So yesterday I recieved an invitation for a tutoring job, and I eagerly accepted the invitation without realizing until later that I had never applied for this particular job. I looked at the client's background, and it seems that he has a 5 rating, as well as having spent over a thousand dollars, but after extensive research onto upwork forums, I was warned that this sort of scam was common to fairly new freelancers on upwork, and to be cautious if the client asked to be on google hangout, which he later did. I obviously do not want to miss a potentially good job, but I am also not looking to be scammed, so I was wondering if it was possible to see if this account is legitmate.
Most often, Google Hangouts will be a scam.
If you speak with a person who has a different name than your client, or who claims to be getting their manager to speak with you; it's a scam. If they ask for any identifying information about you, like your SSN, or your ID, or to fill out employment forms; it's a scam. If they try to get you to work off platform, or to pay you through some other means; it's a scam. If they offer to send you a check for thousands of dollars so that you can purchase equiptment; it's a scam.
I wouldn't even give it a chance. The scammers have made Google Hangouts into Scammer Hangouts.
Edit- invitations, generally speaking, aren't always scams. A client can choose to invite freelancers to apply to their jobs. That's normal and fine. Google Hangouts is not fine. If I were you, I would try to keep the communication on Upwork and if they flee, so be it.
You can flag the job for us to review it by clicking on the "Flag as inappropriate" link located at the upper right of the job posting and our team will review it and take action on any violations of the ToS.
When working on Upwork, please make sure that you have a contract with a client before doing any work, and ensuring that they have a verified billing method so that the work you do can be covered by Upwork Payment Protection is also a good idea. I'd suggest browsing this thread which has helpful tips for new users and you can also check out this thread for tips on avoiding suspicious jobs and scams if you haven't already.
Were you sent an invitation or a job offer? If you were sent an offer and accepted it, you are in a contract with them now. Extricating yourself now may come with a penalty to your JSS, but better that than to be compromised in some unknown bad way I guess.
There are situations where a potential client will send you an invitation directly without posting the job. These are not scams at all but are very rare (iin my experience). If you accept, then you and the client can work together any way that is convenient as long as the TOS is followed regarding payment, etc.
@Felice C wrote:
I was sent an invitation, so I don’t think it would hurt my JSS, as my main concern is with its validity
Try to send a message to one of the moderators here to check the legitimacy of the client (specifically the payment method of the client)
Also, if you do go into an interview, just look out for any red flags (asking for bank info, address, those sorts of things)
If you are new to Upwork and the client asked you to meet via Google Hangouts, then there is a good possibility that the job is a scam. Once you are more established, the invitations you receive are more likely to be for legitimate jobs.
You are in charge of how you handle your interactions with potential clients. If you want to investigate the opportunity, ask questions. You don't have to meet on Google Hangouts. Just inform the potential client that you need more information before deciding whether to pursue the job.