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ยป Forums ยป Freelancers ยป Large scam campaign on freelancers, can't rea...
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antonis_mark
Community Member

Large scam campaign on freelancers, can't reach support.

Hello everyone,

A) It has come to my attention that there is a large scam campaign on going against upwork freelancers.
The scammers follow this procedure:
1) send a direct hire to freelancer, about a supposed marketing campaign (I got "ads for facebook")
2) interview the freelancer, and also give links to supposed fb page that they will be hired to run ads to
3) they ask for freelancer email to send supposely private material etc.
4) email contains an encrypted (password protected) file, that contains a virus. password protection is to protect the virus from been detected from email antivirus.
5) idk what happens next, I halted communication at 3.
attached is a screenshot, where several people report this on the scammers fb page.

This fb page looks like it has like 50+ administrators from**Edited for Community Guidelines**, reviews and comments describing the above experiance (see example attached), the issue is already being reported to other help requests on this very forum.

I have reported messages to upwork, included links etc, but no action is taken the last 20 hours. Also, I have tried to contact upwork with chat, but looks like there are no agents available anymore (ranting: wtf is this, seriously! look at part B of this post).
I probably should not post actual scammer links here. the fb page is about electric bikes in uk.
my chat with them is here:
https://www.upwork.com/ab/messages/rooms/room_362c8a331f24cdbe2536a60be2a9b1e3?companyReference=8556...
in case anyone from support is still here and actually willing to look at this.

B) ranting about support, pardon my french:
As I said: wtf is this, seriously! where is actual support gone? Chat support just says "our agents are not here, come back later" For another issue, I opened a ticket and after hours I got replies straight out from chatgpt. Syntactically correct, but completelly out of context. This is a serious degrade to the service offered by Upwork to its money-earners. Upwork isn't some random freemium, we pay a 10% commision which in my income range is more than 3k per year. Also a monthly 15$ for freelancer plus. It sure can affort an actual person replying to me for 20 minutes once every Quarter that I bother them. Even with 20 minutes queue, as it used to be. Now I have a high paying client that got mad about an issue that could be resolved in less than 10 minutes with chat support, as it was done in the past, but support isn't there. Is this a permanent change or there is something I'm missing?
Chat support does not even say something like "working hours". Just a vague "come back later".

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for any replies.
Nice to meet you, first time I write here after 5 years.
Antonis.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

32 REPLIES 32
759e32fa
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Antonis,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing this report. I escalated it to the relevant team for review.

 

I understand that you are also unsatisfied with how our support team has responded to your support ticket. Rest assured that you're speaking with a human as I've checked it and your ticket is being handled by the correct team. Since the composition of the message may have sounded like it was curated by AI, I'll share your feedback with the support team but I can guarantee that they are the best people to help you with your concern.


~ AJ
Upwork

Hi Annie,
thank you very much for the reply. Indeed human has been replying to ticket, and is now solved.

What is the currect status with live chat with support? I have tried 2-3 times in the last 3 months or so, and didn't manage to find a person there, just bot suggestions, and "submit a ticket" promts.

Thank you.
Antonis

Hi Antonis,

 

I'm glad to hear your support ticket has already been resolved. 

 

Since you have Top Rated Plus status, the live chat option should be available to you however, at times, our live chat support may be experiencing an increase in the number of support requests, so it takes some time for chat agents to be available. When this happens, the chatbot directs you to the next best option, which is to create a ticket so our support team knows that you have a request in the queue.

 

Rest assured that we're working to continuously improve our support services and are constantly sharing your feedback with the relevant team to improve your overall experience.


~ AJ
Upwork

Hello Awesome Client  how are you doing today pls let me here your feedback?

 

Hi Annie,
its been 6 days since my report, and the job offer from the scammer is still active. I got a notification that its ...going to expire.
I guess his account should have closed, and the jobs he send removed.

 

????? work on it pls

 

feed_my_eyes
Community Member


Antonis M wrote:

3) they ask for freelancer email to send supposely private material etc.
4) email contains an encrypted (password protected) file, that contains a virus. password protection is to protect the virus from been detected from email antivirus.


If freelancers didn't keep breaking the rules by providing their email addresses before being hired, this wouldn't be a problem and there wouldn't be so many scammers on Upwork.

 

If you see another job post like this, all you have to do is click the "flag as inappropriate" link on the job page to report it. There's no need to contact support. 

Yep. It scam will fail at stage 3 if freelancers will follow rules.

Exactly! This happened to me, he failed in stage 3 at the very moment I said "Send all the materials here in Upwork chat, they take care of the privacy and the confidential information" and that was it, never heard from him again ๐Ÿ˜

Hello i am a freelancer an youtube manager and i have a team working together.  free feel to message me now 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

hi i  am an freelancer feel free to message me now.๐Ÿ˜

they send a "Direct Hire", not just a "Direct message" nor an invite to a job posting.
In my case I didn't accept it ("too good to be true" vibe),  and tried to figure out.

pls i need someone to hire me

 

Community Forum is not the place to be hired. You need to work on your profile, add a real profile picture of you and learn how the platform works. You can look at the Academy at the top of this page to learn more.

25005175
Community Member

Regarding the delay in response from Support, I think that is due to the success of Upwork's marketing. Probably more than a million new users registered as "freelancers" in the past 8-10 months, particularly since the Readiness Test was discontinued (the actual number is probably in a shareholder report somewhere). If even 1% of those people submit support tickets, say, once a week, that is 1,000 unnecessary tickets every week that the Support teams must address - even if it is only to close/ignore the ticket. They had to change ID verification, opting to wait until a FL gets hired before doing so, bc too many new users. Simply put, I don't think the Support team was grown to accommodate the influx in new users.

yofazza
Community Member

There are a few 'online services' in my experience that are still providing good human support (like directing support questions to the correct 'people' in just a matter of hours) which then answered the questions correctly no matter how simple or complex the question was, and thus made the customer happy (like not answering with canned responses or extremely 'slow mind' that will most likely make the customer becomes mad).

 

But we can also see online services 'directing' support questions to:

 

  • Smart FAQs
  • Bots
  • Community forum ๐Ÿ˜

Perhaps we should bring back the readiness test then. Upwork Clients would benefit from quality, not quantity only. Also, thats cool for upwork, but kind of reduces the quality service for high revenue freelancers. I feel, as I explained in the op, that the revenue i bring to upwork entitles me a 20 minutes chat now and then.
Anyway, it was explained to me in another comment that my experiance was circumstancial, so I might have overacted on the second paragraph.

I joined within the last month and I would seriously welcome a readiness test. Right now, there's nothing to make a new human-made profile stand out from a bot/spam account, which actually makes it hard for me to be taken seriously.  

1e61fecd
Community Member

Hey, 

Thanks for your post. Happened to me right now and looked very suspicious. 

 

The same its also happening a lot in at Linkedin.

saramoralesf
Community Member

Hello! I received this offer and open the file with the password they gave me. I realized it was too weird and then close it but now I'm afraid I might get a virus in my computer. Whan can I do? Or how can I know if everything's OK? I'm afraid because I have accounts of my clients open!

Hi Sara,

 

Iโ€™ve escalated your community post to a support ticket. One of our agents will be in touch with you soon to assist.

~ Nikola
Upwork

Hi Sara! it happened the same to me, I dowloaded and checked the folder and the files but didn't clicked on anything, I noticed they were all .exes files. So If you didn't clicked on anything else you're safe

I did click the file and a black screen opened, then I closed it
immediately because I thought that was weird. Nothing else happen and I've
been using my computer ever since and everything seems normal. I did log
out of all of my fakebook accounts because I'm afraid something might
happen. Now I don't know if I'm being paranoid, but I'm thinking of format
/ reset settings in my computer before I log in again.
mahad007
Community Member

Writing this comment here while dealing with 2nd such scam within 2 weeks now!

 They all have the same story (FB ads, $20k Budget etc.), and even if they send any file by upwork there is an .exe file that they claim to be a secret software with secrets of their company lol. 

The frustrating thing is that Upwork has left us freelancers to dry. There is no option to report such scams and even the support page shows error now. There should be some way to expedite this issue's reporting so that they don't hack someone destroying years of their work and career in the office

mafer_cordovas
Community Member

It happened to me today! It is terrible that we can't report a contract/contractor. We need support to report this happening.

mafer_cordovas_0-1690478597888.png

 

mafer_cordovas_1-1690478667630.png

 

6efa5857
Community Member

I have also receiving a lot of such direct scam offers. Now, they are not asking for personal emails but are sending the dropbox or dropbox lookalike link and some file with .avi extenstion.
I got curious and told them I clicked the link( which I didn't ) and it isn't working. Then they asked to install anydesk and provide them anydesk code.


I really think this scam is related to them accessing your system using anydesk code and then something like getting your funds or something. I have no idea after this anydesk step.

Every week, they are improvising. Lat week, all the team members of this group were posing as Valentino employees and sending offers and this week they are posing as director from some company trying to expand in US. This week they are trying to talk more about your experience, monthly budget for running ads etc.

Next week, they could look more natural and so on.
They need to be stopped and new upwork freelancers are more prone to these scams!
Do not click on any link looking like drop box link.

rachi_loza
Community Member

Hi, 

I also got an offer for Facebook ads. I immediately checked if there was a scam related to this and I found this in Google search. I check the link and it's leading to their Facebook page. No other link showing. I haven't responded to the offer because of this community post. How will I know if this is legit? 

Hi Rachiel,

 

I am sorry to hear about your experience. I checked the job post you were referring to and it appears that it's already been taken down because it was in violation of Upwork TOS.


Please check out this course for more tips on staying safe on Upwork and please use the flag option found on each job post or message anytime youโ€™d like to report a violation.

 

Thank you,

Pradeep

Upwork
mehru93
Community Member

Hello,

i also received this offer today and i accepted the offer. The client sent me rar file on my email which i opened on my PC unfortunately. I immediately shut down my PC. I request upwork support to please remove this scammer from upwork and also close the job he offered me. Maybe if i can end the contract, he leaves a bad review for me. 

upwork support please help asap. 
thanks

Hi Maher,

 

Thank you for reaching out. I checked your account and can see that the contract has already been paused by Upwork as we are investigating the account for ToS violations. If the client's account gets taken down for violating ToS, you don't have to worry about how it would affect your account as it will not count towards your JSS.

 

We highly suggest reviewing our ToS, reading these tips on how to avoid questionable jobs, and this post from our Community member, Wes, about top red flags for scams for you to keep yourself safe in the marketplace. Should you also encounter any suspicious user activity again in the future, please send us a flag so the dedicated team can review it and take action as soon as possible.


~ AJ
Upwork
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