I am concerned a client of mine is scammer. The job is $2500 and he requests to pay $3800 by check up front to cover $2800 materials and $1000 for me for the first milestone. I am to contact his supplier and obtain materials. No instruction on how to return unused materials funds. In my experience the client always supplies the materials (large jobs) or I pay for them and bill them (small jobs when they don't know what to get). He is vague on details. Also, $3800 seems like a LOT more than necessary to cover materials. The job is design and make 5 sets of suits, yet he has 0 specifications on what they should look like, not 1 single detail and he said it's all up to me. Also, designers should know that suits do not usually come in size small, medium, large etc like he asked for. When I asked for sizing guidelines he had none. His website looks a bit scammy as well (I could just be judgemental, but a 4th grader has better grammar, the pics look very copy and paste from online and his product prices don't fall in line with the budget he gave me). Money laundering red flags pop up for me. Is there truly cause for concern and is this common or am I being overly cautious?
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Also (as you are aware) -- any payment outside of Upwork is a violation of Terms of Service (ToS), and will get your account suspended.
Report the client immediately!
ETA: If you were to deposit this check (which will turn out to be a fake), you might also end up in serious trouble with your bank.
If the guy is going to run a scam, he better run it a little bigger and do some hourly calculations to make it look more legit before he sends out invites! Sheesh...what a downer. I'll post when he replies. Let's see what he comes up with.
If you haven't already, please flag this job for our review. You can flag the job for us to review it by clicking on the "Flag as inappropriate" link located at the upper right of the job posting and our team will take action on the job posting and the client's account upon violatioms of our ToS.
To learn more about things to look out for and suspicious jobs to avoid, you'll want to check out this thread, there is a lot of great info and tips there.
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In actual money laundering, you are probably breaking the law and violating Upwork ToS, but at least you earn money.
With this scam, you are probably breaking the law and you're definitely violating Upwork ToS, but you lose a lot of money.
So in a purely mathematical sense, this is worse than money laundering.