ldemrys
Member

My first job offer sounds like a scam

I'm brand new to this line of work, and when I got my first offer, I was naturately excited. As requested, I logged into Google Hangouts for an "interview". I wont post names or anything because after doing a little searching on this site, it seems there are some "guidelines" that I would need to follow, and right now I don't really know what they are.

Aside from providing my contact info, I have not taken any other action.

The "interviewer" provided a list of software that the company is supposed to send me a check to buy. When I started searching for the software titles, I started seeing scam warnings. A little more searching, and I feel positive this is a scam...

 

My question is, what do I do now.?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Stuart,

 

Please follow the advice other users already shared and report this job to Customer Support with screenshots of your communication on Hangouts.

 

To help you work safely on Upwork, please have a look at tips and warning signs shared in this thread and our Trust & Safety FAQ.

 

Seeing you're a new user, I strongly advise you to read the Help articles from the Getting Started as a Freelancer section and our Freelancer Guide. Please also check our educational videos and best practice advice shared by other users:

 

Freelancer Tutorial Videos

Want to get that first job? Then check this out...

Proposal Workshop Video

 

Here are the Community Guidelines you mentioned.

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View solution in original post

21 REPLIES 21
jutta_beinker
Member

report the job and block the perosn in hangouts. change your phone number if given...RUN!

" The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be "

It's definitely a scam.  You can flag and report the job to customer service.  It's also helpful to provide screenshots of your conversation in Hangouts.

 

If they're sending you a check, I'm sure you know not to cash it as it is worthless and you'll likely be responsible for any fees.

mthornton-cpc
Member

Stuart, it's a scam. Take screenshots of your messages where they asked you for contact info, send them to Customer Support, and flag the job as fraud (top, right corner of the job posting you will see "Flag as inappropriate". 

 

As a rule, it's best not to give out your personal contact info. If you have a contract in place and you're going to be communicating off platform then you can do so at your discretion, but these scammers just want your info so it's a good idea not to be too free with your details until work has started. And even then, use your best judgment. 

Okay, I have a complete transcript of the conversation. I also used the website link provided in the "interview" to check out the company I am supposidley applying for. The site and company are ligit, but I have learned that providing an actual website just lends creadance to the offer. Anyway, I used the "contact us" link to send a simple heads up.

Right now I need to know what to do about the pending second contact on Google Hangouts that is supposed to happen in about a half hour...

Simply ignore it.  There is no need to further waste your time on this.  I'd remove them from your Hangouts contacts list.


@Stuart F wrote:

Okay, I have a complete transcript of the conversation. I also used the website link provided in the "interview" to check out the company I am supposidley applying for. The site and company are ligit, but I have learned that providing an actual website just lends creadance to the offer. Anyway, I used the "contact us" link to send a simple heads up.

Right now I need to know what to do about the pending second contact on Google Hangouts that is supposed to happen in about a half hour...


 

At this point, I think all you can do is cut off contact. Don't answer the Hangout call, and block the person if you can. The offer is a fraud. It is doubtful they will do much with your contact information. Just avoid any further communication. If you feel that you gave too much personal information then you might consider putting a new credit hold on your name or taking other ID theft precautions.

 

Sorry you were sucked into the trap. It happens all too often. 


@Melissa T wrote:

Stuart, it's a scam. Take screenshots of your messages where they asked you for contact info, send them to Customer Support, and flag the job as fraud (top, right corner of the job posting you will see "Flag as inappropriate". 

 

As a rule, it's best not to give out your personal contact info. If you have a contract in place and you're going to be communicating off platform then you can do so at your discretion, but these scammers just want your info so it's a good idea not to be too free with your details until work has started. And even then, use your best judgment. 


I flagged the offer.  Where is customer support?


@Stuart F wrote:

I flagged the offer.  Where is customer support?


Go to the footer of the site (not the Community, but the main site), you'll see Help & Support. If you click there you will see your options to contact CS on the right side.  

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Stuart,

 

Please follow the advice other users already shared and report this job to Customer Support with screenshots of your communication on Hangouts.

 

To help you work safely on Upwork, please have a look at tips and warning signs shared in this thread and our Trust & Safety FAQ.

 

Seeing you're a new user, I strongly advise you to read the Help articles from the Getting Started as a Freelancer section and our Freelancer Guide. Please also check our educational videos and best practice advice shared by other users:

 

Freelancer Tutorial Videos

Want to get that first job? Then check this out...

Proposal Workshop Video

 

Here are the Community Guidelines you mentioned.

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I have had 3 replies to my proposals this month and I believe all 3 have been scams. Each wanted to talk via hangouts and after some basic questions I was offered a job. I was then told they were going to send me a check to pay for the software I needed to do the job. All 3 of these clients used the same scenario and questions. Has anyone else been contacted with this script:? I realized after I received the first check that it was no good.

Scammers target new freelancers on the platform.  Many have come here with stories exactly like yours.

 

Rule of thumb is to never accept any form of payment off the platform (serious TOS violation) and never begin work without a contract showing on your "My Jobs" page.  

I agree. I never tried to cash any checks because I realize it is common sense that no one is going to send you a check after a few minutes on instant chat.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi John,

 

Please see my and other users posts on the previous page of this thread, and Christy's post above, and make sure not to start working unless you have an active contract on Upwork, use our Protection Programs and only accept to get paid through the platform. 

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Hello I was reached out by one the companies that are on upwork and they sent me a check to deposit for me to order software and I sent a apple pay to the software company. I am now realizing its a scam. How can I get my money back, how is this even possible I thought upwork verifies its employees who are posting on here. Please help. 


Jazzalyn V wrote:

Hello I was reached out by one the companies that are on upwork and they sent me a check to deposit for me to order software and I sent a apple pay to the software company. I am now realizing its a scam. How can I get my money back, how is this even possible I thought upwork verifies its employees who are posting on here. Please help. 


Just to clarify, when you freelance on Upwork, you are running your own business and any clients that you agree to work with are YOUR clients - they are not Upwork employees, and neither are you. Also, if you agree to have your client send you a payment instead of going via Upwork, then you are in violation of the terms of service and can have your account permanently banned. So, if any other new freelancers are reading this and are tempted to accept payments and circumvent the service charges - it's simply not worth it.

 

I'm sure that a moderator will be along to provide further assistance, but the first thing to do is to get in touch with your bank, if you haven't done so already.


Jazzalyn V wrote:

How can I get my money back, 


You can't. You can try Apple but I would not hold my breath if I were you.

 

Clients are not Upwork employees, and by accepting a check (even an obviously fake one) you violated Upwork's terms of service. It's one of the oldest, dumbest scams on the Internet and would vanish tomorrow if freelancers weren't willing to violate the most basic rules of Upwork (and common sense.)

re: "How can I get my money back?"

You can't.

 

re: "how is this even possible?"

 

Upwork has a strict rule that prohibits users from exchanging funds outside of the platform. Freelancers can have their accounts suspended or terminated for violating this part of Upwork TOS. Because you are new, I believe that Upwork will NOT terminate your account. But you must never do this again.

 

re: "I thought upwork verifies its employees who are posting on here."

 

Upwork does not do that.

 

I do not doubt that you are disappointed. I am sorry about what happened. But Upwork does not have your money or any way to retrieve it. I am certain that you will not make this mistake again.

Hi Jazzalyn,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I've checked the job you're referring to and it has been taken down because it was in violation of Upwork TOS and action has been taken on the client account. 

 

Please, check this help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Also, check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

 

Thank you!

~ Bojan
Upwork
d555065e
Member

There is no filter system, no oversight, no verifying of job postings on UpWork.  It's a universal crap shoot and a honey pot for scammers.  But you probably noticed how difficult it is to set up a profile.  How your identity and privacy is completely exposed.  Makes me wonder why anyone works on this site.


@Marcela J wrote:

There is no filter system, no oversight, no verifying of job postings on UpWork.  It's a universal crap shoot and a honey pot for scammers.  But you probably noticed how difficult it is to set up a profile.  How your identity and privacy is completely exposed.  Makes me wonder why anyone works on this site.


I work on this site because I can make money here.  I can spot scams quicky. Most people could if they would read the ToS of the site.   

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

re: "Makes me wonder why anyone works on this site."

 

By working part time on Upwork, I earn 145% of my country's national median income. That's one good reason why I work on this site.

 

I receive invitations every week, and have not received a scam invitation during the past 18 months.

 

I do indeed feel bad for the newbies who waste time with scammers. But invariably they are making serious mistakes while doing so. They are defying common sense and breaking basic Upwork rules and guidelines.

 

Nobody deserves to be scammed. Scammer are horrible. But many newbies NEED to be scammed in order to get their head it the game.