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BharathiM
Staff
Staff

Important Reminder: Policy on Sharing Contact Information

Hi there! I'm from Upwork's Customer Experience and Trust product team. Ensuring that Upwork remains a safe and trustworthy environment is at the core of what we do. In line with this commitment, I'd like to remind everyone about our critical policies regarding contact information sharing and payment processes. By adhering to these guidelines, we not only safeguard every transaction but also uphold the integrity of our platform.

 

No Exchange of Personal Contact Information Before Establishing a Contract 

To help maintain security and privacy of your Upwork account, personal contact information exchange (phone numbers, email addresses, social media) is prohibited until a formal contract is established. This prevents scams, protects privacy, and ensures transparent negotiations under Upworkโ€™s oversight.

 

Off-Platform Payments are Strictly Prohibited

All financial transactions must go through Upworkโ€™s official payment systems. This ensures timely support, dispute resolution, and community-wide protection. Off-platform payments violate terms, increasing fraud risk.

 

Consequences of Policy Violations

Any policy violation may result in disciplinary actions, including loss of talent badges, temporary restrictions, or permanent loss of account access. This includes attempts to share contact information through various platform features such as project descriptions, profiles, messages, attachments, or other means.

 

Be sure to review our contact information sharing policy and help us keep Upwork safe by reporting any attempts to send payments outside Upwork. 

 

Need More Information?

For further clarification on our policies, visit the links below, which provide detailed information and resources for navigating our platform safely and effectively.

We're dedicated to fostering a secure platform where freelancers and clients can connect, collaborate, and thrive. Thank you for your cooperation and being an integral part of our community.

 

Thank you for your help in keeping Upwork safe, 

Upwork Trust & Safety 

112 REPLIES 112
app-ninja
Community Member

Almost all clients require a NDA, within that NDA it usually asks for personal contact information, i.e. a full name, from which they could easily "Google" someone to get their information. How do we get around that? Also, some clients don't like to use Zoom within UpWork, instead they want to use Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc... Some clients want to use the scheduling all Calendly to schedule an interview, which exposes an email address, etc... There are many ways needed to secure an interview with a client, pre-contract, that exposes some sort of personal information. So just looking to not get penalized here, so what can we do?

Yeah, she did not mention an important information, about the exceptions.

 

Maybe they wanted to not truly publicize the exceptions or something. Their mistake.

 

I've seen freelancers posted here they didn't get their contract as a result for being so "Upwork rule-followers" by telling their prospective client that they need to follow rules, when the client asks for email on cases that are actually covered in the exceptions.

Fully agree. I've tried multiple times using the Zoom or the Upwork call feature when there was one, but way too often clients weren't able to join or preferred Google Meet. The corporate clients I've had always wanted to use Microsoft Teams, so it becomes additional work for them to figure it out. If it's possible Upwork should add the three big platforms and an ability for clients to integrate for calls directly.

It's not even that hard to figure it out. All they need to do is hit the video button inside of the chat. 

yofazza
Community Member

People are different, with many different reasons as well. I just wrote this a few days ago.

 

And, I am posting this today because on Sunday, a group of seniors (70+) asked me for directions to drive to my dad's place in a rural area. I gave them "checkpoints" in Google Maps, so they basically just needed to go through each of the checkpoints because going straight to the destination would lead them to many "bad roads." They have smartphones, and they were all pilots, so "checkpoints" should be familiar to them, right?

 

No, they still go straight to the destination while calling my dad all the time (which is kind of a mess), ask people on the road, etc., that makes them took the wrong turns multiple times. Luckily, they managed to share their live location so my dad could tell them to turn around each time.

 

Some people would simply blame them. I won't.

 

Upwork has the right to choose their user segments, you have yours.

de82a5ad
Community Member

I read your other posts and it stinks that that happened. It says in the tos that after a contract is signed you can communicate how you want, but payment has to go through upwork. If they banned them for communicating on slack after the contract was in lace that really stink. 

 

The app is a bit frustrating and using it on the app and the computer is the best way I have found to function. I agree it could be a lot better. 

 

There are many different kinds of people and tech capabilities, sre, but this is how this platform works. I think the information is out there for clients because I just found a bunch related to the hiring process and no contact sharing and contracts. We too have to look for info on platform usage, but if we want to use upwork properly we can fin the how tos and it's the same for clients. Not knowing how to do something, isn't an excuse to do it wrong when a person could simply find the right process. And if the platform doesn't doesn't work for one person, there are a lot of other freelancer sites. Honestly, I think most of us are onultiple anyway somce Upwork is over saturated. 

Agree


strongly agree with you

yofazza
Community Member

Why this sticky post all of a sudden? Have we seen an increase in circumvention lately๐Ÿ˜

 

And, the idea is to protect Upwork's interest, NOT to prevent scams, etc. We know how you deal with them.

may be Skilled freelancers are moving their clients elsewhere due to a lack of job opportunities.๐Ÿ˜‚

This could be a very valid reason too

6bfcdaf8
Community Member

In my experience this also protects the freelancer interest as well. The type of clients who have no problems playing by the rules, are the ones you'd enjoy working with.

I agree but sometimes when it comes to big corporation and you get an interview by the whole team and maybe one of the 4 people is used to using Upwork they need to move the whole team to a platform or give them Upwork access, etc. In order to chat with you. It's rare to have these big corporations but ultimately I think this is what Upwork and the freelancers want because this creates long-term high-paying contracts and both sides are happy. Probably, there should be an integration with the rest of the platforms. That would be way more ideal.

You don't; there's Upwork Zoom and you can do calls with any people you like as long as you do them through Upwork Zoom

p_piekutowski
Community Member

I got this message in my Upwork chat inbox tonight sent directly to me. Did everyone get this message or is it specifically sent to me? I have not violated anything ... so I am concerned now!

It is broadcast, dont worry.

thank you!

It is worrying b/c I received mine 5 mins after having a UW hosted Zoom Call with a client.

And this client asked to send an NDA to my email - I replied I cant provide that, use UW messanger.

However, can I even provide a completed NDA?

 

An offshore UW person - real or fake, who knows, who began their membership April 29, 2024 is reminding the entire UW freelancer community?   Cmon UW - get a clue about who it is that generates most of your revenue. 

The OP's post is an overview, but it probably should have included a direct link to Sharing Information On Upwork (unless it does and I missed it).

 

There are a few cases when users may share their personal contact information before a contract begins:

 

  • If users must share or collect information that may include contact information โ€” such as non-disclosure agreements, business licenses, etc โ€” for legal purposes.

  • If users must provide their email address to gain access to a system for the purposes of scoping a project.


In these cases, contact information is permitted to be shared, but all communication must still take place on Upwork.

I got the same msg in my inbox. I was alerted as to why me as I didn't violate the rules

spectralua
Community Member

Upwort team, you are spamming all legal users with this useless info (we already know and following rules) but you will take no action for newbies who never saw ToS and won't follow anything. Why?

crart
Community Member

Bullying vets is easier than teaching newbs ๐Ÿ˜‚

alexandernovikov
Community Member

Stupid question: a company has a name and a name is public. Anyone can google it and of course being a proper name, it always comes on top. How is this regulation supposed to work then?

Any scammer can use  the name of a well-known company - and often do.  Don't ever go by that.  The point is that you must ALWAYS communicate with a potential client through Upwork and never any other way.  Once you have a contract in place, then you may communicate however you wish.

 

No, i meant it other way around. That the client can see the name of your company (agency) and contact you off Upwork simply never mentioning he found it on Upwork. And there is no way to know. He could have simply googled it up.

The two-year rule clearly states that you must receive payment through Upwork for clients that you first met on Upwork.

 

So, people need to be good and tell each other that they can't do that as soon as they realize that they've met on Upwork before ๐Ÿ˜ ... which might work better if Upwork put more effort into working out the loyalty of their users.

 

There's also this interesting post yesterday. I'd go with the FTC banning these kind of rules. Let brokers be brokers.

31dcd5df
Community Member

And what happens when we need to showcase a portfolio in my case as a designer and video editor? The client needs an easy and quick appreciation of the video or on platforms that are familiar to them like Behance and YouTube. I never make contracts outside the platform to protect my work, but to attract clients, they need to see my portfolio since the options provided by Upwork unfortunately do not yield good results or the client always asks for more. Sharing my portfolios has given me better results. Would this be violating the rules? Even though I always manage the contract and contact through the platform?

Your portfolio is supposed to be in your profile. You are free to share through the proposals or through the messaging. There are ways to show your work without having to use outside sources.


 Jeanne H wrote:

Your portfolio is supposed to be in your profile. You are free to share through the proposals or through the messaging. There are ways to show your work without having to use outside sources.

I would not presume to speak for all contractors here about the adequacy of Upwork's portfolio system in presenting my work. Many contractors have indicated that it is not adequate.
Upwork has repeatedly confirmed that linking to outside portfolios is allowed, when accompanied by a disclaimer that any contact information disclosed in such sharing is not to be used prior to award and acceptance of a contract. 

edited to add: We need clarity from Upwork about whether linking to external portfolios, including those that contain contact information, is still permitted.

Yes, as I said there are ways to showcase your work, without going outside of Upwork. Your portfolio link is in your profile..

yes

You are supposed to be able to have the link to an external portfolio (confirmed by former moderator Valeria), as long as you only use it to show your work, not for you and the client to get in touch through it.
I have a link to my portfolio in my presentation and it has contact information.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

At the very least, Top Rated freelancers should be able to communicate however clients prefer to communicate.

 

I would guess that at least half of the experenced clients I deal with and nearly 100% of the new clients I deal with want to send me a phone number, ZOOM connect or anything other than use Upwork's ZOOM app. 

 

Which is why I put this text in every proposal I make and every direct offer reply:

 

"I suggest we have a call to discuss your project in detail. As you may know, during our pre-contract communication Upwork requires that we only use Upworkโ€™s own version of Zoom, rather than phone, WhatsApp, Zoom, Hangouts, etc., to talk through the specifics of what you need and to discuss any questions you and I have for one another:

 

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052511833-Get-to-know-each-other-before-a-contract

 

After that call, which I am happy to have on any day that is convenient for you, I can start work on this (immediately as soon as Upwork confirms your payment method). We can then use any method of communication you prefer."

fran_herold
Community Member

Will the clients receive the same message?
Most of the time it seems they have no idea and ask for data or even spontaneously share their phone numbers.

When that happens, apart from reminding them the Upwork policy, what is the correct way to act?

Every potential client I deal with gets that information from me.

 

Most cooperate without much protest; a handful need to be convinced. Including a link to Upwork's policy is hard for a client to disagree with - and I agree with them when they say it's onerous and shouldn't be necessary when honest adults have a conversation. If only everyone on Upwork were an honest adult.

Oh I get that and I do the same.
My concern is to not be sanctioned by Upwork because of that.
A potential client left his number. I suggested to respect the Upwork policy but they never replied.
How can I know Upwork will not think I contacted them and sanction ME for that?
THAT is my concern.

Dont worry, you did all right. For sure you can also report message where client forcing you for ToS violation.

Upwork is not going to sanction you for following Upwork's rules.


 wrote:

Oh I get that and I do the same.
My concern is to not be sanctioned by Upwork because of that.
A potential client left his number. I suggested to respect the Upwork policy but they never replied.
How can I know Upwork will not think I contacted them and sanction ME for that?
THAT is my concern.


  • Only communicate through Upwork's messaging, so there is a clear record of what you said and what the prospect said.
  • Cross your fingers.
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