kumarirohini
Member

My account suspended over Use of Auto Clicker

Hi,

 

I was working on my first houlry job and it was a small job of around 7 hours. After I logged my time I got an email from Upwork mentioning that my account has been suspended because they detected use of auto clicker software. 

I replied to their message that I have not any such software installed on my system, but got no positive response.

 

After few days they send me a reply and asked me to verify my account. I submitted various documents but they keep rejecting them. I am from India and we don't have a document which fulfills all their requirements of a valid ID. I tried using Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Voter Card. But all got rejected.

 

In the meantime my client was quite happy with my work and has paid me. Now I cannot get my money.

 

Is there any solution for that or should I consider my time and money gone as the support people are not replying me for 2 days now. 

 

I am feeling quite helpless and cheated by the Upwork.

23 REPLIES 23
screeler
Member

I'm not that savvy so I had to look up what an Auto Clicker is. Now I'm curious about what kind of job you were doing that Upwork detected auto clicking? 

Hopefully it's a mistake by Upwork... 

I am more interested in understanding how they would go about detecting the use of an 'auto clicker' from their software.

Unless they are timing keystrokes, counting and doing the math. Anything else (like browsing your software) would be breaching your privacy, and a lot of other things.

Would be good to get an answer for the OP and also if Upwork's software can also 'detect' my software.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

If you install anything on your computer, it can do anything it wants. Hard to cry breach of privacy when you're giving it permission to take snapshots of your desktop. Best thing to do is not use it if you don't need to.

 

Blizzard does it too to detect botting.

 

 


@Setu M wrote:
I am more interested in understanding how they would go about detecting the use of an 'auto clicker' from their software.

Setu, I am sure Upwork will not tell you how they can detect it but if you understand how auto-clickers work it is fairly simple to figure out how their use can be automatically detected and then manually confirmed without having access to what software you have installed on your computer.
As the use of autoclicker is despicable and downright fraudulent I am all for Upwork doing everything they can to eliminate freelancers who use it. 

 


@Setu M wrote:
I am more interested in understanding how they would go about detecting the use of an 'auto clicker' from their software.

Unless they are timing keystrokes, counting and doing the math. Anything else (like browsing your software) would be breaching your privacy, and a lot of other things.

Would be good to get an answer for the OP and also if Upwork's software can also 'detect' my software.

 I agree that official word from a moderator, YES MODERATOR, on the policy of Upwork in this case would be welcomed.

They ain't gonna tell you how it works. Because then people would try to game it. Everyone knows it counts keystrokes, so ummmm, is it really that odd that they detect autoclicking?

 

 

The OP says she does not have this on her system, so how come Upwork detected it?

 

Question: I haven't really understood what auto clicker is or why it would be of any use to a freelancer, unless to

somehow fudge hours?

Upwork uses automated algorithms and also undisclosed capabilities of the time-tracking software to attempt to detect the use of or presence of auto-click software.

 

There is a significant false-positive rate in their detection algorithms and techniques. By this, I mean there are often times when a contractor is falsely accused of using such software.

 

It is possible to work with Customer Support, explain your situation, and get your account set back to normal, so it isn't suspended. Sometimes contractors are able to work with Customer Support and figure out that they have some type of program on their computer which is being detected as auto-click software, or if there is some way that they were using the computer which falsely triggered this determination.

HI Preston, i have recieved an email too that telling me that i was using an auto clicker. what should i do to prove that i dont know about it and i am not using that kind of software. i am really confused here. they told me about my screenshot. i am still waiting for the response. i hope you can enlighten me. your response will be greatly appreciated.


@Nichola L wrote:

The OP says she does not have this on her system, so how come Upwork detected it?


 That may be the truth, it may not be.

 

Autoclicker software tricks the system into recording clicks and keyboard activity. There are innocent uses for it, such as preventing a game from automatically closing (as an example,) however, when used to record work which is then charged to a client while the freelancer is out shopping or watching TV it's not appreciated. When detected it leads to "issues"

Interesting Nichola. 

Also, wondering if she uses her own computer and if not, then maybe the person who owns it has it set up? In that case, that isn't her fault, but it's still detected and 'illegal' I suppose

Hi Setu and Jean,

 

Upwork has ways to detect violations such as auto-click software based on the information we have access to, like Work Diaries for example. We will not be sharing exact ways violations are determined here in the public Community to prevent abuse.

 

Thank you for understanding.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thanks Valeria,

 

I just received a similar message and am very concerned.  Basically, I have been contracted to complete two massive reports for a client.  All told, this will take between 150 and 190 hours to finish.  Last week the contract suddenly went on hold and now I get a message about using an auto clicker.

 

My question is this: how can I prove that I am not using this software?  I reckon Upwork probably has some tracking mechanism built into its software, but what else can I do as I have never had this software on my system.


Thank you,

 

Greg

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Greg,

 

Please communicate with our team directly in order to resolve the issue related to these contracts, since we can't address account-related issues in the Community. Thank you.

Untitled

Thanks Vladimir,

 

I did respond to the email from **Edited for Community Guidelines** at the Upwork Trust & Safety Team, but I am a big concerned.


I don't know is this is a phishing scam, when I click the ticket number it goes to an Upwork URL but says that the page I was looking for has been moved.


Do you have a link that I could use to contact an Upwork support specialist directly?


Talk to you soon,

 

Greg

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Greg,

 

I can confirm the email you received was sent by our team and you'll receive an update soon with more information. Please note that your account isn't restricted and do communicate with our team once you receive an update. 

Untitled

Thanks, Vladimir!

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Kumari,

 

Our tem will update your ticket and share further instructions, so please reply on the ticket once they do in order to proceed with the account review process. 

Untitled

I am all for privacy on this matter, as I understand the problems that would be caused if something like this was fully understood.

Hence why I assumed that simple math could figure out if an Auto Click software was being used. What I don't want is Upwork's software snooping in places it shouldn't.

The software clearly states what data it collects, so I expect nothing more.

On a side note - I used one such software once on a project, as at the time that was the only reasonable solution I saw to the problem. And I wasn't padding hours.

Naivety and ignorance to be blamed as I was new to all this at the time, and in hindsight I should have just discussed logging manual hours with the client. The work I was doing required no c'licks' but the client wanted time logged.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Setu is correct.

 

If for some (unusual) reason, you need to use any kind of auto clicker software for a project, then you need to discuss this with your cilent and use manually-logged time only.

 

Upwork's algorithms and approach to this problem is very aggressive and it has no way of knowing if your intentions are "pure" or not. You simply can't have this kind of thing on your computer at all if you are logging time using the time-tracker.

 

Contractors who use this type of software for games or other purposes have had their accounts terminated in the past.


@Preston H wrote:

 

1) Upwork's algorithms and approach to this problem is very aggressive

 

2) Contractors who use this type of software for games or other purposes have had their accounts terminated in the past.


 1) Quite righly so

 

2) ............ Or at least that's what they "said!" Right? They wouldn't post in the forum "Well, yeah, I used it to cheat my client, then lied about it, then got suspended because it was the second time I was caught!" - would they?

 

A friend of mine hires freelancers on a fairly large scale. He had a freelancer with low output compared to the time spent so he took a closer look at the work diary, which actually showed the auto-clicker software window right there in the screenshots. And STILL the freelancer swore up and down that a) they didn't have it at all, and when confronted with the evidence swore up and down that it b) was something totally different and eventually swore up and down that it was c) someone else's and finally that it was d) used for a game. All nonsense.

The freelancer refunded in the end. I urged my friend to report it, no idea what he did.

 

It caused my friend to become super suspicious for a while, and endlessly question his freelancers' word diaries. It must have been hell for his other freelancers.

 

Frankly anything that could interfere with the tracker is a no-no. If a freelancer does not want to work on the tracker without having to manipulate it they need to forget about hourly contracts and go fixed rate only..... Or go for manual time.

 

 

Honestly, I don't see the issue. If a contractor uses auto-clicking software to complete a project what does it matter as long as the project is completed. I have no need for the software but I used to have to build macros for repetivive and tedious tasks that required the software in order for me to sustain a profit.

 

Why would I then tell a client how I did the work so that he can just find someone to emulate what I did and cut me out the project? I've always been against oDesk's tracking system. It isn't useful for anything, if a Client can't assess the progress in their own project then the Client has more problems than oDesk.

 

Further, its a security risk for me. How do I know they aren't keylogging sensitive information? For a company that uses the "we're only facilitators of contract acquirement" they use the excuse as they please to serve their purpose as they constantly overstep in their obligations to the client/contractor relationship always to the detriment of the contractor.


@brian E wrote:

Honestly, I don't see the issue. If a contractor uses auto-clicking software to complete a project what does it matter as long as the project is completed


 Because hourly contracts are charged by THE HOUR. This means the hours should be spent working because that is what the client pays for. The hours are tracked by activity recorded through the tracker so tell me again how it is not a problem someone having software track time while they're at the beach?

 

It DOES matter because it means far more time is charged to the client because the auto-clicker tracks billable hours. It also means the freelancer can let someone else do the work or farm it out while billing the client hours they have not worked.

 

On a fixed rate contract it is irrelevant.

 

On hourly contracts it's fraud.