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jbran64
Community Member

Is this allowed - contact outside of Upwork for interview?

A potential client is asking me to call a number, leave my name and location in a message,  and download an interview app and contact a user who will be conducting the interview (who is different than who I have communicated with on Upwork). There are three different companies that seem to be involved in the process. Is this likely a scam?

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pgiambalvo
Community Member

Total scam, one of the many that have been more frequent here on UW. Don't communicate with any one off of UW until after a contract has been set up and read and follow the ToS. Sorry you had this experience but glad you posted about here to raise awareness of the scam post problem.

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127 REPLIES 127
pgiambalvo
Community Member

Total scam, one of the many that have been more frequent here on UW. Don't communicate with any one off of UW until after a contract has been set up and read and follow the ToS. Sorry you had this experience but glad you posted about here to raise awareness of the scam post problem.

Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't sure if this qualified as the single exception is the ToS:

 

"A client or freelancer may only share contact information if it is for the sole purpose of giving the other party access to a system that allows them to scope the project in advance. This allows freelancers to review a project prior to a contract so they can determine if they have the needed skills, how many hours it will take, etc. "

 

Still, it seems like a lot of hoops to jump through simply to obtain more information about a potential opportunity especially when there is Upwork Chat and the ability to schedule and conduct interviews through the Upwork platform.

 

Thank you for your advice.

petra_r
Community Member


Brandon J wrote:

Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't sure if this qualified as the single exception is the ToS:


No, it doesn't, and there is no exception at all for communicating in any way, shape, or form before a contract is in place. It I always strictly forbidden and can always lead to account suspension.

jbran64
Community Member

Thank you for clarifying this. I will be sure to avoid any clients asking to communicate outside of Upwork to discuss their projects (so far I've only encountered these types of clients unfortunately).

Brandon:

 

The tone you encounter from Forum participants would probably be different if we thought that Upwork was putting up roadblocks for no valid reason, or if we thought that these people were real clients.

 

But these people are just scammers. Upworkโ€™s rules about this make sense and they help freelancers to earn real money while avoiding time-wasters, scammers and thieves.


Preston H wrote:

But these people are just scammers. Upworkโ€™s rules about this make sense and they help freelancers to earn real money while avoiding time-wasters, scammers and thieves.


If freelancers would just bother educating themselves about the rules before jumping head first into what is (especially for new entry-level US-based freelancers) shark infested water, and stopped violating the terms of service, either because they don't care or failed at the "figure out how this works" stage, there would be no scammers because there wouldn't be anyone to scam.

jbran64
Community Member

That's why I asked before jumping in. Perhaps UpWork could do a better job of vetting clients - I'm seeing job postings where people are putting their phone numbers in the job description or instructing freelancers to contact them via WhatsApp in their actual job description. Yikes. An automated screen could catch stuff like that and report the posting.

 

Is there any repercussions for clients who try to abuse the system or can they just repost the same job hoping to get another victim? I'm seeing people cancel proposals when I suggest that we communicate via the UpWork platform like the terms indicate. They then repost the job...

 

These people should be booted off the platform in my opinion. It doesn't have to be a shark-tank environment if clients were vetted better by the platform. Why not make all clients verify their payment method for example? After all, if they are posting jobs they are anticipating to pay someone, no?

 


Brandon J wrote:

That's why I asked before jumping in. Perhaps UpWork could do a better job of vetting clients - I'm seeing job postings where people are putting their phone numbers in the job description or instructing freelancers to contact them via WhatsApp in their actual job description. Yikes. An automated screen could catch stuff like that and report the posting.

 

Is there any repercussions for clients who try to abuse the system or can they just repost the same job hoping to get another victim? I'm seeing people cancel proposals when I suggest that we communicate via the UpWork platform like the terms indicate. They then repost the job...

 

These people should be booted off the platform in my opinion. It doesn't have to be a shark-tank environment if clients were vetted better by the platform. Why not make all clients verify their payment method for example? After all, if they are posting jobs they are anticipating to pay someone, no?

 


That's what the flagging option in every job posting is for. When you find a violation, flag the job posting, so it will be checked/removed. 

After all, if they are posting jobs they are anticipating to pay someone, no?

No. The scammers never intend to pay anybody. They could verify their payment method and still never intend to pay anybody. 

The issue I'm encountering is that sometimes you have to submit a proposal first to determine whether or not an opportunity is a scam. For example if they ask you to contact them outside the platform as part of your interview process.

 

Each proposal costs connects. These opportunities that wind up getting flagged eat through your connects and you can't get them back when a job is cancelled due to violating the terms of service.

 

I still feel the onus shouldn't be on freelancers to vet opportunities. There must be a way to prevent these individuals from preying upon freelancers. I do not know what that method is - perhaps charging clients to post opportunities would filter out a lot of the problematic individuals would help?

 

Raising the bar for clients would improve the quality of the opportunites available to freelancers and hopefully prevent these scenarios from occuring.

 

Thanks for your reply.

Brandon J, I'm with you, brother, but trust me, your arguments are going to fall on deaf or surly ears.

Thanks Peter. I'll get down from my soap box now.

Brandon, see what I meant about deaf and surly ears? NEVER get off your soap box. Just make sure it's big enough for me to stand next to you.

Peter, thanks for your support.

rjackso7
Community Member

Brandon,

 

I agree that it should be on Upwork to try to Vet these people out.  I report a lot of these posts that appear to be scams but I feel like a response back to our reporting would be good so that we know that it actually did any good.  Also, Upwork I feel should charge Clients something to post jobs as well so that this would vet some of them out.  Trust me if they have to spend their money they will not use the platform.  I am set up to receive US only jobs but pay attention to the Clients time in the posting; a lot of them are like 6 hours ahead of the US time zones.  

jbran64
Community Member

Rhonda, thanks for the response. That's a helpful tip regarding the time difference. I did see that after reporting a few jobs, the jobs were removed from the platform, but this was after I had submitted proposals. Unfortunately, one of the jobs simply popped up again in the feed with the same wording as the original posting that was removed. So it seems there is not a method that prevents these individuals from regeneratig their listings. Until they find a better way to screen these people out of the marketplace (assuming there is an interest in doing so) it looks like relying on intuition is the way to go.

I am all for the roadblocks. Anything to screen out problematic clients and scammers as they are apparently everywhere. I see that as a vetting issue that UpWork could potentially improve upon. Maybe making clients pay to post job opportunities could reduce that problem. It seems only the freelancer has to worry about confirming their identity and payment preferences. I'm new to the platform so I didn't realize that freelancing is a minefield. Apparently I should have known better. I still think that UpWork should strive to ensure that every job posting is legitimate by making it harder for fluff to get through. It wastes proposals when you apply to stuff that turns out to be bogus.


Brandon J wrote:

I am all for the roadblocks. Anything to screen out problematic clients and scammers as they are apparently everywhere. I see that as a vetting issue that UpWork could potentially improve upon. Maybe making clients pay to post job opportunities could reduce that problem. It seems only the freelancer has to worry about confirming their identity and payment preferences. I'm new to the platform so I didn't realize that freelancing is a minefield. Apparently I should have known better. I still think that UpWork should strive to ensure that every job posting is legitimate by making it harder for fluff to get through. It wastes proposals when you apply to stuff that turns out to be bogus.


I don't want to burst your bubble, but this has been discussed a million times in the forum. You can pull up old threads and see the discussions. 

If it is such an issue, why not fix it? The scams are coming from the client side and not the freelancer side. I don't know what the process is for clients to post opportunities and what checks are in place to ensure they are legitimate, but I get the impression that identity verification is stricter for freelancers than clients based on my observations. The has to be a better way to filter out scammers from the platform.


Brandon J wrote:

If it is such an issue, why not fix it? The scams are coming from the client side and not the freelancer side. I don't know what the process is for clients to post opportunities and what checks are in place to ensure they are legitimate, but I get the impression that identity verification is stricter for freelancers than clients based on my observations. The has to be a better way to filter out scammers from the platform.


You are partly correct, clients are not required to verify their identity and the platform tries to make it easy for them to use and post jobs. Scams are coming from both sides, though. There are freelancer profiles that are copied from other people, wrong information, lots of accounts of freelancers never delivering any work, trying to get paid outside of upwork, and pretty much everything else you can imagine. 

If freelancers would read the ToS and abide by them, it is practically impossible to fall for a scam. But most of them don't read them or feel they don't apply to them. Then they complain about upwork not doing enough to protect them, which is hardly fair, since that only happens if the freelancer does not follow the rules he signed up for. 


Brandon J wrote:

If it is such an issue, why not fix it? The scams are coming from the client side and not the freelancer side. 


Actually, there are plenty of scams coming from freelancers as well. 

 


Brandon J wrote:

I don't know what the process is for clients to post opportunities and what checks are in place to ensure they are legitimate, but I get the impression that identity verification is stricter for freelancers than clients based on my observations. 


It's completely different for freelancers than for clients, though. Freelancers spend a lot of time working on their profiles (at least, some of us do), and reviews are important to us, so there's not much of a temptation to abandon our accounts and sign up under a different email address. Clients have no such worries - if a scammer is kicked off, they can simply sign up again using a different fake name and a different email address (which they do - over and over again). If payment verification was required, they'd find a way around that as well. The only way to reduce or eliminate the scamming is to reduce the number of freelancers who fall for scams, thus making it a waste of time for scammers to operate here. 

This makes sense. I am trying to understand what the scam is that we are falling for when they ask us to contact them via other means. Are they collecting user information to sell or what is their objective? In any case it is frustrating that the only way to solve the problem is by "being street smart". I'm sure there are many people who do not read the terms of service - it's 17,300 words.

 

The problem is as you state there are no repercussions for misbehaving clients. They can simply generate a new email address and create a new account. Even failing to pay a freelancer for the work they perfrom and defaulting has minimal consequences. Their account gets closed, but what does that matter if they can simply open up another one and repeat the game.

 

There's not enough "skin" in the game from clients in my opinion. There should be an investment made in order to post a job opportunity. For example a client could have to pay a portion of the cost of a job into an escrow account BEFORE their job post goes live. This would ensure only clients that are legitimately interested in paying for freelance services are attracted to the site and post opportunitites.

 

Heck, even charging clients $100 to post a job opportunity would curtail the problem. It would clean up the clutter on the site, reduce scam attempts because no one would pay $100 for the opportunity to steal someone's identity, and it would weed out the jobs where people are offering to pay $6 for a new company website. If there was more of a financial cost to clients to participate in the freelance market, they wouldn't be a need to play bad client account whack-a-mole anymore and not following the rules would cost clients their posting fee.

 

This is my proposed solution to the problem. It would lead to less job postings in the marketplace, but those job postings would all be real.


Brandon J wrote:

Heck, even charging clients $100 to post a job opportunity would curtail the problem. It would clean up the clutter on the site, reduce scam attempts because no one would pay $100 for the opportunity to steal someone's identity, and it would weed out the jobs where people are offering to pay $6 for a new company website. If there was more of a financial cost to clients to participate in the freelance market, they wouldn't be a need to play bad client account whack-a-mole anymore and not following the rules would cost clients their posting fee.

 

This is my proposed solution to the problem. It would lead to less job postings in the marketplace, but those job postings would all be real.


You think that nobody has come up with this idea before now?

 

Imagine how you would feel if you went to a website and wanted to browse to see if there was something that you wanted to buy, but you were required to enter your credit card information and commit to spending $100 before you had even found what you wanted. Would you use that website, or would you go elsewhere?

 

The minimum charge here is $5/project, BTW. I think that it's too low, obviously, but if other freelancers want to work for that amount of money, how is that any of my business?

In your example, buyers would not be charged to purchase anything, but sellers would be charged to sell something. That is indeed how Ebay works.

 

The connects mechanism sort of does what you proposed in your example. Freelancers pay for the opportunity to apply for opportunities and if they run out of connects they must purchase more connects to contnue applying to positions.

 

The burden is on the freelancer whereas the client is free to post nonsense jobs or try to run scams. Why not make the job "sellers" pay to post positions and attract talent instead of burden the folks needing the work? Unless UpWork has realized it may make more money from the freelancers' purchasing of premium memberships and buying connects than they would on charging clients to post jobs?

 

I don't know but I imagine there is a business decision that is guiding the current philosophy. Charging for job postings would solve the scam problem though.

You think that nobody has come up with this idea before now?

 

No, I honestly didn't.

kinector
Community Member

I'm with Brandon on this on this one. It would be better for all of us if Upwork verified client accounts as well or set a small charge to job posts. Even if it would cut the number of clients in half, it would probably be better for everyone involved, including the platform, in the long run.

 

I find that these days this place is too much like other freelance sites and the feeling of working on a premium platform is long gone. The Project Catalog, proposal boosts, scams, bugs, and all the rest... Uhh. Everything is getting less unique among freelance sites and yet more complicated for freelancers. Real progress would be welcome. 

petra_r
Community Member


Mikko R wrote:

Even if it would cut the number of clients in half, it would probably be better for everyone involved, including the platform, in the long run.. 


There would be no "longterm" if the platform goes bust.

 

Considering Upwork doesn't make a single Dollar of profit yet, "cutting the number of clients in half" would (obviously) kill it.

 

Again, the reason why none of the platforms do it is because it would kill them.

Why kill the platform to protect (only) those who are dishonest and those who can't (or won't) read the rules?

jbran64
Community Member

A platform full of bogus job postings generates a lot of connects, but if that were the strategy it would be a failing business model as well.

 

The problem is fake job postings and scammers not the freelancers here - it has nothing to do with freelancers not reading the terms of service. They are applying to postings that are illegitimate. The clients are creating fake opportunities because they can get away with it with trivial consequences.

 

The fact that freelancers have to deal with clients trying to do shady things during the proposal stage indicates clients aren't following the terms of service. Why should they?

 

Charging clients for job postings would generate income for UpWork. It might bolster the company's revenue.

 

It is a cost benefit exercise to determine whether or not the amount of $ gained from charging clients would be greater than the current model which charges the freelancer.

 

Could you see how fake job posts benefit the platform because it leads to more connect spends if applying to postings is an inefficient process due to the presence of scams?

 

This would propagate the scam problem and remove the incentive to correct it. Such a scenario would be the sign of a dying business, though.

 

I'll rephrase by saying it would be better for the freelancer to have fewer job postings to apply to if the majority of the postings are duplicated, or violate the terms of service, or are scams.

jbran64
Community Member

What if the half you cut were the scammers? The good half would remain on the platform. The scammers weren't paying for work anyway so they never were revenue opportunities. They just attracted proposals and spent connects which would sort of provide a revenue for the company I imagine, but not as much as the small pool of legitimate clients intending to pay for hourly work and generate fees for the company? I don't know I'd have to do the math on that one. There may be an incentive not to filter out bad listings unfortunately.

tlbp
Community Member


Brandon J wrote:

If it is such an issue, why not fix it? The scams are coming from the client side and not the freelancer side. I don't know what the process is for clients to post opportunities and what checks are in place to ensure they are legitimate, but I get the impression that identity verification is stricter for freelancers than clients based on my observations. The has to be a better way to filter out scammers from the platform.


Do you have any expertise in combatting fraud or are you just assuming there must be an easy solution because you want there to be? 

 

Spend a few hours on Indeed, Monster.com, Craigslist or any of the other places where desperate people go looking to earn money. You will soon find that they are also rife with scams. If there were an easy way to keep the prey away from the predator, someone would have found it by now. I'm sure the FBI, FTC and several other law enforcement agencies around the world would be thrilled to shut down scams so they could focus on other crimes. 

 

 

jbran64
Community Member

I have some programming knowledge and believe it is fairly easy to scan job postings for telephone numbers and autoflag them for example. Duplicate job postings - easy to fix. 20 job postings saying the same thing 20 times is probably not a legitimate job posting. There are ways to attack the problem. It may not solve everything, but it weeds out the easy stuff that people might fall for.

 

I agree with you, preventing fraud is very difficult and many companies are struggling with fake user accounts and scam accounts.

 

I think if clients were charged a fee to post job opportunitites it would weed out a lot of potential rif raff. Scammers don't like paying for things because it exposes their identity and financial information and the expense is not worth whatever data they are trying to collect from their victims.

 

When it is free to post jobs and no consequences for posting junk jobs or scamming freelancers, then these people will just continue taking advantage of the personal information available on job sites.

 

Notice indeed, monster, craigslist all allow free job posts. The easy way to stop the practice of scamming people is to raise the bar for the scammers and make it no longer worth their while to practice their craft. Imposing a cost to participate is enough of an incentive to dissuade scammers from a platform.

 

There must be some other reason companies are not charging fees for job postings and I believe it is because they want to attract as many users and generate as much job content as possbile. These free service companies are all gathering and selling user data in addition to being job platforms so they don't care if there are scammers.

 

UpWork charges freelancers to use their platform via the connects mechanism and makes money directly from the wages paid to freelancers. It would be even more profitable for the platform if it decided to charge clients for posting jobs.

 

tlbp
Community Member


Brandon J wrote:

I have some programming knowledge and believe it is fairly easy to scan job postings for telephone numbers and autoflag them for example. Duplicate job postings - easy to fix. 20 job postings saying the same thing 20 times is probably not a legitimate job posting. There are ways to attack the problem. It may not solve everything, but it weeds out the easy stuff that people might fall for.

 

I agree with you, preventing fraud is very difficult and many companies are struggling with fake user accounts and scam accounts.

 

I think if clients were charged a fee to post job opportunitites it would weed out a lot of potential rif raff. Scammers don't like paying for things because it exposes their identity and financial information and the expense is not worth whatever data they are trying to collect from their victims.

 

When it is free to post jobs and no consequences for posting junk jobs or scamming freelancers, then these people will just continue taking advantage of the personal information available on job sites.

 

Notice indeed, monster, craigslist all allow free job posts. The easy way to stop the practice of scamming people is to raise the bar for the scammers and make it no longer worth their while to practice their craft. Imposing a cost to participate is enough of an incentive to dissuade scammers from a platform.

 

There must be some other reason companies are not charging fees for job postings and I believe it is because they want to attract as many users and generate as much job content as possbile. These free service companies are all gathering and selling user data in addition to being job platforms so they don't care if there are scammers.

 

UpWork charges freelancers to use their platform via the connects mechanism and makes money directly from the wages paid to freelancers. It would be even more profitable for the platform if it decided to charge clients for posting jobs.

 


Sounds like you have the start of a wonderful SaaS. Get to work, build the MPV and sell it to all the places where scammers lurk. 

jbran64
Community Member

Thanks Tanya. I'll get started ASAP.

tlbp
Community Member


Brandon J wrote:

Thanks Tanya. I'll get started ASAP.


You might think about it. I looked at your profile, you look to have the potential connections and skills to make it happen. The TAM would be huge. You could go B2B or offer something straight to consumers to do the screenings themselves--like an RSS feed with a scam screener. 

Don't forget about all us naysayers who inspired you when you're rich and famous. ๐Ÿ˜‰

jbran64
Community Member

It's certainly not a bad idea. It's a shame UpWork hasn't incorporated something directly into their feed yet as they have similar tools that scan attached files for contact information etc. I appreciate the vote of confidence. If I design something I'll ask you to beta test it ๐Ÿ™‚ As RSS feed would be nice. That's a great suggestion.

petra_r
Community Member


Brandon J wrote:

as they have similar tools that scan attached files for contact information etc.


They do?

Since when?

jbran64
Community Member

I'm not sure when they implemented this, but when I attached my resume in the chat tool the other day, a little notice came up saying that UpWork may obscure contact details from this attached file or something to that extent.


Brandon J wrote:

If it is such an issue, why not fix it? The scams are coming from the client side and not the freelancer side. I don't know what the process is for clients to post opportunities and what checks are in place to ensure they are legitimate, but I get the impression that identity verification is stricter for freelancers than clients based on my observations. The has to be a better way to filter out scammers from the platform.


I can understand your frustration with this. But the only way to deal with the problem is for freelancers to flag scam jobs. I think you get your connects back if a job you applied for wasn't genuine.

 

Making it harder for clients to post jobs or open an account is a really bad idea. The great advantage of Upwork is that you can hire someone in minutes without being made to jump through hoops. Even the vast majority of clients whose payment method isn't verified are genuine honest people. They just don't bother registering a payment method until they're sure they've found the right person. If they had to, they might go to some other platform to look for a freelancer.

 

Upwork could hire someone with the full-time job of vetting job postings as they come in, 24 hours a day. At $10 an hour, that would add up to $87,600 a year. But even that wouldn't solve the problem. It wouldn't be enough just to look at job postings. In many cases, they'd have to apply for the job to be sure it's a scam. And by the time they'd have done that, there'd probably be 20 others who applied for it too, and could already have fallen victim to the scam before the job is taken down.

 

The only solution is to make freelancers aware of the dangers of being cheated out of money. Upwork already does that, making it part of the terms of service to keep all contact on the site before any contract is started. This eliminates almost all scamming, because scammers very rarely start a contract or even register their payment method.

Robert, I will have to disagree with you here. I'm not sure the terms of service is effective in keeping scam postings off the site as there is no penalty for posting a scam other than possibly having your account blocked. Then the scammers simply generate another email address and account and try again. And again.

 

My position is that it is too easy for clients to post jobs. So much so that this scam problem is a well known issue that experienced freelancers have learned to kind of navigate as a survival strategy. I feel there needs to be some barrier to entry for clients. I understand imposing a cost on clients would eliminate some opportunities and probably increase bidding competition on the remaining postings, but those eliminated opportunities may have been from clients who were not serious enough about hiring a freelancer to begin with.

 

Someone dead set on using the platform to obtain freelance services would not balk at an intitial charge for posting a listing. In fact making the charge eligible to apply towards the freelancers future payment so it is not an extraneous expense to the client would eliminate any added expense to clients. Consider it a deposit to post a listing.  

 

In my mind, if a client is legitimately anticipating investing in a freelancer to complete a project and they plan on using the platform to initiate a contract and manage payments, then there should absolutely be no issue for them in verifying their banking information in advance as they will be needing to transfer money to the platform anyway. Why hesitate to take that critical step unless you aren't serious? Is it an afterthought? Oops I forgot to link my payment method, but my freelancer has been billing hours and doing work for a while. That is a recipe for burned freelancers since the terms of service states UpWork simply closes the client's account in the event they refuse to pay for work. There's no remedy for a freelancer to collect from a delinquent client. It is trivial for a negligent client to generate another email address and open a new acount.

 

In reality, it should be impossible for a client to fail to pay for services. They should have to prove that they own a bank account before posting opportunities at the very least. Again, forcing them to pay for listings up front would filter out dead beat clients.

 

I agree with you and do not believe a 24 hour job vetting position would catch the issues as it seems you cannot know without first applying to the role and by then it is too late. As a freelancer it is just such a waste of time and energy to go through with the process simply to have a client start asking to contact you by phone or outside of the platform.

 

If they had money tied up in the platform, they would have to stay within the platform to use it which would prevent a lot of this kind of thing. Money required up front from clients to post job listings would also protect the freelancer in the event the client balks or decides not to pay for work. They would simply lose their deposit.

 

I agree with you that making it more difficult for clients to post listings might drive some of those clients to other platforms where they can get away with whatever behavior they are trying to get away with. Serious clients would not find such a cost burdensome and it may increase their success in finding candidates as freelancers would be more willing to apply to projects as each one is now guranteed to be legitimate under such a scheme.

 

The downside is it would increase competition between freelancers as there would be fewer projects available for the pool to apply to. Clients who did not feel compelled to commit to finding a freelancer on the platform and were merely window shopping, or collecting resumes, or user info, or scamming people would disappear.

 

My argument is that those are the opportunities you want off of the platform because they waste everyone's time. The remaining opportunities would be of a higher quality and there would be a gurantee that submitting a proposal is actually going towards a legitimate project.

 

By changing their model from a free job space to a paid job space, UpWork separates themselves from the business models used by Indeed, Craigslist, Monster etc. which mainly collect resumes and user information. Since the objective of UpWork is to benefit from the work that freelancers complete and remaining on the platform is critical to that end, why not ensure that clients have no incentive to go offsite or post their opportunity elsewhere by making them commit up front funds to the platform so that there's no incentive to do any of the things that violate the terms of service.

 

By raising the bar for clients and requiring an investment to participate, this would essentially eliminate many of the problems the terms of service attempts to enforce.

 

That completes my rant.

 

 

 

 


Brandon J wrote:

My position is that it is too easy for clients to post jobs. So much so that this scam problem is a well known issue that experienced freelancers have learned to kind of navigate as a survival strategy. I feel there needs to be some barrier to entry for clients. I understand imposing a cost on clients would eliminate some opportunities and probably increase bidding competition on the remaining postings, but those eliminated opportunities may have been from clients who were not serious enough about hiring a freelancer to begin with.


Do you know the number of times that I've been hired by new, unverified clients in the past year? Dozens of times, for projects worth thousands of dollars. And how many times have I been scammed? Zero. Not even once.

 

You do realise that a lot of clients DO have verified payment methods, and you're free to ignore project posts from clients who don't? If that's such an easy way to separate the good clients from the bad, then why don't you and the rest of the "everyone should be verified!!" brigade simply adopt this approach, instead of being so insistent on limiting opportunities for those of us who are capable of vetting clients for ourselves? Just because something is a problem for you, don't turn it into a bigger problem for the rest of us.

 

It's also quite amusing that you think there are any serious barriers to entry for freelancers, and that clients are the ones who are doing all the scamming. Upwork admittedly does make more of an effort to check up on freelancers, but it isn't much of a deterrent. Spend some time in the forum and you'll see it all - fake photos, fake names, fake credentials, portfolios filled with stolen work, people who've already been banned multiple times and come back again and again by "renting" another person's account (you'll no doubt get an offer from one of those people as well, in the very near future). Having to "pay to play" doesn't stop anyone - as long as you can scam somebody out of thousands before you're caught, it'll keep happening. Dishonest people can find a way around anything.

 

Your profile seems to be brand new, so maybe it's a little bit soon to declare yourself an expert about what Upwork needs to do? Stick around awhile, get some projects under your belt, and scammers will stop targeting you.

 

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