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IS THIS A SCAM?? GOOGLE HANGOUT INTERVIEWs

d1trance
Active

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
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

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!!!!
Well, what I meant by my question was what can be done to stop it - or at
the very least catch & perhaps prosecute the scammer to discourage the
activity.

I certainly didn't intend to be insulted.

Terri G wrote:
Well, what I meant by my question was what can be done to stop it - or at
the very least catch & perhaps prosecute the scammer to discourage the
activity.

Terri, there isn't "one scammer" - there are thousands all over the Internet and they will carry on as long as they find people who fall for it.

Sad but true.

 

They are also usually in countries far, far away from their hapless victims so chances of anything happening to them are rather slim.

 

Petra,

 

It seems to me, that the check can be traced back to somebody.  Believe me, I have no intention of "cashing" said check.  I even asked what bank the check was drawn on & was told that they would have to be checked.  

I guess the fact that one is actively seeking employment makes them fair game to predators on the internet.  

Its disgusting & dispicable!

Yes! It's horrible and there is very little recourse for holding them
accountable. I'm glad you were vigilant enough to recognize it. It seems
the "community" is very aware of it, but again I have no idea if they're
doing anything about it.

Happy job hunting!
Yes, this is and has plagued this site for years. That is why I left.
And hundreds more left since. Very disappointed to hear they creeps are
still lying to people.

Yes! Please DO NOT cash that check. I actually had an entire conversation
with someone on Google Hangouts off of ZipRecruiter (same scam as they're
running via Upwork) in which I actually got them to admit what they were
doing. They were posing as a Phizer Rep. Since I was already familiar with
this kind of scam I started toying with them. I don't exactly understand
how but they are committing check fraud. When you cash the check you become
responsible for the fraud. If anything, report them to the Upwork
administrators and perhaps consult your financial institution for advice on
what action to take in the event the check is a fraud.

Bottom line, do not agree to do business with anyone who is not willing to
communicate through the Upwork website for the majority of the work and
read their guidelines for additional employer guidelines and expectations.
Be especially suspicious of Google Hangouts and Google Voice service users.
I have seen them do this with job positions on ZipRecruiter, Indeed.com,
and Craigslist.com in addition to using false property rentals/sales on
Craigslist to run the same scam.

Good Luck!

P.S. I sent copies of the Hangouts communication to the actual company
(Phizer) and informed them, of the website. They were very happy to receive
the information and the Attorney General had no help or advice for me so
don't call them unless you know someone.

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