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Re: Legitimate opportunity?

Active Member
Catherine T Member Since: May 21, 2021
1 of 8

I received an email from a **Edited for community guidelines**. Through upwork saying I had been chosen for a position that I hadn't applied to. I was asked to upload telegram and contact this Barnes and noble virtual hr rep to do my interview. Then he followed up with saying upwork was taking too high of a percentage of the pay and asked if I'd prefer to just deal with them directly. Then has started asking pretty personal questions along with my preferred form of payment that included ,bank, direct deposit or check. - could this be in a crazy world, Bea legitimate opportunity or is it a scam that somehow disguised itself through upwork?

Active Member
Ronald M Member Since: May 20, 2021
2 of 8

If they are asking for that type of information prior to even accepting a position, then I would say it is definately a scam.


Even if it isn't a scam you should report them to Upwork as they are viloating their agreement of only paying through Upwork unless they do a buyout.  


As a freelancer you also agree to report anyone who asks to hire or pay outside of Upwork.

Active Member
Catherine T Member Since: May 21, 2021
3 of 8
That is good to know thank you
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
4 of 8

What Ronald said. Also, as a new FL with no track record on the platform, assume any invitations from clients are scams. You will have to pursue legitimate clients to start with, they won't come looking for you.


One more thing: the odds of landing a full-time job here are virtually nil. This is not a jobs board. Freelancing is entirely different. You might find a client who will keep you busy on a more or less full-time basis but the contract could end with no warning, leaving you high and dry and starting over from scratch. You might be better off planning for and pursuing contracts with multiple clients, each of whom needs only part of your day or your week. That's a different kettle of fish and it may not be for you but if it is, then you should revamp your profile accordingly. Good luck!


Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 8

As a general rule, anyone whose very first move is to try to push your conversation off of Upwork is a scammer. 


It's against Upwork's TOS (you should read them) to communicate outside the platform before a contract is in place. Some clients don't know that, but it's very common for scammers to try to get you off of Upwork as quickly as possible and into a setting where they can gather more information about you and also make claims or arrangements that would trigger a flag to Upwork staff. 

Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
6 of 8

Ronald M. is absolutely correct. This is covered two meters deep in red flags:


Lilian H. is a con artist. No legitimate employer will ever contact you through Upwork to offer you a job for which you have not applied.


No legitimate Upwork employer has an arrangement allowing it to initiate direct contact via telegram.


Barnes and Noble is the biggest brick-and-mortar bookseller in the U.S. It is in a death spiral, having lost money every quarter almost forever and will be laying off staff, not hiring.


Contracting and/or paying outside Upwork is contrary to ToS; more importantly, it is unethical. If the company is willing to cheat Upwork, they're willing to cheat you.


Nobody but a scammer will ask you for personal financial information.


Any one of these should warn you to back of. With all of these, it should warn you to run, screaming, for the nearest exit.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 8

Bill H. already said all this in a clear, accurate way. But I couldn't resist noting all of these signs of scams. Most of these things are not in and of itself a "scam." Most of these things are not themselves a violation of Upwork ToS. But these are all signs of scams. All of the things noted with the word "scam" below are pretty certain signs of scams:


re: "I had been chosen for a position that I hadn't applied to."




re: "I was asked to upload telegram"




re: "Barnes and Noble"




re: "hr rep to do my interview"




re: "Then he followed up with saying upwork was taking too high of a percentage of the pay and asked if I'd prefer to just deal with them directly."




re: "asking pretty personal questions"




re: "preferred form of payment that included bank, direct deposit or check"



Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
8 of 8

Hi Catherine,


Thank you for flagging this for us. I’ve escalated this report to the correct team for their review and the project has already been taken down because it was in violation of Upwork TOS and action has been taken on the client account. 


Make sure to check our Stay Safe series and learn more on how to work safe online:

Please check this help article for crucial information that will help you have a safe and successful journey on Upwork. If you see a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service, we encourage you to use the Report Suspicious User Activity feature.

~ Bojan