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Manual verification / safety

goldmundellen
Active Member

Hi there,

 

I have a bit of a predicament here. I use my pseudonym that I work under and run my freelancing business under as my name on Upwork. My business is officially registered with the relevant tax office, which I can provide verification of.

 

Is there any way for me to manually verify my identity? I am happy to provide verification of my legal name, but I need to be able to keep working safely under my business name - not just for career reasons. 

 

This concerns my personal safety (and as a female person this is not an individual case), since clients have been forwarding ‚love letters’ from strangers in the past - without any thought on safety of my or their personal information. I would have to rather close my Upwork account than risk being stalked online or offline. 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

8 REPLIES 8
tlbp
Community Guru

You will have to close your Upwork account. The platform doesn't allow fake names. It is very difficult to remain fully anonymous when operating online and attempting to be paid because most nations' anti-money laundering laws require that funds be linked to a real name. You can get around it by creating a corporation, but often a search of your state's database will reveal who created the corporate entity. 

g_vasilevski
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ellen,

 

I understand your concern with this however, please keep in mind that freelancers need to have their full legal names on their profiles.
If you would like to work as a team or represent a company you will need to open an Agency profile. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

Okay, thank you. How can I change my freelancer into an agency account so I won't loose my progress and clients for five years? 

 

I can see that I can open a new agency account - but that would not solve my problem, would it? How can I completely transition from freelancer to agency? Can you help me with that? 

 

Thank you!

Freelancers are welcome to use pseudonyms on other platforms. Upwork does not prohibit freelancers from using those platforms.


Ellen G wrote:

Okay, thank you. How can I change my freelancer into an agency account


You can't "change" your freelancer profile into an agency profile. You can add an agency account to your freelancer profile, but you will still have to have your real name on your freelancer profile and that will still be the name clients see when they deal with you or your agency.

 

Whilst I (sort of) understand your concerns, people do business on the Internet under their real name dfay in day out. Presmably your bank knows your real name, your credit card company, Amazon, your utilities etc etc etc etc etc... 


Closing your account just because you have to use your real name is overkill in my opinion. Don't you also think your clients have the right to know who they are sending their hard earned money to? 

There are millions of female freelancers on Upwork, so that in itself isn't enough of a reason to allow you to remain anonymous; they can't very well make an exception just for you. Your surname isn't visible until a client decides to hire you, and you never have to give out your home address. I've been on Elance/Upwork for over 20 years and dealt with hundreds of people, without any difficulties.


Christine A wrote:

There are millions of female freelancers on Upwork, so that in itself isn't enough of a reason to allow you to remain anonymous; they can't very well make an exception just for you. Your surname isn't visible until a client decides to hire you, and you never have to give out your home address. I've been on Elance/Upwork for over 20 years and dealt with hundreds of people, without any difficulties.


Adding to this, it really is a business decision--not a gender issue. Everyone who wants to interact with the world, whether at a job or online, has to reveal themselves to someone. Honestly, I prefer my potential stalkers to live thousands of miles away as opposed to working in the cubicle next to me. 

Ellen G wrote:

Okay, thank you. How can I change my freelancer into an agency account so I won't loose my progress and clients for five years? 

 

I can see that I can open a new agency account - but that would not solve my problem, would it? How can I completely transition from freelancer to agency? Can you help me with that? 

 

Thank you!


Your are correct, Goran's agency advice is not really on-topic. There's no way to use Upwork while hiding your real name from clients. If security is a big concern, you'll have to create a multi-level ownership strategy (like creating a shell corporation in a location that allows ownership to remain undisclosed) and not use platforms that don't require personal identification.  

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