Upwork is starting to be like other platforms that are FULL of Malware. Freelancer protection needs to be upped asap. I know you guys send out a generic malware email, but I think it needs to be more specific to what the malware job descriptions include and also notes about the things to watch for: a high number of interviews, client wants to higher a lot of freelancers, etc. I'm spending more time watching for these a-holes than working these days because Upwork doesn't appear to be stepping up their game on this for the freelancers.
Why can't Upwork require all payment options to verified before clients even can post jobs? That seems like something that should be required in order to keep the community safe. **EDITED to say I understand why Upwork won't do this now....I think many people have misconstrued this post to be about payment verification, which it isn't. It's about the big picture of Malware**
Again, I feel like updating your malware emails by providing specific examples of what new freelancers should watch out for, and adding a new email whenever a new malware pattern starts would be a huge help. Your generics aren't helping when new freelancers get excited for a potential job...They will click on those links. With every job posting that is malware, you are getting a big number of freelancers being "interviewed" and most probably click the links, which tend to look like google drive files from what I've seen.
Please step up your game. With what you are taking from freelancer's earnings, I think we deserve better protection than what you are are giving us.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
Upwork won't require clients new to Upwork to confirm their payment mechanism before posting a job because that might put some legitimate new clients off. Upwork needs all the new clients it can get; that's good for us freelancers, too.
I include in all my proposals to clients without confirmed payment mechanisms something like the following -
"I can start work on your project as soon as Upwork verifies your payment method."
No potential client has ever asked me to do otherwise.
Nicole, I agree with Will. Also, yes, of course it'd be nice if Upwork would provide us with greater protection. However, as Freelancers we must always remember that we need to take responsibility for our own businesses.
I agree with what you are saying, but new, unexperienced freelancers, they are going to click those type of links because they are hopeful for a project being awarded to them. Regardless of how we go about protecting our personal businesses, Upwork still needs to step up their game.
You need to look closely at everything Nicole is describing. Scammers are exploiting the fact that they don't need to verify payment. I got hit yesterday with a virus, and in the last 12 hours have flagged 14 posts that include no payment verification, all pay 33.00, multiple frellancers needed (60+ for one voice over 60 sec. long for example)) or interviews sent, all two or three sentences long, no job post history and all in one field, voice over work.
The "client" that I fell for had a more sophisticated job posting, only in the sense that it paid more and was a full description of the "job" and looked legit, other than the no verification/0 previous jobs.
John K wrote:
Payment verification before posting jobs won’t be required any time soon in my opinion because new clients are more likely to use Upwork if they can test the waters before sharing financial information with Upwork. I’ve worked for and been paid by quite a few clients whose payment method wasn’t verified when the job was posted, and even when I wasn’t hired, not once was my computer infected with malware. Forcing new clients to verify payment method risks alienating them, if they’re not already alienated by the new three invitations per job limit. To a large extent, freelancers can avoid dubious jobs through common sense and due diligence. To give one example, regard with skepticism jobs posted by new clients who are supposedly hiring 60 freelancers.
Echoing John's comment - just a guess, but probably 80% of the jobs I've bid on and been awarded were new clients with unverified payments. Unverified payment does not mean they are suspect. Experienced freelancers can spot smarmy, scammy RFPs/clients a mile away. Nor has my computer ever been subjected to malware.
Inexperienced people should take the time to read all the available information about how to avoid scammers - but they don't. To sign up and jump right in, without a clue as to how to work safely here (or anywhere else online) is irresponsible.