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lmalanczuk
Community Member

Is it a scam?

I have been hired for a job that involves transcribing text from jpg to pdf files. After one message, the client invited me to speak with a Mediavine representative via Telegram. From that point on, all details were discussed through this app. When I asked why we were talking via Telegram instead of upwork, I got the answer as in the first attachment.
When the conversation came to the financial part, the client made an offer which was surprisingly high (attachment 2).
The work is quite time consuming and before spending many hours of my life on it I would like to make sure that I didn't fall victim to a scam. What do you think about it?

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

You have not been hired unless the client sent you an offer via UW, you accepted, and the contract appears in your My Jobs tab. As Marc noted, it's strictly forbidden to accept payment outside the platform and if you think about it, you'll see why. UW's revenue comes from charging a percentage of the fees clients pay to FLs. If those transactions occur off the platform, there is no way for UW to claim its percentage. Invariably, a client that wants to pay you off platform is setting you up for a scam of some kind. Even if they're not doing that, they are definitely trying to cheat UW. Do you want to work with dishonest people?

 

It is also strictly forbidden to communicate with prospective clients by any means other than UW Messages (and calls and Zoom meetings via the UW Message page). (Once you have a contract, you can communicate any way you and the client choose.) The reason for that rule is to protect new UW FLs like you from the type of scam you describe. Please spend the time to get familiar with the rules and how the platform works, in order to stay safe and avoid being cheated.

 

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48 REPLIES 48
marc_compte
Community Member

If you get hired you can communicate in any way you like and share contact details, but payment outside Upwork is in violation of the Terms of Service. If I were you, I would decline the offer.

data_divas
Community Member

I doubt there is an offer. It screams scam. Stop communicating with these people. 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

You have not been hired unless the client sent you an offer via UW, you accepted, and the contract appears in your My Jobs tab. As Marc noted, it's strictly forbidden to accept payment outside the platform and if you think about it, you'll see why. UW's revenue comes from charging a percentage of the fees clients pay to FLs. If those transactions occur off the platform, there is no way for UW to claim its percentage. Invariably, a client that wants to pay you off platform is setting you up for a scam of some kind. Even if they're not doing that, they are definitely trying to cheat UW. Do you want to work with dishonest people?

 

It is also strictly forbidden to communicate with prospective clients by any means other than UW Messages (and calls and Zoom meetings via the UW Message page). (Once you have a contract, you can communicate any way you and the client choose.) The reason for that rule is to protect new UW FLs like you from the type of scam you describe. Please spend the time to get familiar with the rules and how the platform works, in order to stay safe and avoid being cheated.

 

Thank you for your help. I declined the offer.

I was about to indulge to this since I am new to upwork and literally have no idea of how things work. As a new freelancer, I solely rely on other peoples inquiries. I have received a message on upwork after I placed a bid, the message asked me to connect with someone through telegram stating that, that 'someone' is the secretary of the company. So, me, thinking its all legit in upwork, tried to contact them and the offer is indeed surprising. I am a Filipino by the way. the contract was laid, and there was a portion there that states for first timers I need to deposit certain amount for the processing etc. but no specific amount given. that pulled me back to reality and ask them about that. but there's no response.

What happens if you've technically signed a contract and submitted the outputs they asked. But they are asking you to pay for the international fees. Can you still refuse? 

This is a scam to get your money, so refuse.

 

Paying a client or buying something for him is a violation of Upwork's Terms of Service.

 

Communicating outside of Upwork (like Telegram, WhatsAll, Skype, etc...) before being hired on Upwork is also a violation of Upwork's Terms of Service.

 

Please take a pause from sending/accepting proposals and read the following resources to get you up to speed on how to use Upwork, and learn what is allowed and not allowed. 

 

SCAM : STOP buying PUBG, CRYPTO, NFT, etcโ€ฆ on... - Upwork Community

Get Started โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Upwork Legal Center

List of red flags for scams - Upwork Community

Freelancing 101 on Upwork - Upwork Community

Report Suspicious User Activity โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Understanding and Using Connects โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Tips to Avoid Questionable Jobs - Upwork Community

 

same issue we comunicate in telegram , his name is **Edited for Community Guidelines** i am also a first time freelancer , and i badly need work

 

 

These scams are still happening... I am a totally new member to upwork. The first time this happened, I had completed the task I was given. It was quite overwhelming. But I didn't pay afterwards even though they said the money will be refunded. I was quite upset about the effort I put in the work I  did. 

Now I have got a similar offer once again. It all makes sense to me now. I hope the team makes the members aware of such scams and how to avoid them, to protect new users from such scams.

AveryO
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Rahimaa, 


I looked into this, and I can see that in some of the jobs posts you sent proposals for, the clients request that the freelancer contact them directly. As a gentle reminder, please note that users cannot communicate off Upwork until a contract has been set up on your account (the client sent an offer, and you accepted it), as this is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service. It would also be best to visit these articles for more information on how you can keep in line with Upwork's Terms of Service when engaging on the website:

In the meantime, it would be best if you read up on the "Safety First!" section of the freelancer resources we have compiled, these tips for avoiding questionable jobs, and this article for more information about working safely through Upwork. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Did you scammed once?

 

same issue we comunicate in telegram , his name is **Edited for Community Guidelines** i am also a first time freelancer , and i badly need work. Anyone can give me some offer of work ?

400f83de
Community Member

I also got the offer and I wanted to know if you did something else?

what was the name of the person how contacted you?

re: "what was the name of the person how contacted you?"

 

It is a violation of Community Forum Guidelines to post the name of a company or person associated with an accusation of wrongdoing.

 

Besides, the name is irrelevent.

If you are looking at names, then it means you don't know how this works.

Behavior is what matters. Not names.

 

Let's imagine that you were told the name:
"Christophe Lankmaster"

(This is a name I made up, for demonstration purposes only.)

 

Well, the problem is:
That's not the scammer's real name.

That is just a name that the scammer found on the Internet and fed to a mark.

It does you no good to have that name, because the scammer has already stopped using that name and is now using a NEW name.

 

So even if Upwork Forum rules allowed us to post names, it would be better to NOT post those names

his name is **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Two of them contacted me -- **Edited for Community Guidelines**

ferjdf
Community Member

The same happen to me, they contact me on Telegram and offer me a job where i can choose a project to work with but they write me that first i need to pay a fee of 100$, that's crazy, they are using **edited for Community Guidelines** too

AveryO
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Fernando, 

I checked this and forwarded it to the team for their review. Thank you for sharing it here. In the future, you can report suspicious activity by following the steps here.


~ Avery
Upwork
khusraval
Community Member

Hi Avery,

 

Two of the members reached out to me. 

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

 

 

Hi Khushbu,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. I shared your report with our team for further review and appropriate actions will be taken as per our internal processes. 

 

Please know that sharing contact information before a contract has started is against Upwork's Terms of Service and that all communications prior to the contract starting must take place on Upwork. I also encourage you to let us know if a TOS violation has happened by using the Flag as Inappropriate option throughout the platform. You can learn more about user reporting here.

 

You may also want to check this help article and this thread to help you stay safe on Upwork. 

~ Nikola
Upwork
marta_dias
Community Member

I also got hired for this but I searched the**Edited for community guidelines** website to know if it was a trustworthy company and they have a communicate saying that they are not doing this themselves, therefore it is for sure a scam. I send you the link t:

**Edited for community guidelines**

theadiraju
Community Member

Similar thing happpened to me.. 

I think we should ban these type of scams.

Thanks, it really helped me for not going to get scammed.

There is nothing ban them for until a freelancer contacts them off Upwork without a contract in place.  Then the scam happens.  Keep all communication on Upwork and make sure you have been hired and have a contract on Upwork only.

No, ban them if they ask to be contacted on Telegram and after they refuse to communicate here.

I know that Upwork isn't going to put stricter filters into place to stops scam posts. I completely disagree with that, but that's the way it is. And they depend on us to report clients after they ask to communicate off platform. But seriously, they can't at least filter the ones that have a phone number or the word Telegram actually in the post? At least bounce it back and tell them to remove contact info and tell them they can't do that before allowing it to be posted.

974a6248
Community Member

Hy Lukasz M. I have gotten a same project with same procedure. Did he really pay you??

petra_r
Community Member


Ahsan J wrote: Did he really pay you??

If course not.

It's a scam.

9d085338
Community Member

Hi there. Did you accept the offer? Because I have received a similar one. It sounds persuasive to me but I am still doubtful. Could you please help me out by telling me whether you have accepted it or not?


Hannaa O wrote:

Did you accept the offer?


It doesn't matter if he accepted the offer.

 

Hannaa O wrote:

It sounds persuasive to me


Because it is.

 

It's a scam. That's it.

b3636411
Community Member

I just received the same proposal from the company **Edited for Community Guidelines** via Telegram. When I asked if the payment would be made within the Upwork platform, I was told no. Unfortunately in this case, I will refuse.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

You are posting that you agreed to be paid outside of upwork? That's bold. 

There is nothing to refuse. You are not refusing to be paid outside of upwork, I hope this is clear to you. You are talking to scammers trying to steal your money. 


Marla O wrote:

I just received the same proposal from the company **Edited for Community Guidelines** via Telegram. When I asked if the payment would be made within the Upwork platform, I was told no. Unfortunately in this case, I will refuse.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


You are not allowed to contact clients outside of Upwork before they have hired you on an official contract here.

simonachelsea
Community Member

This last few months this is a huge problem. Most of the jobs that I apply for are a scam. When they ask me to contact them on what's up or telegram, I am checking the company they are saying they are from, and with a simple google research, there is the official site of the company with a special page saying they do not hire freelancers, and specifiying they are not contacting people on telegram or what's up. Some of this "employers" even have their telegram or what's up contact left in their job description on UW. They offer enormous amounts of money, but they are asking you to pay up first, some small fee as a guarantee that they will refund. I am losing my will to scroll alongside my homepage on UW and look for jobs since recently these are the answers I get **Edited for Community Guidelines** , with the same going on conversation.  

 

RE:When they ask me to contact them on what's up or telegram, I am checking the company they are saying they are from...

 

No need to waste time doing that. Even if the company was real, communicating outside of Upwork before being hired on Upwork is a violation of Upwork's terms of service. 

 

Here are some ressources to get you up to speed and help you make better choices when it comes to sending proposals.

SCAM : STOP buying PUBG, CRYPTO, NFT, etcโ€ฆ on... - Upwork Community

Get Started โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Upwork Legal Center

List of red flags for scams - Upwork Community

Freelancing 101 on Upwork - Upwork Community

Report Suspicious User Activity โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Understanding and Using Connects โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

Tips to Avoid Questionable Jobs - Upwork Community

"I am losing my will to scroll alongside my homepage on UW and look for jobs..." Sorry, but you are not alone. Hopefully, some day very soon, Upwork will figure out a way to keep them out of our feeds.

d59d1aff
Community Member

This is also happened to me. 

crisline08
Community Member

I already applied that also but I asked them I will make 10pages only then she asked make it 50pages then I make it 50pages I send it to them email then they said its approved wait for 2 hours to process your payment then I got emailed asking me I need to link my account and have balance of $100 I just wondering why they asked that to link my account to there system then I said I don't have money on my account she always message me how much money you have I said $20 only she said ok send it then I will process out of my curiosity I did that then she said wait for 1hour to transfer your payment until I got nothing. They scammed me.

bcedc9f8
Community Member

this guy **Edited for Community Guidelines** on telegramclaiming to be from mediavine tried to scam me but I emailed the real mediavine and they confirmed it was a scam. When it comes to providing payment he says that I have to pay a $300 linking fee and identification documentation before they can provide payment.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Thank you for reporting it here as it raises awareness for both freelancers and Upwork about this on-going problem which they continue to do their best to prevent.

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