your account. Never accept payment outside of Upwork. It's the quickest way to get banned.



I have been approached for interviews, but, as it turns out, there are several interviews that take hours, just to get free advice. Is this a scam, or are there any strict guidelines on interviews? 


Also, I have been approached on Upwork, performed some work, then the company does not want to use Upwork messaging or its infrastructure at all to save money and cut corners... Now, I am not sure how to use this service as a legit way of doing business.

its so strange....I got an interview request on upwork. I had the interview via google hangouts and the interview manager has the same photo that you have. 😞


Not saying that you are a scammer/spammer bc any one could' ve used your photo but it is discouraging when you have more scammers contacting you on UPWORK than real Jobs.

In this case, doesnt sound like they asked her to purchase first, I had this as well, they wanted to send me a check to make the purchases through their vendor. So nothing coming out of my pocket, but I dont know what im depositing into my account either.  The HR person on google hangouts checked out on linked in, on the company website, even her facebook page and zoom info. I havent reached out to her directly yet, but its my plan to. The company itself is legit, Just not sure who im speaking with on google hangouts, if its someone impersonating the actual HR person I found online.

Hi Nicole,


I can confirm the job you described is definitely a scam and you should stop communicating with the client. Please review the information we shared here and the replies posted on this thread. Note that you should only accept to get paid through Upwork and additionally the checks this person offered to send you are fake, as this is a known internet scam. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Dora,


I checked and it looks like the team has already taken actions against these job posts and client accounts. 


As others pointed out on this thread already offering to pay outside the platform is a serious violation of our ToS. 

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. Always make sure that you have an active contract in My Jobs tab before you start working.


You can find valuable information in the Getting Started as a Freelancer section of the Hep Center. I also advise reading the best practice advice shared by other users in following threads:

Freelancer Tutorial Videos

Want to get that first job? Then check this out...

~ Valeria

I was contacted by the same person!!! it was under the name of **Edited for Community Guidelines** and they invited me for an interview on google hangouts, I googled some of the info that this scammer was providing and this post came up. They claim to be a representative from **Edited for Community Guidelines**, and ask for bank account info. I took a couple sceen shoots of the conversation I had with the scammer and placed them here. 


Hi Juan,


I have checked and the team has already taken actions agains the job posting and the client account.

~ Valeria

Re: "I have been approached for interviews, but, as it turns out, there are several interviews that take hours, just to get free advice. Is this a scam, or are there any strict guidelines on interviews? "


Let me address this point directly.


An interview that lasts hours is completely inappropriate.


MOST jobs posted on Upwork are straightforward enough that they do not require an interview.


For those jobs that have a client who feels that they need to formally interview contractors, an interview can effectively be done within five to ten minutes.


Clients who interview you for a length of time longer than that are almost always either wasting your time, trying to scam you, or manipulating you into providing them with free ideas or free consultation time.


Contractors: cut those long interviews short!

Politely tell the client that you're excited to help the client with his project but that you can't continue working with him without a contract.

I got two similar 'interviews' from messages here. One would not respond any longer when told them that I googled their company, and got reports that it was a scam, then asked if they would please send me their federal tax ID number. The other is supposedly sending a check for supplies to begin work. I believe it to be a scam. I learned some good info by googling, and reading all the comments here. I wasn't aware that it was a violation of Upwork's TOS for companies to pay in methods that are not through Upwork. Learn something new every day.