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Job Scam?

Hi, so after reading various messages here about potential job scams I think I've been a victim of one. 


About 11 days ago I submitted a proposal for a job that was for data entry and proof reading. I was asked to do an interview via google hangouts. Not much was said about the job position, but the interviewer said the job was for **edited for Community Guidelines** and that I would be given more details during my week of training. The interviewer asked a series of fairly simple questions and then came back to me 15 to 20 minutes later saying that I was qualified for the job. 


They send me a check to deposit saying that it was for purchasing equipment/software that I would need for the job. My bank stated that they believed it to be a scam and would hold the check for five days to be on the safe side. 


I don't want to get into trouble for trying to get a job. Was this a scam? What should I do at this point? I've flagged the job posting as innappropriate, but what if this is a legitimate job? Do I tell them that I changed my mind about the position?


EDIT: The check never cleared and I've contacted my bank so that they know the check is a fraud. Thank you everyone for helping. 



this was not just "a scam."

This is THE scam.


This is the classic fake check scam.


Were you a victim of a scam?



But you were also a participant, weren't you?


You know you're not allowed to accept payments outside of Upwork. You could have your account suspended for your participation in this. I don't think that will happen, because Upwork considers you a naive newbie. But you should have known better.


For future reference, all invitations to interview via Google Hangouts are scams.


An instant red flag for a scam is the client giving you money to "buy equipment". Good on your bank for holding the check. Another red flag is claiming to be with a big company without providing concrete proof of that claim. 


I wouldn't worry about it being a legitimate job, because it's probably not. If you've exchanged messages with the client through Upwork, you can forward screenshots to Customer Support and they'll review it and (probably) take action. You can tell the client that you've changed your mind, but I'd just say nothing to them and report them to Customer Support. 

The flag with the big company name is that they then give you a gmail email address. lol



Sarah, you are lucky your bank decided to hold the check for five days.

"Certa bonum certamen"

Yeah but if it bounces don't you still incur fees?

Yes. Withdraw the check.


If the check is encashed, you will be left holding the bag.

"Certa bonum certamen"

Sarah R wrote: Do I tell them that I changed my mind about the position?

 There IS no position.


There IS no job - and you have violated one of the most important rules which is not to accept payment outside of the site.


This is one of the oldest scams on the Internet, it's been around for a very minimum of 15 years.


You are very lucky that your bank saved you from even more serious damage.

“Banks are obligated to make deposits available within 48 hours, but it can take weeks for a check to clear. Once the fake check bounces, the funds will usually be withdrawn from your account. You are ultimately responsible for the checks you deposit. Once you accept the check and deposit it, you are responsible for paying the money back to the bank.


“Most American adults have received one of these counterfeit checks, and some of them have actually deposited the checks and sent money to the scammers. This makes the scam almost as successful as legitimate direct marketing of real goods.”



"Certa bonum certamen"

I faced the same situation. Someone claimed that she is one of AutoCAD team
She interviewed me over Google hangout. And said that I got accepted. How can I deal with her??

Flag the job posting and report to Customer Service.


Thanks for this info!


I was just "interviewed" for a position for CenturyLink.


I too believed this was just too good to be true.


The same things happened to me:


"Asked to have an interview on Google hangout"


Was told I would be "recieving funds for a mini home office"


Would be "recieving a free laptop"


Would be "payed by check by mail"



I knew something was up....Is there a way to report this scam to UpWork?? (I have screen shots of the whole conversation with the "HR")


Thanks everyone!


Hi Kay,


I'm glad you recognized the job as a scam early. I checked and it looks like it's already been removed by the team as inappropriate. You don't need to report it. Please, check this post to learn more about how to be protected in the future.

~ Valeria

This scam is going around again. I thought the interview process was odd, and came across this thread. Just wanted to bump this to the top so people are aware.

Thanks for sharing this, Laura. I forward this to the team so that they can take actions against the job post and the client account. 

~ Avery


This job scam is going around yet again. I reported the "job" posting to Upwork as well as who contacted me for the "interview". I have also informed CenturyLink of the issue. Not sure if they would be able or willing to do anything about this but it is their company and I felt they should at least be informed of the incident.

Hi Brittany,


You did the right thing by reporting the project to Upwork. It's also helpful that you raised your concern in this discussion to ensure others are aware. For those who are new to the community, please refer to a great post by Lena on tips to avoid questionable jobs here.


And it has happened once again.

Hi Kelsey, 

I apologise for the delay in my reply. I have checked your account and was not sure what client were you referring to. Could you please send it to me via a private message so that I can check?

~ Avery

It is happening again. I just flagged the "empoyer" so called **Edited for Community Guidelines**, who afterwards ask you to have the interview with the "HR" **Edited for Community Guidelines**


Please beware.


Screenshots below.

Hi Maria Jose,


We'll have the client you are referring to reviewed as soon as possible and will let you know if we need any additional information.


Meanwhile, please check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

~ Valeria

There's another one.  A client claiming to be with *edited* but interviewing through Google Hangouts, which I thought was odd.  I didn't think anything of it until they said they'd be sending a check, but when I asked for details on some issues, they started falling back on canned language.  The job is this one: *edited for Community Guidelines*

Thanks for reporting this, we will follow up with the team to have this actioned if necessary. 


Has this been resolved? I am currently interviewing through Google Hnagouts with them and they are stating that the payments would be via check or direct deposit. I would like to know if this is a scam or not before continuing. Thank you! 

@Gloriann Cordero A wrote:

Has this been resolved? I am currently interviewing through Google Hnagouts with them and they are stating that the payments would be via check or direct deposit. I would like to know if this is a scam or not before continuing. Thank you! 

 Of course it is a scam. One of the oldest on the Internet. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY PERSONAL INFO

Payments not received through Upwork can get you suspended or permanently banned from Upwork.  Interviews on Google Hangouts are usually scams.  RUN.

Gloria, don't go any further.  Yes, it's a scam.  They're depending on your unfamiliarity with UpWork's terms and conditions for freelancers AND clients.  I wasted several hours with these folks -- can't believe I didn't spot the warning signs before I wasted my time.  But it was only time.  I did catch on, finally, and blocked them on Google Hangouts.  They did get some personal information from me, and I've warned my bank.

@Gloriann Cordero A wrote:

Has this been resolved? I am currently interviewing through Google Hnagouts with them and they are stating that the payments would be via check or direct deposit. I would like to know if this is a scam or not before continuing. Thank you! 


It is a serious violation of Upwork's terms of service to accept payments offsite. If only newcomers would read how Upwork operates and its ToS before applying for jobs or accepting invitations, they would be self-protected from the scammers who ask for Google Hangouts interviews. They would know that, even if they been enticed to a Google  Hangouts interview,  any payment via check or direct deposit would be a big no-no. This is not rocket science, it is commonsense . . .


This scam is still taking place.  I was also contacted to have an interview via Hangouts yesterday.  I thought the whole thing was odd, but I went ahead with the interview.  The interviewer seemed quite professional and legitimate, and didn't ask for any personal information, but as soon as the person on the other end made the offer, it started to go off the rails.  The rate of pay was way higher than anyone would pay, all the arrangements they wanted to make were informal, and suddenly the good grammar and professionalism of the interviewer disappeared.  The company was also clearly intending to pay me outside of Upwork, which I knew was a violation, and that made me skeptical as well.  The interviewer claimed she was from Century Link, a fortune 500 company, but she asked me to send information to an email address with a "mail.com" domain.  As soon as I got that strange offer, though, I did more research and found this information.  I knew it seemed wrong once I got to the end, so I'm glad I took time to do some research!  I ended up not responding to the offer and blocking the sender from Hangouts.  How do I report it to Upwork and help them identify the listing?

Hi Kimberly,

Please report the job by clicking the 'Flag as inappropriate' link located at the upper right of the posting, or you can PM me the job posting and I can escalate it.


This happened to me today.

I am doing some research because it sounded too good to be true.

Thank you so much for all this information!

But now, I gave them my home address, what should I do?


Thank you!

Hi Linda,

If you haven't yet, please flag the job for our review and our team will review the job and certainly take action upon ToS violations. Regarding having given your address to a user, unfortunately there isn't much that we can do about this now that the information is out there. Please avoid sharing personal information with users online, as it generally is not necessary to share personal information such as home addresses on Upwork since payments should be made through the platform.