I thought I would share this with you all, especially newbies, so that hopefully whoever sees this doesn't get sucked in, as apparently this type of thing happens quite frequently.
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to say who the "client" is, but to sum it up:
The client asked me if I can start the project right away, I replied that I could, so he immediately just sends the file through the Upwork messaging system. I politely said something along the lines of:
"Before I get started, would you kindly have your payment method verified, and then send me a contract." He then responded that the job is small so a contract is not necessary, and that I should send him a quote and he will pay me upfront, and then asked what my preferred method of payment is.
These are ALL red flags.
I then said, "I am sorry, but to protect both of our interests, it is a violation of Upwork's policies to not create a contract, regardless of how big or small the job is. I will not be able to do this job without a contract. Thanks." Then he asked me if I could send him a contract that he could sign. I replied "No, you must use the hire button through the job posting. I will not do work for free."
After that, he declined my application with the reason "all positions have been filled."
Frustrating, yes, but it also makes me laugh.
Hopefully this helps someone. Please DO NOT start working without the client's payment method being verified, and especially not without a contract.
Very smart move on your part. Now the best thing you can do to protect other freelancers is report the client to CS. You can report it directly from the job post, but in this case I would open a ticket and include screen shots of your conversation so they may ban him. Great job.
I just had a scam experience within the last few hours. They hired me after interviewing on yahoo instant messenger; they told me that if I'm one of the top hires, they'll provide me with a car and house; but before anything could start, I needed to buy their $280 software package. I kept looking around the internet to see if this was legit, then looked on the company's website and read about recent fraudulent activity. I called their number, and they were very happy to hear about this. Also, the woman with whom I spoke said the company does not furnish employees (part time at that!) with houses and cars.
Phew, that was close - imagine, you nearly got sucked in! "the woman with whom I spoke said the company does not furnish employees (part time at that!) with houses and cars". You're lucky she told you that! Seriously, did you really have to even go and look it up??
I often get obvious scam invitations. The ones that make me laugh are the ones along the line of "we're impressed by your resume..." more often than not, the ob description is for something in which I have no experience -.-
I've never been scammed, nor will I ever be. I won't work without a contract. And because of the new (well, maybe now old) escrow system. I should imagine it's very difficult to scam honest freelancers.
I think oDesk should officially provide more information to help newbies be more vigilant. All I seem to see is a forum post created by a forum contributor in regards to avoiding scams. Although people shouldn't need educating - desperation can cloud judgement...I suppose.
Thank you Lyam. This was my first contact with anybody. I didn't know yahoo messenger was bad. I figured the house and car would be like an unattainable Mary Kay incentive. Buying the $280 equipment up front caused me to quickly look around and verify that this is a scam.
I only mention Yahoo Messenger because of every obvious-scam invitiation I've received have all included Yahoo Messenger. Just be wary. ANything too good to be true probably is
if you check her profile, you'll see that Carol's profile image is actually a grey figure on a white background (or vice versa - can't remember.) The forum for some reason assigns a random silly image to anyone in the forum who doesn't have a photographic avatar in their Upwork profile. it's maybe a subtle hint to them to get a real profile pic.
@Carol, English sarcasm set aside, you did well avoiding this, and it's all part of the learning curve...